The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum


If you’re like me (and chances are, you are), when you watch Black Belt with Don “The Dragon” Wilson, you think to yourself, “Sure, this movie is OK and all, but what it really needs is topless kickboxing!” Well, Angel of Destruction has got you covered. Err… Uncovered.

What makes Angel of Destruction great in my book is that it’s a virtual remake of Black Belt made by the same producers (Roger Corman and Cirio H. Santiago) AND director/screenwriter (Charles Philip Moore), but the only difference is they swapped out Don “The Dragon” for Maria Ford. This is a completely acceptable change if you ask me. That’s mostly because unlike Don, Maria gets naked for sex scenes, stripteases, and topless kickboxing fights.

Yes, this movie features topless kickboxing. Topless kickboxing isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. There was topless kickboxing before Angel of Destruction. There was topless kickboxing after too. But for my money, Angel of Destruction features bar none the greatest topless kickboxing scene of all-time. This is exactly the sort of scene that immediately gets you knighted among The Greatest Movies in the History of the Human Race.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.

Charlie (Meridian) Spradling plays a private eye named Brit who beats up a bunch of would be rapists. She kicks one dude in the nuts and says, “The broken nose is for the girl! The vasectomy is free!” Yes, I know that Don “The Dragon” said the same exact line in Black Belt, but you’ve got to understand one thing: Don is nowhere near as hot as Charlie.

Meanwhile, Delilah (Jessica Mark) a down and out songstress is hoping her new song “Are You Chained” will be a hit. She performs the song with her girlfriend in an S & M night club and it’s quite a showstopper (explosions and confetti are strategically employed). In her dressing room after the show, Delilah’s girlfriend thinks the song is great and confides to her: “You’ll be back on cover of Rolling Stone again!” Because doing S & M dance numbers is the sort of thing that gets you on the cover of Rolling Stone. Maybe I missed something, but I don’t remember that being a part of that Dr. Hook song.

Anyway, a psycho stalker/mercenary/wedding dress enthusiast wants Delilah dead so she hires Brit to be her bodyguard. The dude promptly kills Brit, so her stepsister Jo (Maria Ford) takes over for her. Not only is she hoping to catch the creep who killed her stepsister, she has to contend with the Mob backed record company exec who is furious about Delilah’s onstage antics. (At one point he tells her, “More Peggy Lee! Less Marquis De Sade!”)

I should also point out another thing about Jo. One character calls her, “The world’s most famous undercover cop”. I’m sorry, but if she’s the most famous, then she’s not very good at being undercover.

Dammit, this movie has a lot of flaws. I know that. But good golly Miss Molly are those flaws ever hilarious.

Angel of Destruction is one of those movies that have the perfect blend of legitimately awesome moments and laugh out loud bouts of bad movie bliss. In short, this is the kind of movie I crave. Add in the fact that it has the best instance of topless kickboxing ever recorded and you have yourself some AFI Top 100 material here.

OK, let me rephrase that last sentence because it’s not entirely accurate. What I meant to say is that it has the best instance of topless FEMALE kickboxing ever recorded. (The AFI Top 100 part still stands.) Sure, just about every Kung Fu movie has topless kickboxing; but it’s usually performed by sweaty males.

Maria Ford. What more can I say? I’ve already praised her work many times on this site. However, I have to tell you that this is her finest 85 minutes. This gal can act. She does some great work here, especially when she’s in Death Wish mode. She also handles herself very well in the Kung Fu scenes. While I’m sure they used a stunt double for some parts, she does a damn fine job in the ass-kicking department, especially considering the fact that she performed a lot of the choreography topless. I don’t care what anybody says, that takes talent.

Who says remakes never live up to the originals?

Tags: .the greatest movies in..., a, action, kung fu, remake, roger corman

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