Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Evil Angel
I don’t do women
Jarv’s Rating: Two and a half Changs out of 4. My Christ this is confusing, but it’s propped up by a really good performance, a fair amount of boob, and some ropy CGI
This “Watch Now” Thing on Lovefilm really will be the death of me. The amount of mediocre/ extremely schlocky films that I’ve watched on it because the stupid interface on the PS3 won’t go beyond the first 100 titles is frankly getting absurd now. I was drawn to this film for the very simple, and monumentally stupid, reason that it had a nice picture, seemed like it may contain loads of nudity and starred a chick that I briefly remember thinking was smoking hot in Ugly Betty. Oh, and it also has Ving Rhames in it. Mind you, his presence in a film is no guarantee of quality. In fact, usually the reverse.
Evil Angel opens with one of the more aggravating things that schlock films can do: the classic “scene that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the film and gives you totally misleading expectations”. I hate it when people do that. The scene in question here is a guy panicking because every woman he sees morphs into an angry demon woman. I’ve heard the Urban Myth about periods synchronising when women live in close proximity, but there seems to be a citywide explosion of it. Anyhoo, it leads to him falling off a building. This is all quite exciting, actually.
Then the “credits” roll. Except it’s actually an extended scene of female masturbation before she too turns into a demon. I’m not really sure what the makers are trying to say here: masturbation leads to turning into an angry demon bitch? That’s not very progressive. The rest of the film plays like this: Marcus (Kristopher Shepherd) is a bit of a nobhead. He’s got Post Traumatic stress of some description due to a failure to save a young girl. His hot wife Carla(Ava Gaudet- the one from Ugly Betty) is at home shagging around on him. Divorce is inevitable really, except it isn’t because she decides to off herself. In the meantime Detective Ving Rhames is looking for whoever killed his son, which it turns out was a woman called Caroline (JJ Neward) that walked out of hospital despite being clinically dead.
Confused? I am, I am as confused as a monkey confronted by stereo instructions.
Anyhoo, it then turns out that Caroline is possessed by Lilith (Mother of Cain, I think) who is a righteous bitch and kills people during sex. Oh, and she’s a demon. Marcus, the tool, becomes obsessed with a girl he couldn’t save called Elizabeth, Carla hilarious kills herself, Caroline gets killed by a lesbian hooker (hilarious scene this), Ving wanders round in circles, Lilith possesses Carla, and then proceeds to try to con Marcus that she’s actually Elizabeth possessing Carla, thereby luring him into some nasty sex (really, though, I think she’s trying too hard- Gaudet doesn’t need bullshit like this to lure an obvious moron into the sack) before going loopy, killing a lot of people (Ving), serving up head casserole, kidnapping Marcus’ new girlfriend Jenny, and then eventually being defeated before letting Marcus go and riding off into the sunset.
I haven’t got the slightest clue what I’ve just written down. I had several goes at drafting the plot synopsis- and that’s as clear as I could get. This is one confused film when I’m trying to explain it, but it makes a huge amount more sense on the screen. The thing is, though, there are basically three stories happening simultaneously here: Marcus+ Carla, Ving on the trail, Lilith/ Carla getting revenge. The film follows whichever strand it needs to advance the plot, but that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the right one to be following. For example, Lilith is clearing out a pimp den, but then it cuts back to Marcus drippily reading the diary, before cutting off to Ving talking to someone about the mythology, then cutting back to Caroline/ Lilith getting it on with the crack whore. See what I mean? It’s almost as if it’s deliberately trying to be obtuse. Director Richard Dutcher tries hard to keep all these different balls in the air, and I suppose full marks for effort, but it’s a juggling act that he doesn’t really manage. I don’t think anyone could.
The strength of this film rests on the female cast, in particular Gaudet. That this colossal mess could in any way be called a success is because she’s, actually, extremely good. She’s got a limited amount of moods, but transforms from mousey/ loopy suicidal wife into smoking hot sex kitten (you’d die, but it would probably be worth it), to lunatic psychopath, back to sex kitten, to demure housewife and so forth. It’s honestly a surprisingly good performance. Neward as well is sultry and gorgeous as Caroline and even Jenny (Marie Westbrook) gets in on the act. Unfortunately, Shepard is on autopilot and Rhames is asleep in a paycheck role that could be played by anyone. Nevertheless, the women carry this film, and do it well enough that I’ve now got a yen to see other films with Gaudet in them, and nominate her as an Astrodyke.
Overall, this is astonishingly quite good fun. There’s boob, reasonable performances, decapitations, ropy CGI, and it’s all very likable. I know this sounds nuts, given that it’s a ginormous fucking mess, but it doesn’t actually feel that confusing when you’re watching it. The simple fact is, though, that the stories don’t mesh together and rely far too much on coincidence, the male cast members are either not trying or not up to it, and it’s frankly a clusterfuck that could have done with being pared down. Nevertheless, I did quite enjoy it, and am going to give it an utterly undeserved 2.5 Changs out of 4. I’m stumped as to whether I recommend it or not, as I’m not sure that I do, but I do recommend Gaudet for future roles. She is far, far, too good for the likes of this.
Until next time,