This 1982 slasher has everything going for it. A classic synthesized Halloween theme song rip-off, Donna Wilkes, who shrieked her way through Jaws II and later played hot hooker Angel, and teen angel Frankie Avalon as the killer! Need I say more? Okay, I don’t need to, but I can’t resist. I guess this post is loaded with spoilers, but I don’t think this treasured entry in my 80s horror library could be spoiled anymore rotten than it already is.
Following traditional slasher formula, we are immediately treated to a prelude of some kid playing his flute as he witnesses a violent family murder. Flash ahead to the present (aka: 1982), and said kid is now grown-up Frankie Avalon, still playing the flute and locked up in a mental institution until he pulls a Michael Myers (sans mask for the remainder of the film) and escapes the institution. Not sure if the Beauty School Dropout Teen Angel (now the Teen Angel of Death) knows what’s drawing him towards Angel the hooker, but he sets off in her direction.
Angel isn’t actually a hooker this time around, but more like daddy’s little ho if we believe what her abusive daddy thinks about her. Despite her being in a leg brace, daddy believes she’s whoring around in backseats at night, planting that hefty leg brace on the ceiling of every car she can hobble into. It’s amazing how an actress can do such a convincing job as a terrified teen in a Hollywood blockbuster like Jaws II, but put her in a low budget slasher starring Frankie Avalon a few years later and she goes down as one of the worst final girls in slasher history. Angel ho is absolutely terrible in this film, while the Teen Angel of Death is pretty brilliant in his follow-up role to Grease. Yes, Frankie Avalon actually plays an awesome psychotic murderer.
Teen Angel of Death’s calling card is his flute. Criticize his melodic blood song and you’re dead meat. In a way, this film is a lot like Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 in that most of the killer’s victims are random slices of white trash he meets on his journey to the final girl, with whom he has some sort of psychic connection because…get this. When Angel ho messed up her leg, she needed a transfusion, and got it from Teen Angel of Death! So now, when he’s about to kill someone, we get a serious close-up of Angel ho’s eye, which turns into a spiraling cartoon graphic that spins us into the scene of Teen Angel of Death wasting another victim. Angel ho is psychically witnessing every murder thanks to the blood flowing through her veins. Of course, no one believes her, which means it’s time for a lonely walk on the beach montage (well, actually, a limp on the beach). Out comes a faux 1970s Streisand “The Way We Were” ballad! OMG. This movie is a mess!!! I can’t help but wonder if it was actually filmed in the late 70s and not released until 82, because the Teen Angel of Death even picks up a hitchhiker who exclaims with glee, “You’ve got an 8-track!”
Well, one murder leads to another, Angel ho sees the Teen Angel of Death standing outside her classroom window in true Halloween fashion (again, sans the mask), which all leads up to the 1 hour and 7 minute mark in the movie, when the final chase scene begins…probably one of the longest chase scenes in slasher history, taking us all the way to the 1:22 mark! Awesome. I don’t even think Wendy ran through the desolate Prom Night halls for that long. Anyway, this chase scene lands us in a logging mill, and our lame Angel ho manages to jab Teen Angel of Death a few times with sharp objects she finds around the joint, which levels the physical disabilities playing field and forces him to bring out the big gun…a fricking fork lift! That’s right. He lifts Angel ho way up to heaven, with Angel ho not quite able to tap into the convincing terror she felt being chased by a mechanical shark four years earlier. But she doesn’t have to fake fear for long, because she pulls a serious Angel ho-revenge move and TACKLES the Teen Angel of Death, screaming, “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!” This shockingly aggressive behavior causes him to lose control of the forklift, babbling like a baby as he is sent off a dock and into a watery grave. Or is he? Because just when Angel ho thinks she’s safely back in a hospital (probably waiting for another psycho’s blood transfusion for a sequel that could be set in the hospital: wink wink)…the strains of the blood song begin again….