The Direct to Video Connoisseur
I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Hooded Angels aka Glory Glory (2002)
This one has come up a couple times on Instant as a suggestion. I also come across it on there when I'm looking for more Gary Busey, so I finally decided to give it a chance. I guess too that there's a chance that there isn't a lot of Busey in it either. Let's see what happens.
Hooded Angels is about a town in Texas that is the victim of a massacre by Union soldiers during the Civil War. The women who survive decide to go out on their own as renegades, robbing and killing any men who get in their way. Paul Johansson is a cowboy whose father was killed by one of the women, and he wants his revenge-- not knowing though that it was a band of women who are responsible. He and every other lawman in the area-- including sheriff Gary Busey-- think they're after a group of men. Will they find out before the women get them too?
So I wasn't sure how this one was going to play out, but for the most part it worked. It looked like it might be a horrible Men's Right's Activist/Feminists want to kill all men problematic crapfest, but fortunately that didn't happen. On the other hand, while there was a female empowerment angle, it took on many faces, which I thought made it work better. It wasn't simply the novelty of women as the renegades that it could've been. We also had good performances from Johansson, Steven Bauer (who was in Johansson's posse), Amanda Donohoe, and Chantell Stander, the latter two playing the lead women renegades. All of this played out as a nicely worked Western, complete with some solid shootouts to boot. While it did have some slow parts, I think overall it was good.
Busey wasn't in this much as the town sheriff, but when he was there he was great. It was a more subdued Busey, like the old, wise sheriff, but still had it's Abusive moments. He starts off giving a bounty hunter money for a fugitive, and he's lecturing the guy on how he needs to learn to write. Then he's talking with Steve Bauer about the goings-on of the town, in pure Busey style. The outfit is great too. I think if this movie were bad, the lack of Busey would've upset me, but because it was solid, the Busey we got was a fun addition.
I must say, if you were to tell me Paul Johansson was going to be a long-haired Western gunslinger, I'd be skeptical. He's still John Sears from 90210 to me, so the idea of that guy doing this would've been tough to wrap my head around. In fact, when I first saw him on-screen I didn't recognize him. The hair is almost more Hair Band-ish than Western, but he has the rest of it down, and was a very good lead. He and Bauer worked well together too. I think maybe it was good to bring in someone like him who you wouldn't think would do a Western to a film like this that isn't your run of the mill film from the genre. It all worked.
This film was shot in South Africa, but it had all the feel you'd want in a Western. The landscapes were perfect and shot really well. That's big, a Western needs that to create the atmosphere as much as anything. Think of John Ford's for instance. I didn't once think we weren't in the US in Reconstructionist Texas. One thing it did though was give us a bunch of women with different accents, very few of which were Southern. I don't know if that's an issue for you, but I was fine with it.
Then there's this guy. Graham Clarke, aka Capt. Scott Devers in Space Mutiny. I love seeing this guy in anything. He doesn't last long though, which is too bad. I think any Space Mutiny alums are cool to see in anything. If you're wondering, yes, this movie could've used a little Reb Brown. And maybe John Phillip Law. And Cameron Mitchell. And his grandma-daughter.
All right, so this is pretty good, and worth checking out. An interesting take on the Western, with some good performances, plus the great Gary Busey. While it's on Instant, it's a good bet.
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0225865/