Monday, March 16, 2015

Angels’ Wild Women (1972)

With all due respect to Ed Wood (if “respect” is the right word), a strong argument could be made that Al Adamson is actually the worst director of all time. Working in the exploitation realm from the mid-’60s to the early ’80s, he made consistently awful pictures that ripped off current box-office trends and were distinguished by incoherent plotting, shoddy production values, and terrible acting. Take, for instance, Adamson’s execrable biker flick Angels’ Wild Women, which comprises little more than 85 minutes of boobs, bikers, and brawls, with a little bit of sensationalistic Charles Manson imagery thrown in for no discernible reason. The movie starts with a violent rape, continues with a vignette of Nazis slaughtering victims (the “Nazis” are actors participating in a movie shoot), and later features such overused B-movie tropes as a bad drug experience, a messianic cult leader, and a murderous crime spree. Said spree is committed by curvaceous ladies who quit dating bikers in order to form their own outlaw outfit, but then get distracted from their activities every time some young stud crosses their path. How tacky is Angels’ Wild Women? Adamson shot the scenes involving the cult leader at Spahn’s Movie Ranch, the real-life hideout of the Manson Family. No threshold of bad taste was too forbidden for Adamson to cross, and yet there’s nothing truly rebellious or wild about his filmmaking. Throughout Angels’ Wild Women, he simply gathers counterculture signifiers without any sense of how to contextualize or energize them. Worse, Adamson can’t even make all the lurid garbage that he throws onscreen exciting. As it grinds through an undercooked “plot,” Angels’ Wild Women slips almost immediately into nothigness, with interminable dialogue scenes and laughably “artistic” love scenes pointlessly consuming screen time.

Angels Wild Women: SQUARE

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