Saturday, October 17, 2020

Angel of the Night (1986)

Directed by:
Richard Mailer

Mysterious temptress Angel (played by Angel aka Jennifer James) runs a bed-and-breakfast type establishment called “Angel's Retreat” where she seduces visitors into “a new way of thinking about sexuality” which is basically the same old way of thinking about sexuality by porn standards. She casts her spell on a married woman (Brittany Stryker), who feels powerless to her charms despite not typically being into women. It has something to do with her slipping on a sheer nightgown as well as Angel possessing some kind of hypnotic, otherworldly power. Three years pass and married couple Stan (Dan T. Mann) and Corky (Buffy Davis) Morgan buy the home and hope to restore it to its original splendor. Late one stormy night, they receive an unexpected visitor in Randolph Forsight (Paul Thomas), who, along with his late wife, used to frequent the retreat before Angel vanished into thin air. His wife died soon after. Her final wish was that he return a painting of Angel that she'd gifted her to the home. Two other unexpected guests arrive: Sleazebag Carlo Rivera (Eddie Marinara) and his cute wife Brenda (“Debbie Berle” / Sheena Horne). She's a distant relative of Angel's which makes Carlo think she may have some kind of legal claim to the home. Upon laying eyes on the portrait of Angel, Brenda passes out, which pretty much forces Stan and Corky into allowing all three visitors to spend the night.

After everyone's asleep, Carlo decides to loot the place. He makes it to the attic where he watches a couple of ghosts (the man is Peter North) have sex. They then transform into scabby-faced demons and kill him (off-screen). Meanwhile, Brenda starts showing signs of possession and her face glows. A possessed deep voice and giggling are heard. A red light glows in a hidden room. Randolph hears the voice calling out his name and finds Brenda lying in bed all dolled up and speaking in both her own and the dead Angel's voice. Despite that, he hops into bed with her but doesn't remember what occurred the next morning.

Corky's bleached-and-crimped "kooky" spiritualist friend Laura ("Lori Levell" / Lorrie Lovett) shows up proclaiming "I've been doing research on your house! Your house is haunted!" The two ladies then encounter the possessed Brenda in her bedroom, who "forces" them to scissor on the bed while she grabs their hair and makes hilarious evil facial expressions. Afterward, Laura suggests they hold a séance to rid the home of the ghosts and explains what occurred there fifty years earlier. It turns out that Angel's mother Angelina (Jeanette Littledove) was murdered by her father (Tony Martino), who suffocated her with a pillow after having sex with her. He, his brother and sister-in-law were then all found suffocated to death soon after. As for how that explains their daughter Angel being some kind of ghost, your guess is as good as mine!

Most of the performers (aside from the experienced Thomas, plus Horne gets some credit for doing a  pretty good job while possessed) can't act to save their lives, flub their lines and stumble their way through awkward dialogue scenes and the plot is full of holes and doesn't really make much sense. Plus it's kind of annoying that this was falsely promoted as a starring vehicle for Angel (an October 1985 Penthouse Pet and one of the best looking adult actresses from this time) yet she's only featured in the two bookmarking scenes. Interestingly, Littledove, who is of Native America / Cherokee lineage, is promoted as the star on the Spanish Angel de la noche tapes instead of Angel, even though she's only in one scene. I guess no one wanted to try to sell this as a Buffy Davis movie.

Still, we can't really expect too much "real movie" from a shot-on-video haunted house porn flick from the 80s, can we? Judging this for what it is and why it was made, it's enjoyable enough. It delivers as it should with seven sex scenes and at least attempts were made to actually create a horror atmosphere with the lighting, fog, camerawork (lots of Dutch angles) and make-up effects by Alan C. Bosshardt, a future Emmy nominee. The score, from eventual directors Christopher Saint Booth and Philip Adrian Booth (who went on to make the headache-inducing Death Tunnel and the laughable paranormal documentary Children of the Grave, among other things) is also pretty good.

This was initially released on VHS by the Intropics Video label but is now easy to find on all of the usual suspect adult websites. Mailer (born Richard Mills in Minnesota) had a very long career in adult films; starting when hardcore first became legal in the 70s and going all the way up to 2005. He committed suicide in 2008.



spookyx3 said...

very interesting! only saw the initial preamble; no hint of horror content.

angel has around 25 original credits. she was a part of so many good 35mm productions it's weird to see her stoop to SOV before her 1988 "comeback." also 1985: a dubbed solo in cecil howard's unusually limited video-quickie DANGEROUS STUFF (still pretty good overall), and ANGEL'S REVENGE, again for mailer/intropics; i noted: "these people aren't acting -- angel seems genuinely disturbed in a scene with an inebriated harry reems."

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

This is actually more horror than some of the other ones I've seen and reviewed here though we all know the real point so we can't expect too much.

Definitely not Angel at her best here though. During her first scene her partner seems a bit uncomfortable. Second one is better but I'm sure she was used better elsewhere. Still not bad at all for SOV.

spookyx3 said...

> her partner seems a bit uncomfortable

brittany stryker was new, brought in by BF harry reems (herbert streicher/stryker).

[copyright date, and AVN, says 1986 for this one.]

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

Thanks. Will change the year.

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