Thursday, April 30, 2009

Angel Unchained

Last night I saw the second part of the B-movie double feature, "Angel Unchained". Now, a title like that might make you think it's about some prostitute who got let out of prison, but no such luck--this was a 1969 biker film where an ex-biker-turned-hippie (yeah, let that sink in) is named "Angel" and has to protect a commune of hippies from some cowboys.

First, the guy's white--if you're a white guy and you're named "Angel" then you have much bigger problems than motorcycle sores. Step one, get a new name, like "Lance" or "Sarpedon" or "Clovis". Then you might have a chance!

So Angel joins a bunch of hippies on a commune in the southwest (one of the hippies is TV's Tyne Daly, who was Cagney or Lacey, not sure which one because in the '80s I only watched sitcoms), and learns that the town's cowboys are hassling them and trying to drive them off their hippie land. The movie--did I mention this was early Nixon years?--tries to get us to feel sympathy for these poor deluded hippies, though I've got to say I could see the cowboys' point--when has any neighborhood improved when the hippies moved in? The smell of patchouli alone was probably enough to get the rednecks ready for some good ole shootin'. Though violence isn't the answer--all they had to do was show up at the commune dressed as a job and that would have scared the hippies away.

So one of the head hippies tells Angel to get his biker gang to come and help protect them from the cowboys. Wow, what a great idea! Like that time the civil rights marchers hired the neo-Nazis to protect them from the Ku Kux Klan! Oh wait, they didn't do that because that would be pretty short-sighted. Despite Angel's objections, they bring the bikers in and hijinks ensue.

I guess they could do a sequel, where the hippies saw that their trust fund checks ran out and they had to enter the world of finance and sell out and become yuppies. Then Angel could try and save them from a corporate takeover!

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