Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Run Angel Run|
Actors: Jeb Stuart Adams, Wally K. Berns, Bill Bonner, Lee de Broux, Earl Finn
Director: Jack Starrett
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Horror
Similarly Requested DVDs
"I gotta be free, man..I gotta fly, like that bird up there"
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 04/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Roger Corman is generally credited with introducing audiences to the biker-gang film genre with The Wild Angels (1966), but know that Joe Solomon was no slouch when it came to producing various `chopper operas' during the late 60's with such films as Hells Angels on Wheels (1967), Angels from Hell (1968), Wild Wheels (1969), and this film, Run, Angel, Run (1969). Looking at the DVD case you might get the impression Angel is a woman, being pursued by primates on motorcycles (at least that's the one I got), but you'd be wrong (as I was)...no, the title refers to a man named Angel, played by veteran actor William Smith, in his very first biker film. Who's William Smith? If your familiar with B films, the name should be know to you, but for those who aren't, you may remember him from a film called Any Which Way You Can (1980), as the bare knuckle brawler who fought Clint Eastwood's character at the end of that film...he can also be seen in the classic film Conan the Barbarian (1982), as Conan's father...a small, but memorable, role. Directed by Jack Starrett, who also appeared in front of the camera in a number of films (he played the curmudgeonly Gabby Johnson in Mel Brooks' 1974 classic Blazing Saddles), the film stars, along with Smith, Valerie Starrett (hey, she has the same last name as the director...that's because they were married, fool) in her only silver screen appearance. Also appearing is Dan Kemp (Hell's Bloody Devils), Margaret Markov (Black Mama, White Mama), and Gene Shane (The Velvet Vampire).
As the film begins we see an expository montage detailing how Angel (Smith) sold out his former gang, led by Ron (Shane), by revealing their secret, inner workings and such to a magazine called `Like' for a price of $10,000, along with plastering Angel's mug on the cover. As you can imagine, the gang is none to happy about this, and `fix' it with a crooked cop to get Angel busted so they can catch up to him and express their displeasure. Before they get a chance to do this, Angel's girlfriend Laurie (Starrett), a cocktail waitress and part-time hooker, bails him out, acquiring the necessary funds by peddling...well, certainly not drinks (how many women would do this for their old man? Not any I know)...anyway, once Laurie springs Angel, they hit the road to San Francisco to pick up his bread, but his former gang is in hot pursuit, and they literally jump a train (one of the better stunts in the film) and meet some rapscalious hobos (a word to the wise, if a hobo shares something with you, whether it be a piece of sausage or a swig from his hooch bottle, he expects something in return, like a tumble with your old lady). They eventually have to hole up in an abandoned house (one with working water, gas, and electricity, by the way), and Angel gets a job with a nearby sheep rancher named Dan (Kemp) in the capacity of mechanic/sheep dipper (sheep dipping is the use of a liquid disinfectant to destroy parasites and to clean the wool, prior to shearing). Things seem to be going pretty well for Angel and Laurie, that is until Dan's pretty, young daughter Meg (Markov) inadvertently informs the gang of Angel's whereabouts, and things get messy from here on as the gang not only wants sweet revenge on Angel (they are willing to accept the money in exchange for letting him off), but their long search has caused them to be without female companionship, and they have their eyes on Meg and Laurie...
I actually thought this was a pretty decent film as it featured more of an actual story than I expected (the film was extremely popular on the drive-in circuit at the time, mostly due to the appeal of the rugged and handsome Smith). There is any number of exploitive elements throughout, but a lot of the film deals with the usually volatile relationship between a very impulsive Angel (who sure says the word `baby' a lot) and his damaged goods girlfriend Laurie. This effectively slows down the film in the middle, but Smith and Starrett did well breathing life into their characters, keeping my interest, and manage to keep things from getting too hokey. Given this is a movie about bikers, there's a good number of motorcycle ridin' montages featuring Tammy Wynette singing the theme song `Run, Angel, Run'. One thing I thought was really weird, given the relationship between the director and the lead actress, was the scenes where Angel and Laurie are getting it on...how does a director film his wife in such a scene? I'd be freaking...the scenes themselves were fine, but knowing the director is shooting his wife getting it on with another man just seems...wrong somehow...anyway, some things to watch out for...check out imbecilic Meg when she's hanging with a group of bikers in the woods...seriously, there's naïve and then there's just dumb...oh yeah, check out the dirty, greasy, shaggy, slimy, middle-aged bikers frugging up a storm with the teenage girls at the local juke joint...it was enough to put me off my food for a few hours. The final sequences were pretty cool, as Angel has a sort of showdown with his former gang, his only weapon being a garden implement of some kind...
The fullscreen print (1.33:1) looks fairly decent, but isn't without flaws. The Dolby Digital mono audio doesn't fair as well, as it's very soft, so you'll have to crank the volume. Special features include trailers for the film, along with one for the films Hells Angels 69, Hell High, Warlock Moon, and The Hollywood Strangler . Also, there's an optional intro by none other than Joe Bob Briggs himself, along with a `comedy' commentary track which is worth the price alone as Briggs imparts an incredible amount of detail as well as humor throughout. I would have given this release three stars, but the inclusion of this feature is enough for me to cough up an extra star.
Good B movie
the Archangel | Albuqueruqe, NM United States | 08/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What can I say? I was named after the character in this movie so it has certain sentimental value for me. The main character's actions are a bit frustrating at times. You may find yourself thinking, "why the f*&@ would he do something like that?!" But I guess that is the way of the B-movie, things don't always fit together perfectly and make sense. Cool to see some old-school motorcycles and choppers! Sometimes you gotta love bad movies..."