Written by: Carroll Jenkins on January 31st, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: NHong Kong, 1987
Director: Teresa Woo
Writer: Teresa Woo
Cast: Alex Fong Chung Sun, Moon Lee, Saijo Hideki, Elaine Lui, Oshima Yukari
DVD Released: September 20th, 2007
Approximate Running Time: 96 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Cantonese, Dolby Digital Mono Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
DVD Release: Mei Ah
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC (Hong Kong)
Retail Price: $12.49
Synopsis: When the international police destroys 60% of the Asian mafia’s poppy fields, they respond with revenge killings against all involved. The crisis escalates until the U.S. sends an emissary to hire an elite covert operations team: The Angels.
What began as a HK variant on the the Charlie’s Angels television program became one of the seminal entries in the first wave of the ‘Girls With Guns’ genre following Yes Madam but preceding both Royal Warriors and In the Line of Duty III. Two of our leading ladies, Moon Lee (Mr. Vampire) and Elaine Lui (Bride with White Hair), portray two of the three Angels; with Elaine in the Farah Fawcett role as the air-head who provides a bit of comic relief. Moon is the serious Kate Jackson type, but Angel #1 is Alex Fong (Storm Riders).
In part by design of the script, Yukari Ôshima steals every scene as the evil and sadistic femme fatale Madame Yeung. Otherwise the main strength of the film is the overload of action scenes: shootouts, assassinations, car chases, finger chopping, gratuitous torture, machine guns, hand grenades, hand-to-hand martial arts. The serpentine plot slithers it’s way through the James Bond / secret agent storyline that is a bit muddled at times, but nevertheless entertaining throughout. The action effects are quite good and the stunt work is sometimes stunning.
The DVD is released as Iron Angels, though the on-screen title is simply Angel. This is an excellent quality 2:35 scope presentation; obviously the previously available pan & scan full screen versions destroy the composition. A brief glimpse of Madame Yeung’s bare breast is cut. Extras include a trailer that consists solely of snippets from the many action scenes. A brief glimpse of Madame Yeung’s bare breast is cut.
This film is a blast from start to finish, and the final confrontation between the three leading ladies is as lengthy as it is brutal. Essential viewing.