Something Weird and Heaven are two phrases that don't usually go together, at least not in the literal sense (they've provided little slices of mini-heaven for many a cult film fan over the years). Here, with this ultra-bizarre double feature, the viewer is presented with two kinds of Heaven: one feature stars God himself, the other stars a Heaven on earth, Uschi Digart!
All right, let me try to recap ANGELS: uh....a black God enlists two gunned-down mobsters to help a sociopathic cowboy (Vincent Schiavelli, baring his ass in a brief nauseating moment) rub out Leon DeWilde, a video artist whose work celebrates death (he videotaped his father's death and now murders animals on-camera). Leon's cameraman, Ray, is a mute weirdo who is beaten up as a warning to Leon. Other angels are sent down to try and convert sinners and I fell asleep... Then I woke up again to see Leon have an old-fashioned Western shoot-out with Schiavelli.
Somehow it took four people to write this mess. While the script is built around an interesting concept, none of the characters are interesting. Social politics and religion are addressed in very personal attacks (God wants people dead, ), the humor attempts to experimental and different, and the performances are appropriately over-the-top. But the finished product makes little to no sense...unless perhaps you're snorting cocaine or smoking pot like Leon and his black reporter girlfriend. There is a very well-done chase sequence on rollerskates which comes completely out of a welcome left field, the 1970s location work in the streets of New York is very nostalgic, and the final 15 minutes of the film involving the shoot-out feature the most entertaining parts, but there is little else to recommend about the film. Give it a peek, maybe it's your bag...?
The slightly letterboxed presentation of ANGELS reflects the film: incredibly grainy, colors varying from dull and washed-out to bleeding and overly garish, and a very weak mono audio track. Let's move on to the REAL reason to own the disc...she's waiting for you...
Compared to ANGELS, GETTING INTO HEAVEN has a more linear plot (what little plot there is) and has two amazing things going for it: USCHI DIGART! Also unlike ANGELS, it is also a successfully funny feature and Uschi is in almost every single frame of the film. Uschi (billed as Marie Marceau) is Heaven, a young woman living in LA hoping to become an actress (kind of like the later TOUCH OF SWEDEN). Her roommate, Sin (Jennie Lynn), has the same aspiration and their target for seduction is Mr. Salacity, a disgusting executive who demands that the two women sleep with him to "audition!" This doesn't bode too well with cop Bernie, Heaven's new boyfriend who fell in love with her after she ran over his foot! Bernie wants Heaven to marry him, but she can't marry him and become an actress, too, can she? But will Mr. Salacity give Heaven and Sin parts in his next movie? And how will they get their luscious blonde friend Karen a part, too? You get two guesses.
Usually given bit parts and throwaway roles with no dialogue, here, GETTING INTO HEAVEN is Uschi's movie and hers alone. Jennie Lynn is beautiful and can deliver lines like anyone, and she does take part in the steamy oil massage with Uschi, but she is completely overshadowed by the permanently tanned double-D's of Die Uschi, at the peak of her career. And for anyone who writes off Uschi as just another pretty body who can't act, see this film! She delivers her lines flawlessly with good comic timing, her body language perfect, and her performance never disappointing. Several viewers seeing the film for the first time might find the non-stop skin boring and the lack of any real intricate plot a disappointment, but this is one of Uschi's few starring roles! Soak in every inch of that body, drown in her infectious smile, and laugh along at the dumb humor and smutty innuendo. And dig the scene with Uschi and her stuffed tiger....GRRRR!!
The presentation of GETTING INTO HEAVEN is ten times better than that for ANGELS, with very bold colors, a fair smattering of grain, and brief appearances of dirt and blemishes. The video release looked good, too, so it appears the transfer was taken from a negative. The mono is once again quite weak; Something Weird needs to crank the volume on their mono mixes, dialogue is often much too hard to hear.
The trailer for ANGELS opens up the trailer vault on the disc (GETTING INTO HEAVEN's trailer has gone missing). It features footage I don't remember seeing in the actual film...it could be there, though, I probably just . THE RUBBER GUN features a car with a mangled baby doll on its grill at the opening. It looks pretty hilarious, kind of a Mob spoof. It was nominated for several Genie awards and features an interesting female lead, Pam Holmes, who is like a more masculine version of Kristine DeBelle. Wonder what happened to this film?? OUT OF TOUCH is a documentary shot in black-and-white discussing expression of emotions in encounter groups... Looks incredibly bizarre, with real-life freakouts and fascinating examinations of peoples' feelings. There's lots of nudity (Paul Bindrum, the head psychiatrist, introduced the Nude Marathon) and group groping. Another film that seems to have been lost; I want to see it! THE STEWARDESSES needs no introduction: this is the sex film that revived 3-D photography. Monica Gayle is one of the stewardesses, looking cuter than ever!! The trailer is flat, but I'd love to see it in 3-D! It was re-released with hardcore inserts in the early 80s, during a second 3-D revival. LOVING AND LAUGHING opens with hippies having a love-in at a commune! A Canadian production, it looks to be a look at "the Now Generation", trying to be hip by presenting hippies in garish costumes, speaking groovy dialogue, and giving the bird to the Man! Lots of free love on display here. Where is this movie, I gotta see it! The song on the trailer is reason enough to see it! THE BUTTERFLY is another groovy 60s artifact narrated by Kirsten, "a butterfly going from man to man." She's a gorgeous blonde model, seen stripping by a chair against a white backdrop for a photographer. There's a lesbian scene, she's knocked around inside a car, and finds true love with a goon with long sideburns. I can find no other information about it, but it looks great! PIGEONS is, according to the narrator, "the most honest film of 1971," following in the footsteps of MIDNIGHT COWBOY and FIVE EASY PIECES. Judith Crist apparently loved it. Wonder why it's so hard to find now if it's that good? Jordan Christopher (ANGEL, ANGEL, DOWN WE GO) is a cab driver making a living and biding his time in New York City. Looks kind of meandering to me, but...might be interesting... THE MODELS begins with a narrator saying the trailer has been cut of all graphic scenes in case there are children in the audience, and proceeds to show the wild lives of world-class models. If it's cut of all hot scenes, it's not done very well, as there are two lesbian scenes between topless women and a man ripping the clothes off a woman before raping her! It's a European film, but I did notice Paola Senatore (EATEN ALIVE) as a redhead and Jess Franco favorite Alice Arno!! I can't find anything else about it. TOGETHER is the lost pseudo-documentary film now apparently only available in a German language print; Marilyn Chambers, looking young, fresh, and gorgeous, is seen briefly, swimming naked, doing gymnastics in a green bikini, and talking about "kissing a man's cock"!! Lots of frank sex talk, all brought to you by Wes Craven and Sean Cunningham, makers of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT! Chambers is called "Marilyn Briggs" in the trailer. It kind of reminds me of Gerard Damiano's CHANGES.
For anyone who wants even MORE Uschi after sitting through GETTING INTO HEAVEN five times, the shorts on this disc deliver! "Uschi Digart's Bedtime Surprise" sees Uschi smothering a lucky bastard with her bombastic mammaries and giving him a handjob before jumping astride him! It's pretty graphic softcore stuff, with Uschi really doing a rough ride on the guy, screaming and flipping her hair around, looking fabulous with her breasts flopping out of her bustiere! It's pretty damn funny, with great classical music cues! I am ashamed to say I don't know what film this is from. "Uschi Digart: Girl Snatcher" is an 8mm stag reel with Uschi in a villainous role; she has her two male henchmen kidnap two women off the street for her pleasure! One of the women is Marsha Jordan! Uschi worships Marsha's breasts with her tongue and they have a further sapphic encounter! "Door to Heaven" seems out of place, a Christian scripture short film. Its camp value is through the roof! In addition to the shorts, SWV has included the requisite Harry Novak galleries: the first is composed of posters and pressbooks set to the same movie tunes as previous galleries, the second is composed of promotional photos and stills from various Novak films.
For a real dose of sheer heaven,
GETTING INTO HEAVEN should have been paired with its ideal co-feature, A TOUCH
OF SWEDEN, another rare Uschi starring role and with a who's who of 70s sexploitation
stars (Sandy Dempsey, Sandi Carey, Peggy Church, Marie Arnold, etc.). Alas,
that feature will probably never hit DVD. This double feature was a severe mismatch,
but at least there's more Uschi on DVD and the curious can see Vincent Schiavelli's
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