This sub-par action film stars martial arts champion Cat Sassoon as Katara Lang, a tough L.A. cop who travels to Manila to find the killer of her sister Christie (Sibel Birzag), an FBI agent/kickboxer who photographed the assassination of a US military man. Christie gives the film, which
identifies the assassins as the Black Brigade, a Philippines freedom fighter/terrorist group, to strip-joint dancer/friend Sulu (Shiela Lin Tan). Embassy official Victor Winslow (Joseph Zucchero) warns Katara not to interfere. She saves personable gambler Alcatraz (Michael Shaner) from a
street-gang attack and takes Christie's place in a kickboxing tournament with the approval of Christie's trainer Bayani (Roland Dantes). Diplomat Donaldson is next killed by the Brigade's black-robed, samurai-like thugs. Everyone's looking for Sulu and the incriminating film, especially Cirio
Quirino (Henry Stralskowski), the Brigade's chief honcho, and Christie's kickboxer friend and FBI operative Lorda (Melissa Moore). Now lovers, Alcatraz and Katara get to Sulu (who is killed) first, and Katara delivers the film to Winslow. Katara beats Gold Tooth (Christina Portugal) to win the
tournament, then foils the Brigade's attempt to assassinate US Ambassador Franklin. In a final melee, Katara, Alcatraz, and Lorda (who escaped a torture session with Quirino) kill Quirino and the traitorous Bayani, his second-in-command. Apparently having won big bucks in the tournament, Alcatraz
and Katara head into the sunset on a conspicuously large yacht.
ANGELFIST seems conceived as a showcase debut for Cat Sassoon, identified on-screen as "World Karate Association North American Forms and Weapons Champion." The statuesque Sassoon, who looks as if she's had massive eyebrow, lip, and breast implants, is unfortunately a terrible actress, and when
not utilizing her martial arts skills in the ring or in street fights, even her body language, let alone vocal abilities, is awkward.
Anthony Greene's screenplay is a convoluted hodgepodge of cliches, and the plot makes even less sense than usual in the genre, barely functioning as pegs on which to hang the action. Producer/director Cirio Santiago has been grinding out these technically meagre (rougher than the Cynthia
Rockroth movies, but more crudely acted) action pictures in the Philippines for decades, some 37 films in all, from WOMEN IN CAGES (1972) to DUNE WARRIORS (1991). His direction here is barely adequate, often resorting to slow-motion for both the fight and sex scenes. The uncredited martial-arts
sequences are fairly well staged; one, in which Sassoon, dressed in only her little red bikini thong, subdues a pair of henchmen, packs a neatly erotic punch as well, unusual in the genre. Also unusual is the presence of a male hero who doesn't, and can't, fight. Santiago might have realized this
shortcoming, for he has Shaner suddenly taking part in the final action setpiece, which results, with Shaner flailing his arms and legs seemingly at the air, in the year's most embarrassing martial-arts sequence. (Violence, nudity, profanity.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: R
- Review: This sub-par action film stars martial arts champion Cat Sassoon as Katara Lang, a tough L.A. cop who travels to Manila to find the killer of her sister Christie (Sibel Birzag), an FBI agent/kickboxer who photographed the assassination of a US military man… (more)