Many in the religious community charge that godless Hollywood ignores spiritual issues. Let RAGING ANGELS be a response: Would you let filmmakers capable of this try to represent your faith?
Frustrated musician Chris D'Amico (Sean Patrick Flanery) has long been bedeviled by alcoholism. He faces more literal demons when his lover Lila (Monet Mazur) auditions to sing backup for Colin Gramercy (Michael Pare), rock star and figurehead for the Coalition for World Unity, a global New Age
cult that promises "a single government made up of the wisest people humanity has to offer." Chris's devout Grandma Ruth (Shelley Winters) has ominous visions about Lila and puts faith healer Sister Kate (Diane Ladd) on the case. She figures out that the legendary demon Moloch is actually behind
the Coalition for World Unity, preparing a seat of power for the Antichrist. Meanwhile Chris infiltrates CWO headquarters and overhears a plot by Colin's handlers to fake an assassination attempt on their spokesman during an internationally televised concert. Lila will take the bullet instead, a
martyr to sway public opinion to the CWO. Heedless of warnings from frantic Chris, Lila goes onstage with Colin. Chris grapples with the CWO sniper, causing a melee but harming no one. Fleeing outside, Colin is killed by the vengeful Moloch, who then turns on Chris--until Sister Kate prays up an
angelic swordsman to fend off the fiend in a clash in the skies. Reunited, Chris and Lila record music together.
There's a term bulldada applied to art that somehow achieves greatness by not realizing how genuinely terrible it is. RAGING ANGELS is knee-deep in bulldada, from its ultra-paranoid interpretation of current events (the wealthy and rockin' CWO does indeed look a bit like the celebrity-laden Church
of Scientology) to its cheesy special effects, crowned with dueling demigods who look like a Sega videogame in the clouds. As the superstitious can tell you, a pentagram bodes no good, and this film's quintet of credited scriptwriters weave a messy quilt of characters, apparitions, and subplots
who come and go as befits a scenario assembled by committee. The director's name is replaced by the standard industry pseudonym "Alan Smithee." Amen.
Of the actors, only Ladd manages to put some soul into her charismatic cult-buster. Pare made his screen debut in a musical milieu with 1983's EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS and still looks comfortable wielding a guitar, but this Lucifer Springsteen concept misuses his appeal. Pare does his own singing as
does Flanery and even French import Arielle Dombasle--a long way from her Eric Rohmer dramas--as Colin's diabolical consort. The soundtrack includes numbers by prominent Christian rock bands, like "Gates of Babylon" and "The Pain Inside Me," performed by Holy Soldier, and "To Hell with the Devil,"
by Stryper. (Violence, alcohol abuse, profanity, sex.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: R
- Review: Many in the religious community charge that godless Hollywood ignores spiritual issues. Let RAGING ANGELS be a response: Would you let filmmakers capable of this try to represent your faith? Frustrated musician Chris D'Amico (Sean Patrick Flanery) has lon… (more)