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Two Low Budget Gems Finally on DVD
on June 28, 2012
Imagine my surprise as I'm scoping out Amazon when I come across two lost movies I was beginning to think would never hit DVD: STREETS, which is among my top 10 favorite movies, and ANGEL IN RED, another good picture. Both feature ingenues who were big on TV: Christina Applegate from Married with Children and Leslie Bega from Head of the Class. These films, made in the early Nineties, have taken 20 years to make it to disk. Frankly, I don't understand what took so long. Granted, neither is well known but there have been opportunities to cash in on these titles before.
Christina Applegate has maintained a relatively high profile over the years thanks to shows like Samantha Who? and Up All Night as well as her battle with breast cancer. And at 40 she has aged extremely well and is still a major hottie. STREETS was made at the height of her popularity and contains one of her only love scenes to date. In STREETS she plays Dawn, a teenage prostitute who's befriends a young runaway named Sy. Under a LA pier Dawn's "business" with a mysterious stranger (whom we later learn is a cop named Lumley) goes horribly wrong when things turns violent. After escaping him Dawn and Sy wander the streets and we meet an assortment of disturbed and homeless people. Later on, Lumley catches up to Dawn who, along with Sy, have to fight for their lives. A bit of trivia; EG Daily who sings "Dawn's Theme" also appeared as Candy in THE DEVIL'S REJECTS playing -believe it or not- a prostitute.
When Leslie Bega appeared on The Sopranos and posed for Maxim magazine you'd think ANGEL IN RED would've seen the light of day. More surprising since Bega has no less than THREE topless scenes in this flick. She plays Micki, a young prostitute who is also caring for her abused and mentally disabled brother. When her pimp Sharkey (played by a very young Jeffrey Dean Morgan-holy cow!) goes mad and kills her best friend Joey (who is also one of Sharkey's girls) she enlists the aid of a rival pimp Stash to deal with him. Sharkey kills Stash's henchmen and hunts down Micki killing everybody in his path. A dramatic ending hammers it home. This movie contains a few deleted scenes not in earlier versions that mostly contain nudity. It also retains it's original title as it was renamed UNCAGED for the VHS release. Both movies are well acted and very engaging.
Both films were reviewed by me. You can read them on Amazon.
For this release, it's gratifying to know that both movies are presented in anamorphic widescreen. Although the presentation is somewhat grainy they're both a major step up from videotape. Many multipack DVD combos still present their low budget movies in fullscreen only. Why I'll never know.
A seperate and eventual Blu-ray release for each movie -along with commentaries- would be preferable, but for now this'll do just fine.