Directed by: Wes Craven
Actors: Jennifer Jordan, Helen Madigan and Erica Eaton
Also known as: Angela - erotikens drottning, Angela Is the Fireworks Woman
Description: Now is any of us suffered through the horrible INSIDE DEEP THROAT we might remember that CRAVEN admitted to having "been around [sexploitation films] but [wouldn't say which ones]." Well folks, here's one. Now don't get to excited folks because Mr. Craven does not shed his clothes or do anything nasty (although he does play a rather weird creepy character). But he has a large (meaning lots of dialog) part in this movie.
The IMDB listing for it says that it was directed by Craven's long time friend and associate Peter Locke under the name "Abe Snake" and although I can't say for sure because nether Locke's nor Craven's names appear in the credits, this flick looks a lot like an early Craven production, especially in terms of the small town locales (which look A LOT like Connecticut I might add) and the Craven-like cinematography.
To give further evidence to the argument that Craven's involvement in this production was not just limited to a couple days of shooting is the presence of the song "Now You're All Alone," which was composed by DAVID HESS for Craven's Last House On The Left. The song appears in a slightly more complete form than it did in last house and is not cut off by the gunshot which would seemingly imply that it was sourced off a master tape and not just pulled from a print of the film.
I thus propose the question: who would have had access to the master tapes to this song aside from S. Cunningham, Craven, or Hess? And due to no evidence of of Cunningham or Hess having played any role in THIS film, it was most likely Craven who supplied the soundtrack. And by the way, the principle scene over which this song is plays involves Sarah Nicholson inserting almost her entire hand into her....while having sexual fantasies involving her priest brother (Eric Edwards).
It would be great if Craven would talk about these early films he was part of. In fact, this is one of the best films Craven ever had any role in. It's an extremely well done, slightly surreal drama/thriller set in an isolated New England fishing village. Sarah Nicholson stars as Angela, a slightly disturbed young woman who pines and lusts over her brother Peter (Eric Edwards). It emerges early on that the two engaged in incest during their youth and although Edwards attempted to reconcile his inner demons by joining the priesthood, Angela cannot forget her childhood tryst and continuously romanticizes her now jilted relationship with her brother.
When she finally works up the courage to visit him and confess to him, he turns her away and sends her to a wicked mistress who tortures her brutally. This scene is a rather bizarre and dreamy S & M montage and to make matters even stranger, the woman playing the wicked mistress is a dead ringer for Marilyn Roberts who played Clair, the dominating heroine of Radley Metzger's brilliant film "The Image."
Angela leaves the mistresses home and sets sail on her large yacht only to fall overboard and be rescued by a couple of hippies who take her into their strange sexual fantasies, after they all have a picnic. The hippies then confess to Peter (who apparently knows them, or they know him although it's never fully explained) the sexual acts Angela has been performing causing Peter to feel a great deal of guilt and responsibility for the deviancy of his sister.
Meanwhile, Angela's strange journey continues as she slowly begins to realize the strong sexual powers she holds over almost everyone as well as the fact that she might be being followed by a strange man who she remembers used to light the fireworks on July 4th (played by Craven!)...
The entire film has a very dreamy feel about it with a great deal of scenes which start of convincingly enough but are subsequently revealed to be fantasies. It's ambiance gives it the feel of a Gothic fairy tale and despite the presence of twentieth century technology and clothing it has almost a timeless aura. The acting, especially on the part of Nicholson, is wonderful and the entire production has a surprisingly large amount of technical competency, almost to the level of any similarly dated Damiano, Metzger, or Weston film.
The camera work is especially effective in giving the film it's dreamy, glossy look, and the cinematographer beautifully captures both the loneliness and mystery of Rural New England. This is a definite must have for any Craven enthusiast and sexploitation collector alike.