Cheesy special effects provide cursory decoration in “Raging Angels,” a silly supernatural mystery about two innocent youngsters drawn into a sinister “global-peace” organization whose goal is to take over the world and impose unity through brainwashing. Theatrical release is merely a warm-up en quick route to vid shelves, where ludicrous pic is bound to collect a lot of dust, despite a cast that includes “Powder’s” Sean Patrick Flanery and Diane Ladd.
Three scripters and legendary fictitious helmer “Alan Smithee” have concocted a stew that indiscriminately borrows elements from romantic musicals, sci-fi, political and horror pics, including “The Manchurian Candidate” and “The Exorcist,” resulting in a preposterously messy movie that changes tone, ideas and visual style from scene to scene.
Two appealing rock musicians, Chris (Flanery) and Lila (Money Mazur), who are very much in love, audition for jobs hoping to be cast in the same show. Lila is soon chosen as a backup singer for Colin Gramercy (Michael Pare), an ambitious performer who’s also the celeb spokesman for the diabolical Coalition for World Unity.
Enter Chris’ Grandma Ruth (Shelley Winters), who experiences a series of horrific dreams and visions about the malevolent association. Although she suffers a fatal heart attack during a supernatural demonic attack, Grandma has enough time to plead with Sister Kate (Diane Ladd), a woman endowed with extraordinary powers, to save the two innocent youngsters.
In the poorly executed climax set at a globally televised concert, Chris and Sister Kate race against the clock to rescue Lila from the clutches of Colin and his jealous lover, Megan (Arielle Dombasle), who conspire to assassinate Lila to gain the coalition worldwide attention.
Pros Ladd and Winters throw themselves with unnecessary gusto into their thankless roles, while Flanery and Mazur manage to show some charm despite script’s obstacles.
Lacking any visual distinction, pic’s only saving grace is a boisterous rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack that accompanies the lovemaking between Flanery and Mazur, among other scenes.