US, 1989, 90 minutes, Colour.
Olivier Gruner, Theresa Saldana.
Directed by Erik Carson.
Angel Town is a routine martial arts action thriller, highlighting trouble in America's cities. It is a star vehicle for French martial arts actor, Olivier Gruner. The film focuses on universities, slums, gangs, exploitation and confrontation? The usual characters are present, the stereotypes of this kind of confrontation - familiar to audiences, but popular nonetheless. Included in the supporting cast is actress Theresa Saldana, who was brutalised and started an organisation called Victim for Victims (and a film for television was made with her on that topic).
1. The popularity of this kind of action thriller in the '80s and '90s? Urban thrillers? Justice and violence? Defence? Martial arts?
2. The Chicago settings, the streets, the university, homes and apartments? The authentic atmosphere? The musical score?
3. The title, the gangs, the focus on Chicago and the suburbs?
4. Jacques and his French background, arrival in America, contacts, accommodation, the university? Studies? Friends? Martin and his mother? The gangs, the Chinese? His growing involvement, training of Martin? The action sequences? The saviour figure?
5. Martin, his background, his mother? Victimised? The gangs? His fears, wanting to be tough, the training? The final action?
6. The presentation of the gangs, the leaders, the led? Their styles, manner, bravado? Violence, the fights?
7. The Chinese, their place in the city, background? Influence?
8. The contrast with the university? The personnel, studies? Scholarships? Teachers? Friends, relationships?
9. The popularity of this kind of film? Mirroring urban tension in the American cities? Race relationships? Justice? Violence?