"The Eighteenth Angel" Movie Review

What really distinguished this movie at the video store was the production company, Rysher Entertainment -- the people who brought such classics as "Forever Knight" and "Highlander: The Series" to the small screen. I didn’t realize Rysher was branching out into movies, but I’m all in favor of it!

The plot’s actually pretty dense for such a low-budget flick, but here’s the high points: A yuppie family is torn asunder when the mother commits suicide. She has done so at the behest of the evil monks, who busy themselves procuring flesh for Satan. Satan’s on his way back, as foretold by a clock in Rome which counts down the time until he arrives.

The evil monks decide the daughter (played here by Lolita) would make a perfect Satan puppet. They lure her and her father to Italy, where they stay at the evil monastery. Various minor creepy events while away the time until Lolita is stolen away by the evil monk doctor after she has a suspicious riding accident. Good old dad saves Lolita. The end.

Well, not entirely. There’s a number of useless sub-plots cluttering up the mess, including something about genetic manipulation. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention, but for some reason the monks keep a pet genetic engineer next door, whose main function is to turn out these giant mutant rats for the evil monastery cats to kill. Okay, whatever.

There’s another subplot involving the family cat, which also goes nowhere. While they’re still in America, the cat goes to the vets for a visit, and the vet tells Lolita the cat’s sick and will have to be put to sleep. Then the cat just needs medication. Then she steals the cat from the vet’s and smuggles it onto the plane to Rome (and by the way, I’d like to know how she got the cat past the security check). Then it gets loose at the evil monastery and starts running with a bad cat crowd: smoking cigarettes, wearing little tiny black leather jackets, killing mutant rats; the usual. Then the cat dies. I mean, what’s the point?

Also, that whole thing about the monks stealing the faces of their victims and replacing them with masks; I didn’t really understand that. And apparently they keep Satan in the basement and give him regular injections of the blood of innocent children? What?

10 points for the evil stable boy, who really gave me the creeps.

5 points for the best line, delivered by the father’s buddy when the father asks him what he thinks about letting Lolita get a modelling gig: "If she’s going to be objectified for being beautiful, she might as well get paid for it."

5 points for Death By Kitty Cat. That’s what happens when you forget to pick up more Meow Mix on your way home from work!

8 points subtracted for throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the plot.

12 points for the ending, which was spectacularly cruel and cynical. Just what I like to see in a movie!

Final score: 74. It could have been better, it could have been worse.

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