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Matthew David
10-08-2010, 04:19 AM
Any admirers in the house? Donna showed up for a screening of ANGEL the night before last, she wasn't part of the Q&A but it was nice seeing her there. Far as I know, the first time she's made any public appearance in relation to her acting career in a couple decades.

Marshall Crist
10-08-2010, 04:29 AM
I would gladly kill several people for a HELLO, LARRY complete series set, if that's what you mean.

Daniel M
10-08-2010, 03:18 PM
Glad to see she came out to support the film. ANGEL is a classic and she is the reason it works so well.

Jonathan Douglas
10-08-2010, 04:56 PM
She always reminds me of The Go-Gos' Belinda Carlisle, used to anyway back in the day. Love the ANGEL film to bits especially the Rory Calhoun and Dick Shawn characters are both wonderful, it's one of the guilty pleasures for sure and I guess a slasher really. Would like to see HELLO, LARRY also with her and Kim Richards though by S2 it saw Donna replaced for some reason.

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Marshall Crist
10-08-2010, 07:20 PM
Yeah, but she was replaced by perv-bait Krista Erikson. I'm looking at you, Andrew and Richard.

Toomas Losin
10-08-2010, 11:43 PM
I was devastated that I couldn't make it to Los Angeles this week for the screening and the chance to speak to Robert O'Neil and Donna Wilkes in person for a change. I haven't asked her but it probably *was* her first appearance in years and years. She didn't know about the screening until some fans alerted her only a couple of weeks ago. I was surprised that she was there as she had told me she had other plans for this week, but plans can change for the better fortunately!

Does anyone have a summary of the evening? What was the Q&A like? I haven't had details yet.

It seems appropriate to mention that part of my personal site is about Angel and its filming locations (www.lenrek.net/movies/Angel/).

Andrew Ellis
10-09-2010, 02:46 AM
I would gladly kill several people for a HELLO, LARRY complete series set, if that's what you mean.

I'd be one of the people you'd have to kill! She did have a memorable guest starring role in "The Incredible Hulk" episode "Alice in Discoland" which is on DVD (so you wouldn't have to kill anybody).

It's probably best I didn't attend the screening because I have several totally inappropriate questions I'd like to ask her. First off, did she really have sex with Klaus Kinski during the filming of "Schizoid" as he alleges in his libelous autobiography, and if so, WHY for god's sake? Second, how did she manage to follow up a high-profile role in "Jaws 2" with a cameo role as topless, disco-dancing, coke snorting hooker in the movie "Fyre" (whiich I don't think anyone has actually seen but me). Perhaps that was REAL coke they were snorting?

And Krista Erickson probably was perv-bait in 1979, but she did grow up very nicely.

Matthew David
10-09-2010, 07:42 PM
I was devastated that I couldn't make it to Los Angeles this week for the screening and the chance to speak to Robert O'Neil and Donna Wilkes in person for a change. I haven't asked her but it probably *was* her first appearance in years and years. She didn't know about the screening until some fans alerted her only a couple of weeks ago. I was surprised that she was there as she had told me she had other plans for this week, but plans can change for the better fortunately!

Does anyone have a summary of the evening? What was the Q&A like? I haven't had details yet.

It seems appropriate to mention that part of my personal site is about Angel and its filming locations (www.lenrek.net/movies/Angel/).

In addition to Robert Vincent O'Neill, co-writer Joe Cala & producer Don Borchers chatted for awhile. Ross Hagen may have also been in the audience. John "the Killer" Diehl sent along his best regards. One thing that stands out is the theatrical poster being modeled after TOOTSIE! The decision to not re-cast Donna in AVENGING ANGEL was due to exec producer Sandy Howard. He had his reasons, but Robert & Joe had written the part especially with Donna in mind.

There were quite a few photographers present, more than usual for this type of revival screening. When I drove past the theater, it looked like Donna was being shot at the bus stop. By pure coincidence, I happened to be seated right by the cast & crew....DW cracked up just about every time Dick Shawn appeared onscreen!

Whoa, didn't realize there were any sites dedicated to Angel. Pretty hardcore there with the filming locations! The cool thing about seeing these films at the New Bev is that they were shot right around the corner. (The 2nd feature VICE SQUAD was even filmed on the same street. Wings Hauser rules, by the way -- one of the liveliest Q&A's (also with Robert O'Niell) I've seen, a great storyteller.)

Apparently there are plans to screen O'Neill's BLOOD MANIA sometime in the future. I wanted to ask him about his early work with Richard Rush on PSYCH-OUT and SAVAGE SEVEN but didn't get the chance.

Matthew David
10-09-2010, 07:53 PM
So far, I've seen...

JAWS 2
BLOOD SONG (with Frankie Avalon as a flute-playing psycho!)
SCHIZOID
FYRE
BORN TO BE SOLD (TV movie about black market babies - available on black market DVD)
GROTESQUE (heard somewhere that Donna was buds with Linda Blair)
and that Incredible Hulk episode.

Her appearance on Diff'rent Strokes sounds interesting (title: "The Trip" parts 1 & 2) An anti-drug themed plot?


how did she manage to follow up a high-profile role in "Jaws 2" with a cameo role as topless, disco-dancing, coke snorting hooker in the movie "Fyre"

I too have wondered why she was in Fyre right after the prominent Jaws role, maybe it was actually filmed first but not released til later?

Toomas Losin
10-09-2010, 11:37 PM
Whoa, didn't realize there were any sites dedicated to Angel. Pretty hardcore there with the filming locations!

The locations came from me challenging myself to find them after I recognized, and then located, an awning that I'd seen during a Hollywood visit in the late 80's. The challenge started out simply and then mushroomed into a lot of fun detective work. Almost all of the boulvevard locations have enough continuity to identify them in relation to each other, with a couple being identified by footage from Vice Squad! Neither Robert nor Donna remember where the "police station" building or Kit's home location were, so if anyone recognizes them please speak up!


Apparently there are plans to screen O'Neill's BLOOD MANIA sometime in the future. I wanted to ask him about his early work with Richard Rush on PSYCH-OUT and SAVAGE SEVEN but didn't get the chance.

Blood Mania is a nice little thriller. It's got rough edges but Robert clearly learned from directing it. Pay attention to the bathroom scene and compare it with the one in Angel.

Toomas Losin
10-09-2010, 11:40 PM
Her appearance on Diff'rent Strokes sounds interesting (title: "The Trip" parts 1 & 2) An anti-drug themed plot?

"The Trip" is all about the Hello, Larry cast being flown in to meet the Diff'rent Strokes cast to give the former show a desperately needed ratings boost. So, of course, half of each cast was mostly written out to give screen time to Conrad Bain & McLean Stevenson and Arnold & Willis & Kim Richards' character. At least that's how I remember it. Strangely, I don't remember any of the plot!

Jonathan Douglas
10-10-2010, 12:20 PM
Apparently it was Stevenson she didn't get along with on the show, so naturally she had to go.

Marc Edward Heuck
10-10-2010, 11:31 PM
Apparently it was Stevenson she didn't get along with on the show, so naturally she had to go.

I was told a more tragic reason for her departure, which I would just as soon not discuss here out of respect for her.

Matthew David
10-11-2010, 08:46 PM
What's tragic is there were no starring movie roles forthcoming following the huge success of Angel. Mostly television guest spots......her next (and last) film was Grotesque in 1988.

I've heard Donna may be interested in getting back into acting since her daughter is now grown, it'd be great if she pulled a Betsy Russell and made a comeback. (Donna IS Angel, Betsy didn't really work in that role in my opinion.)

Andrew Ellis
10-11-2010, 09:12 PM
So far, I've seen...

JAWS 2
BLOOD SONG (with Frankie Avalon as a flute-playing psycho!)
SCHIZOID
FYRE
BORN TO BE SOLD (TV movie about black market babies - available on black market DVD)
GROTESQUE (heard somewhere that Donna was buds with Linda Blair)
and that Incredible Hulk episode.

Her appearance on Diff'rent Strokes sounds interesting (title: "The Trip" parts 1 & 2) An anti-drug themed plot?

I too have wondered why she was in Fyre right after the prominent Jaws role, maybe it was actually filmed first but not released til later?

Wow, somebody ELSE that has seen "Fyre"! Yeah, I hope that was filmed before "Jaws 2", or she must have had the worst agent in the world. Maybe her personal tragedy was being cast in "Fyre"?

Seriously, the 70's were a pretty wild time and it seemed to take its toll on a lot of young actresses. One of them (the little cutie who was in "Revenge of the Cheerleaders") actually OD'd I guess back in the 70's. And the early demise of Rainbeaux Smith and Candice Rialson probably had a lot to do with what they did themselves back in the day. There's also the on-going train wreck that is McKenzie Phillips (who ironically had her acting debut in "Go Ask Alice"). It makes me kinda grateful I came of age in the "just say no" Reagan era--well, actually no it doesn't, but I'll probably live longer at least.

Oddly, they have only released the first season or two of "Different Stokes". I want to see the episode again where Arnold nearly gets molested by a pedophile (seriously) and the episode where Kimberly gets kidnapped and tied-up by a rapist (no kidding).

Jonathan H.
10-11-2010, 10:36 PM
Seriously, the 70's were a pretty wild time and it seemed to take its toll on a lot of young actresses.

Don't forget Sarah Holcomb who had memorable appearances in ANIMAL HOUSE and CADDYSHACK and starred with Robby Benson in WALK PROUD. Her career was sadly ended by mental illness and, I've heard, drug problems.

http://bobbyderailed.blogspot.com/2007/01/sarah-smiles.html

http://talkingmoviezzz.blogspot.com/2009/04/what-ever-happened-to-sarah-holcomb.html

Toomas Losin
10-12-2010, 12:25 AM
(Donna IS Angel, Betsy didn't really work in that role in my opinion.)

Agreed. I've put plenty of thought into what it is about Avenging Angel that makes me dislike it more each time I see it, and mostly it's because of Betsy Russell's line delivery. She didn't have the natural talent or skill to pull it off with her limited experience. She wasn't right for the part but they had little choice because they needed to recast quickly; in hindsight, it was a mistake. Angel's cast was perfect, however.

Matthew David
10-12-2010, 06:57 PM
Was reminded of a tale told at the screening while looking at the Angel site..... When filming at the private all-male Harvard School, officials found out their shower was full of naked girls, and they were convinced the movie was a porno! So they only had that one day to complete all the filming needed at the school, as they weren't welcome back.

The motel on Ventura Blvd is the one locale I was curious about.....swear I've seen it in another movie with a hooker homicide plotline - possibly OUT OF THE DARK with Karen Black?

Here's a summary of last week's screening...
http://shempcat.geckobrothers.com/index.php?/archives/894-GRINDHOUSE-NIGHT-Angel-and-Vice-Squad.html

....and a pic of Joe Cala & Robert O'Neil out in front of the marquee.
http://yfrog.com/n21ksij

Robert's chat with Toomas is also worth checking out:
http://www.lenrek.net/movies/Angel/interviews/rvo-1.html

Andrew Ellis
10-13-2010, 11:31 AM
There was a shower scene in "Angel"? I thought I was familiar with ALL the female shower scenes in 80's era exploitation movies, but I don't remember that one (I'll have to watch it again). I remember Wilkes herself had a nice, perverted shower scene in "Schizoid", while her "father" (Klaus Kinski) watched.

I didn't like "Avenging Angel" that much either, even though I'm generally a big Betsy Russell fan. Still it's better than "Angel III" and "Angel IV" (actually I've only seen one of those, but I can imagine).

Matthew David
10-15-2010, 07:30 PM
I've never seen Angel 3 or 4 either, but imagine the series gets progressively worse with each sequel.

Back to FYRE......that movie made the rounds on cable early in the decade. Think I taped it off Showtime or The Movie Channel. Nudity's nothing to be ashamed about, but what a thankless role! After reading Toomas' interview, it appears Donna not appearing in Avenging Angel was due to her agent's demands.

(PS: Thanks to Louie De Jesus for the Sarah Holcomb links....actually looked her up out of curiosity years ago, but never found anything about that or the movie STATESIDE based on her life.)

Toomas Losin
10-16-2010, 01:19 AM
They get worse. Three and Four really don't belong in an Angel Series since the original creative team had nothing to do with them and the movies themselves don't feel like they should belong. Three seems like an old unused Blaxploitation script that was repurposed by changing the character's name, while Four has the feel of a TV movie — appropriate for the rumour about it being the failed pilot for a TV series.

The fourth one seems to deliberately distance itself from the others and only makes the briefest reference to the main character's past. My pet theory is that the producers wanted to be able to edit the movie into something non-Angel-related if they couldn't get rights to use the character or if that was too expensive, but that's speculation. I did like Darlene Vogel though, she can act but I didn't feel that she was able to make a connection with the character from the first movie.

And then there's the gay porno Angel which I haven't seen but it gets a few points for cleverness because it takes advantage of the fact that Ángel is a male latino name. I have no idea if it's just ripping off the name and poster imagery or if it's actually a porno parody.