User Reviews (10)

Add a Review

  • "Hooded Angels" aka "Glory Glory" is a movie that should come with a warning label, something like: "caution- watching this movie is a waste of time-the ending does not deliver anything useful". When you begin watching a movie that physically looks professional (decent cinematography-good film stock) you tend to assume that its other elements (story, acting, production design) will also be professional. Inside this professionally shot package is a story about a group of aging beauty queens and models robbing banks in the American West, wearing a selection of clothes from the Neiman-Marcus Leather Shop, showcasing acting talent on the level of your local high school's senior play, and engaging in a whole lot of poorly staged violence. So it would seem reasonable to assume that there is more here than meets the eye since nothing could be unintentionally this bad.

    Midway into the movie you conclude that this is some kind of ambitious "expressionistic" masterpiece (insert David Lynch here). So you watch the rest of it, waiting for director Paul Matthews to pull all these surreal qualities into a nice package of allegory and metaphor. But this does not happen because this is actually supposed to be serious (insert "realism" here), it is actually supposed to be taken literally. Its record-breaking score on the lameness meter is unintentional.

    "Hooded Angels" is what would happen if someone were unwise enough to cross "Taxi" (2004) with "The Quick and the Dead" (1995) and mix in a little Sergio Leone texture. Unfortunately nothing good results, only bad and ugly.

    The earlier comments give a reasonably accurate detailing of the story. This may not be the worst movie of all time but it is a strong contender.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'd like to be kind to Paul Matthews. He was clearly trying to make a good western movie. He failed, but these days it's rare to find someone who even makes the effort.

    The movie opens with a harrowing scene of Union soldiers attacking and destroying a small Texan town during the American Civil War, murdering the inhabitants indiscriminately. I don't know if anything like this actually happened in Texas, but it's to the credit of the movie that I believed it at least could have happened. The son of a townswoman called Hannah is killed, deliberately shot in the back. Several other women are raped, lose their families, and are otherwise victimized. After the soldiers leave, the women shoot some stragglers who attacked them, but also shoot some officers, including a general, who were appalled at the massacre and, had they been allowed to live, might have brought the soldiers who ran amok to justice. The indiscriminate nature of the women's revenge, their indifference to who suffers for their grievances, is brought out from the start. In keeping with this theme, the women form an outlaw gang and begin robbing banks all over Texas.

    Some time later, the hero named Wes and his gang of friends, all former Union soldiers, ride into town to find the bank robbed. Wes is the son of the general whom the gang murdered, and Hannah has conveniently left behind a medal belonging to Wes' father near the scene of the bank robbery. Wes accurately concludes that the bank robbers are the same people who killed his father, and he and his friends Ride for Revenge.

    This is a movie that could have worked. Each scene arises logically out of the scene before it. The director does not yield to the temptation to make the outlaw women `cute'; early on, they are shown putting lawmen at their ease with food and hospitality, then ruthlessly gunning them down, exploiting their surprise advantage and leaving their victims no chance at all. The women wear almost no makeup, adding to the rough atmosphere.

    There is a real, if thin, effort at characterization and motivation, certainly more than you would expect in a movie whose subject matter looks so exploitative. There is a real and successful effort to make Ellie, Hannah's murderous and psychotically jealous lover, a pitiable figure instead of a totally repulsive one.

    There was also a genuine, though unsuccessful, effort at realism. In a nifty early scene there is a gunfight in a saloon. This saloon is a dark and dreary place; the only light is what comes in through the windows, and you can smell the poverty, the bare-bones quality, of the frontier here. Wes and his friends wear their guns with butts forward in genuine cowboy style, a touch of authenticity I have seen in only one other Western (THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE). In a unique shot where Wes ambushes Hannah and shoots her horse out from under her, we see Hannah in close-up with Wes' hiding place several hundred yards behind her; the puff of smoke appears and drifts away in eerie silence, and only some seconds later do we hear the boom of the rifle firing. Kudos to Matthews for trying to pay attention to the physics of firearms.

    Unfortunately, Hooded Angels is undone by a number of problems, the severest of which is the poor performance of the leads. Playing Hannah, Chantelle Stander deals chiefly in numb expressionlessness. Perhaps she and Matthews were trying to show her character's inability to feel love, but they overdid it by a mile. Hannah is supposed to be a successful bank robber, and should be confident and alert; when she leads her gang toward the bank with wooden, staring eyes, she looks like she's either dazed or terrified. Paul Johansson as Wes is no better. He is supposed to be in love with Hannah, but he strikes no sparks with her at all; he shows not the slightest tenderness or passion, even when they are having sex. He is more believable when he turns away from her and says, `This is crazy.' Indeed it is, since he never looks like he loves her.

    In secondary parts that presumably received less direction, Amanda Donohoe and Juliana Venter do fine jobs; Donohoe upstages Stander so consistently that you wonder why she's not cast in the lead. Venter is over the top, but she is playing the over the top character of Ellie, and restraint was not called for. Also, Donohoe is the only important player who keeps a consistent voice; Stander's and Venter's South African accents come and go wildly.

    Also, the movie's efforts at realism failed far too often. With South Africa standing in for Texas, somebody forgot that Texas is hot in the summer. We see these so-called Texans riding around wearing multiple layers of vests and overcoats that wouldn't have been out of place in Montana or Wyoming. In the aforementioned sequence where Hannah's horse is gunned down, we hear the gunshot just BEFORE the supersonic rifle bullet strikes Hannah's horse. Good idea, poor execution. Hannah, who certainly ought to know something about gunfighting after her bank robbing career, leads her gang out of a nearly impregnable position to confront Wes and his friends in the open, with predictably disastrous results.

    The photography is mediocre, with TV-ish color and focus. This is not helped by poor use of special effects. Notably, in one scene Ellie sticks a knife through a character's hand. This might have induced horror if it had been just barely glimpsed; instead, we see it in full closeup and think, `Oh, somebody stuck a knife through a fake-looking artificial hand.'

    I can't give Hooded Angels a high rating. But I will be on the lookout for Paul Matthews' next work. I think he has a good movie in him somewhere.

    Rating: *½ out of ****.

    Recommendation: Both Western fans and exploitation fans should avoid it.
  • Aging Western fans fondly remember the fantasy Wild West of their youth. The cowgirls of early TV and popcorn movie matinée's were perky and assertive. Dressed like Barbie dolls at the rodeo, those B Western cowgirls could be mighty appealing, but they were rarely given much to do. Most of the riding, roping, fighting and shooting was left up to the boys.

    Hooded Angels(aka Glory Glory) finally shows cowgirls some respect. The women here actually populate the landscape outside of a saloon. Furthermore, these gals can ride, shoot and aren't afraid of a high noon showdown.

    I would have enjoyed this would-be-Western a lot more though, if it didn't seem so surreal. This tale supposedly takes place in the American Old West, but there isn't an authentic ten gallon hat anywhere in sight. This doesn't look like the fun, stylized Old West of early Hollywood, or even the gritty, less romanticized frontier of more contemporary Westerns. Most of the characters have assorted global English accents that don't exactly sound "home on the range". Gary Busey, in a small role, is one of few that sounds reasonably authentic here. These gorgeous gals wear wardrobes that defy description, like the post-apocalypse types in a Mad Max movie. For a fantasy Western without any high-falutin' pretenses, flattering jeans and Western styled shirts would have been a lot easier on the eye and far more appropriate for an escapist Western.

    The cinematography is OK, and Hooded Angels features some decently staged action sequences.

    I hope some intrepid film makers attempt this kind of material again, but next time with more affection and understanding of the mythical American Old West.
  • If you ever stroll or jog down an alley, you will recognize this movie. A former treasure, left out for the junk man. This is junk-movie-making, already leftover detritus even when it is new. I liked it. It is a typical post Civil War movie- where the rules of law are broken. This is an exciting cusp for a writer to explore. Sometimes. This may be Spaghetti-western territory. This movie has no great aims. It just gets the job done, in a rough and not so artful way. Shot in South Africa, I believe. The Southerners and Northerners attack Silver City, Texas and the women and children suffer. Rape and assorted mayhem ensue. It is bad-really bad. The traumatized women of Silver City band together to wreak revenge on civilization-in general. Not on the North nor the South-but generally. The plot continues. The suddenly bad-a** bitches of Silver City rise up and take revenge. Even more bloodshed evolves into an orgy of crime and lesbianism. Lesbianism is a theme for certain characters-yet the really assertive ladies turn into heterosexuals after all. God bless 'em. This idea of a robber seducing her sworn enemy is one of the few dramatic ideas in this movie. Some guy named Wes:Paul Johansson, has to hunt down the evil bank-robbers: The Silver City robber/bitches. It all goes downhill from here-as if you didn't know that. The proto-lesbian robbers can't get a clue, and desist from robbing. No. There is one last Big Heist. All Hell breaks loose. It is clear that Amanda Donohoe is the best actress in this movie, and she glows with talent and womanliness. She easily takes on a southern/Western US accent and acts up to par in this predictable goat-roper standard Western. I suspect this is a covert Lesbian Cult Hit in the making. Honestly, why else did I, a man rent it after all? Trivia: watch for the lambswool covered boom microphone in the last big fight scene.
  • As an older history student who lived and studied in the Am. West I can assure that this could have been a plausible story if several aspects were different, and the writers/director had done their reading. Mr. Baker's comments were accurate. Further, Kansas or other would have been a better setting, because of the Texas Rangers who were always there and not susceptible to whores. (At least, not in this situation, ha ha) Very few men and esp. officers had long hair or beards, esp. due to lice. Men shaved daily. Pretty clean despite hardships. The west of the U.S. was not a dream. Read about it, as plenty of lit. and documentation is available. The girls shooting the cops was a little bit unnec., don't you think, besides? Too cold-blooded for the characters except one. Try again.
  • igcolonel11 January 2014
    As other reviewers noted, the story wasn't bad, but the costuming was the absolute worst I think I've ever seen. Leather cowboy hats?? SERIOUSLY!? The clothing looks like they scoured every Goodwill shop in California to find anything that was remotely a western-like flair quite despite any accuracy or logic. And why did every male character have to have the worst fright wig long hair. Long hair for men was not popular during the era portrayed. The civil war scenes were something awful, too. One has to watch this movie and suspend any thought that it is in the least bit a real western and is just a fantasy movie. A lot of the actors are recognizable, from other shows over the years, so at least they hired real actors for the piece. That really helped.
  • I fast forwarded much of the "film" as it was so bad. Every negative review is supposed to say one positive thing about the movie so: There was one horse in the chase scene that could kind of act, a little bit.

    No Plot.

    No Script.

    Third Grade Music.

    First Grade Cinematography.

    Should have been cast with kangaroos as the story jumps around so much.

    Not unlike Chicago streets, but with pretend Cowboys and Cowgirls.

    I understand that if you want to be in movies, you have to pick from what is offered to you, but abstinence is a viable option here.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    QUICK QUIZ: Do you like the one Lesbian Character in a movie to be an Evil Paranoid Psychopath? Do you love your Leading Ladies to be so Passionless and Devoid of Emotion that you begin to worry that they Can't Actually Act? Is your idea of the Wild West filled with more Leather Chaps, Leather Hats and Leather Vests than a San Francisco Leather-Daddy Convention?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions then Glory Glory is for you!

    The problem with its tag line, "Sex is Power," is that you first have to have something sexy going on in order to get that power. Director Paul Matthews somehow managed the near-impossible by getting half a dozen actresses, all willing to flounce around at times nearly nude, to turn out one of the dullest, least suspenseful, least erotic films in memory. I can forgive a lot in a story provided it isn't boring and that's the best that I can say about Glory Glory – it's so dreary that even the "deviant" lesbian comes off so clichéd and tedious that I can't get the energy up to be insulted at the movie's subtext of "Get Straight or Get Killed." Of course she's Psychotic and Villainous. Of course the Leading Ladies all find the Love of a Good Man. Whatever. Next!
  • Johnny Reb comes through town raping and killing women and children. A band of women decide to seek justice in their own way.

    Amanda Donohoe (Bad Girls, L.A. Law), Chantell Stander. Juliana Venter, Jenna Dover. Julie Hartley, Candice Argall, Jennifer Steyn, Ana Alexander. and Michelle Bradshaw made up a gang of women who were robbing banks and killing people while Paul Johansson (One Tree Hill) follows trying to get the "man" who killed his father.

    Yes. there were a few exposed breasts, but it could have had a lot more. In that sense, it wasn't an exploitation film. A lesbian kiss, but that was it. What you would expect with eight women riding together.

    It ended the only way it could.
  • A good many of the cast are from south africa and newcomers to the big screen, and a few veteran actors like johnson and busey from the usa help keep this from being a washout ... i'd suppose the reason for so much leather in the western wear is because that's what they wear in south africa ... one of the cast members is a former miss south africa, chantell stander and she shows why in this film ... it looks much like a female revenge plot rather than a plain oater ... it was watchable