Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hell Riders

Hell Riders
D: James Bryan (also co-writer)

Claim to kinda fame: Starring Batman and Ginger

As a newspaper headline in the film puts it, "Bikers defy town!"

Uber-cheapo (direct to video?) trash from the man who brought us (the more entertaining) "Don't Go into the Woods Alone!" (and was also part of the Kristofferson/ Vincent crap classic "Vigilante Force"). The bulk of the budget clearly went into hiring the stars--and the stars are Tina Louise and Adam West. (The rest of the cast is filled out with Bryan regulars and actors who never worked before or since.)
Led by the cartoonish Snake, the Hell Riders (whose colors look like iron-ons bought at an '80s suburban head shop) go on a rampage in a '60s TV show set looking small town, terrorizing its citizens and the visiting Claire (Louise). They also do a lot of fighting with one another, as well as a larger group of bikers with whom they were once a part (and whose leader seems to be gay). Since the sheriff is a clownish coward, the town's chief protector is its doctor (West, who wears hilariously bad clothes and is never seen without a ball cap). Doc's daughter also happens to be engaged to the sheriff's son, who looks about 50. Got all that? Doesn't matter.
What you do get: Nudity and awkwardly placed profanity to remind you that this is not the TV movie that it appears to be; some of the worst fight scenes you'll ever see; Adam West calling someone a "sick fuck"; a Three Stooges level jailbreak; a "weirdo" biker who wears a football helmet a la Nicholson in "Easy Rider"; a gang member who had his hand cut off by Snake (though fortunately it grows back for riding scenes); bikers who prove their toughness by stabbing themselves and somehow burning themselves on cold exhaust pipes; a van that's a-rockin'; a biker who keeps a nude woman on a leash...
On the rare occasions that something happens that you didn't see coming a mile away, it's because it's so ridiculous that it never would have occurred to you. Surprisingly violent climax though.
As if it matters, the music is decent enough for the period and budget. A C&W type theme, bad "hard rock" and Devo-ish music for the bikers, a bluegrass type tune for "horny hillbilly" and chase scenes, etc.
As for a rating, that depends on how you feel about really bad movies. I'll leave you to decide whether this is a positive or a negative, but out of five choppers, this gets a Schwinn.

No comments:

Post a Comment