Thursday, June 9, 2011

Savages from Hell

Savages from Hell
D: "Joseph G. Prieto" (Joseph Mawra)

Notable: Produced, co-written, and with music by K. Gordon Murray, the man behind classic sleaze like "Shanty Tramp." With Cyril (older brother of Sidney) Poitier, and members of the first Florida chapter of the Outlaws.

Bike club leader falls for the daughter of a migrant worker and won't take no for an answer

Marco (Diwaldo Morales), son of a migrant worker, has dreams of a steady job and planting roots, and of success as a swamp buggy racer on the side. But for now he and his buddy Reuben (Cyril Poitier) have more pressing concerns --protecting Marco's sister Teresa from High Test (William P. Kelley) and the bike club he leads. But while his brothers may have his back, High Test's girl Lucy (Bobbie Byers, looking for kicks again) isn't too hot on the plan.
The story, while pretty standard, isn't too bad. Lucy's character is particularly good, and she plays the vengeance-seeking, passive-aggressively bitchy, jilted lover well. The problem is just about everyone else.
Morales isn't terrible, I suppose, but Poitier is the complete flip side of his younger brother and clearly got the few roles he did based on his name. I think Teresa is supposed to be naive and innocent, though Viola Lloyd's portrayal comes off more as retarded and mildly creepy. While Kelley had been in "The Wild Rebels," it should be noted that he played a bank teller. Seeing a supposed MC leader act like such an inept dork while hitting on a chick (you're waiting for him to kick at a pebble and mutter, "Aw, heck...") is simply ridiculous. As for the rest of the bikers, the guests --"Fuzzy Miller, Bones Cogeswell & The Outlaws Motorcycle Gang" (a credit they probably didn't care for)-- really stand out from the actors.
A number of scenes really drag; the catfight between Lucy and a big-titted MILF that High Test (what a stupid name, by the way) hit on even gets boring. All of the fight scenes, in fact, are terrible. But the bulk of the filler is swamp buggy race footage, which I actually enjoyed the hell out of.
The film builds toward the ending with a scuzzy, scream-filled rape, but then it just gets stupid.
Murray's soundtrack is quite good. Some songs sound, jarringly, more like early-'80s neo garage than music actually from '68.
I'm in a good mood, so since they threw a little (probably very little) dough at an actual club and the soundtrack was pretty OK, I'll give these "Savages" a two.

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