Friday, August 5, 2011

Bury Me an Angel

Bury Me an Angel
D: Barbara Peters (also W)

Tough biker chick hunts down her brother's killer

For just her second feature, exploitation director Barbara Peters shot her own script, a more feminist take on the revenge movie. Here the lead is not a once-timid girl who snaps after being raped, but is already a tough broad and is hunting down her brother's murderer. While it certainly has its flaws, this is one of the most ambitious of the chick-themed biker movies, and certainly one of the best. (For the record, though, it's really a stretch to call this a biker movie.)
After leaving a party, Dag (a playing-it-to-the-hilt Dixie Peabody) is witness as an anknown assailant blows her brother Dennis's head off with a shotgun (the cheap FX here aren't bad). Though completely shattered, she does recover. Dag collects up her buddies Jonsie and Bernie (Terry Mace and Clyde Ventura), hops on the bike Den stole for her, and roars off to find the sumbitch.
After questioning various bikers and spending some time on the road, they track the guy to a small town. Here Dag meets nice guy Ken (Dan Haggerty)... Sign after sign has told her that vengeance was not the correct path. Can love finally make her see?
The movie is sure of where it wants to go, if occasionally less sure about how to get there. While there are some great scenes and some pretty cool ideas, like the weird-ass trippy nightmare, fantasy, and flashback scenes (one of which includes music remarkably similar to the "Taxi Driver" climax), it doesn't always work. The scene with Oriental mystic lady Op (who is, oddly, played by Angel Colbert, though Joan Gerber provides the voice), for example, is one of the interesting ideas that really doesn't add much of anything to the movie but time. And Dag, with her cussing, fighting, beer chugging, etc, can get a little over the top. Peters clearly took this movie pretty seriously, and therefore was maybe a little too close to the project to direct.
Still, it's paced fairly well; those scenes that don't work don't detract so much as just fail to add. And things get pretty weird at the end. An original take on a good story, with decent action and a pretty good soundtrack by the East-West Pipeline. And Dixie (who shows some bush, I might add) looks pretty goddamned good indeed on that bike. A solid 4.

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