Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Glory Stompers

The Glory Stompers
D: Anthony M. Lanza

Claim to fame: While Dennis Hopper is generally thought of as a '60s biker movie guy, this is the only true '60s biker flick he did. With Casey Kasem as a biker.

MC kidnaps a rival club member's girlfriend

A pretty simple, even simplistic, entry, yet a classic one.
Chino (Hopper) and his up-to-no-good buddies in the Black Souls stop by a hamburger joint where the up-to-a-little-less-no-good Glory Stompers are hanging. They find themselves unwelcome, particularly after Chino hits on Chris (Chris Noel), girlfreind of Stomper Darryl (Jody McCrea). Outnumbered, they are persuaded to split.
Later, however, Chino and a few of the Souls get Darrly and Chris alone. The two are generally hassled, and finally Magoo (Robert Tessier) takes Darryl out with a tire iron. He's left for dead, and the Souls abduct Chris, who witnessed what they believe to be a murder. It's eventually decided that they'll sell her to a connection in Mexico, where she'll be strung out and whored out.
Along the way: The usual. Magoo constantly wants to rape her, Chino's brother Paul (Jim Reader) falls for her, Chino wants her to want him purely out of arrogance, Chino's girl Jo Ann (Sandra Bettin) is jealous--and all the while Darryl, now accompanied by retired Stomper Smiley (Jock Mahoney), is in persuit.
It all just kinda chugs nicely along, but somehow the sum is greater than the parts--not that its parts are anything to scoff at.
Hopper's performance is exactly what you'd expect; he's one of the best at the somewhat intelligent but borderline insane characters. Lanza's direction overcomes the clearly pitifully low budget (they couldn't even afford a better seamstress? Some of the colors look like they're pinned to the jackets), with some great cuts, especially in the fight and party scenes. And "Blues' Theme" aside, this is, overall, Davie Allen & The Arrows' best soundtrack. It's nothing special...yet somehow it is. A legit classic that still shows up on TV (I've seen it on the tube within the past year). A solid 3.5

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