Sunday, September 18, 2011

Werewolves on Wheels

Werewolves on Wheels
1971
D: Michel Levesque (also co-wrote)

With roles as bikers for Barry McGuire (it was the "Eve of Destruction" for his acting career) and Bud from Father Knows Best
Bikers, cursed by occultists, become werewolves

As far as movies I hadn't seen in a while living up to or exceeding my memory of them, I've had a pretty good run. So I guess it had to end eventually.
In this '71 biker-horror (odd how few of them there were), an MC called the Devil's Advocates, a typical hassle the squares type club, tempts fate by scoffing at a Tarot card reader and later partying in a graveyard, and then hanging out with some clearly evil cult types. Jeez, what could this lead to that's any good? (Certainly not the movie.)
After being drugged by the cult, Adam (Stephen Oliver) and the rest of the Advocates pass out, and the ritual begins. Cult leader One (Severn Darden, who not only has a great name but was in "Vanishing Point" and the final two of the original "Planet of the Apes" movies) guides them through some pretty cliche occult stuff in a scene that would be pretty cool if trimmed a bit. Adam's girl Helen (DJ Anderson) is bewitched after eating bread dipped in blood; when the bikers come to, they beat the crap out of the cult, grab her, and split to the desert to get their heads straight, man.
I dunno, then some stuff happens. Helen is suddenly fine, but then not fine because she looked into the fire. A couple is killed by a werewolf (not shown, but the resultant gore isn't too bad), though it's assumed to have been a coyote attack. Tarot (Duece Berry [Duece Berry was a workin' man...(Neil Young joke, in case you missed it)]) gets lines about heavy vibes and bad omens and the like, weird shit goes on, etc. And it all just kinda limps along to the ending.
Though a bit silly, this really isn't a bad premise. There are also some fantastic shots (the dust storm looks especially good), the acting is ok, and the soundtrack (by Don Gere) is great, especially the opening theme and a Velvet Underground-ish tune during the topless snakedance. Plus, yeah, there's a topless snakedance. Not to mention a van that's a-rockin' and a cool "local" type with a Billy Jack hat. The bikers look pretty legit, and include characters named Scarf, Mouse, and Movie.
The problem is that the script should have been fleshed out a little more, because there's a huge amount of padding and filler. Though it's only an 80 minute film, it's an 80 minute film that should have been an hour at most. I should probably mention as well that you only actually see a werewolf on a Harley for a few seconds, at the end.
And while I'm complaining, I'm really tired of seeing colors attached with pins and/or glue in so many movies. I can dig the low budget thing but can getting some sewing done really eat into a budget all that much?
This shoulda-been-great plodding mess is nowhere near as fun as I remembered it. Two dull, chipped wolf fangs for this one.

2 comments:

  1. I love everything about this movie...except for the movie itself.

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