The Glory Stompers (1968)

glorystomp1

Directed by: Anthony M. Lanza

In Peter Biskind’s glorious book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock ‘N’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood Dennis Hopper is depicted as an unstable drug dependent maniac. He’s a spent force, no longer the cherubic innocent young man who starred opposite James Dean. In the sixties Hopper bears all the scars of popular American culture and the death of the rock n’ roll era; he personifies its descent into despair.

‘The Glory Stompers’ came before ‘Easy Rider’, but ‘Easy Rider’ wiped the film from Hopper’s filmography as his one true biker movie, which is just as well because ‘The Glory Stompers’ is an embarrassment, one of the worst films I’ve had the misfortune to sit through. Yes, it is even worse than ‘Clawed: The Legend of Sasquatch’.

In the film Hopper plays Chino, leader of an outlaw biker gang called The Black Souls. Small and wiry, like a disorientated chimp Hopper staggers through each scene dropping several “maaaan’s” at the end of each of his lines. Chino rules by fear, but it is difficult to understand why a biker would throw Karate poses and use Judo chops when he engages in fisticuffs.

‘The Glory Stompers’ tries to put across the danger associated with biker gangs but ends up spewing clichés. It is hopelessly inauthentic despite the encouraging sound of loud engines that rev over the opening credits. There are also gratuitous close-ups of shiny hogs, moustachioed bikers and nubile young women in bras. Until Hopper staggers on screen there is almost a reason to be optimistic that this won’t turn out to be a stinker.

Most of the story is built around The Black Souls kidnapping the innocent blonde girlfriend (played by Chris Noel) of a biker from The Stompers called Darryl (Jody McCrea). Hopper and co lay the boots, and Judo chops, into Darryl and leave him for dead. They realize when they have the blonde in their care that she is unnecessary baggage and rather than have more blood on their heads they hatch a plan to drive across to Mexico and sell her to some dubious Mexican chaps. Darryl in the meantime wakes up dazed and bloodied and follows the trail left by The Black Souls, he hops on his bike and heads off to rescue his girl.

The Black Souls are a pathetic bunch, although I’m guessing this probably wasn’t the intention of the directors. They are dysfunctional, sure enough, and rag tag, but come across more as wannabes, than a bona fide legit outfit. Hopper constantly bickers with his ‘mama’, who gets jealous of the blonde. You’ve got Magoo (Robert Tessier), a big lump who spends most of the film getting beaten up by the diminutive Hopper, and humourously rejected by women because he looks like disfigured Tolkien character. The conscience of the group is a clean cut biker called ‘Clean Cut’ who falls in love with the blonde and seems reluctant to indulge in the savage lifestyle of a biker. Then there’s a Keith Lemon faced member who provides the kind of impression of a bad LSD trip that might feature in an educational anti-drugs video.

‘The Glory Stompers’ is the kind of exploitation film that an auteur like Quentin Tarantino would flesh out, fill up with hip dialogue and turn into a violent classic. Unfortunately it is as unpleasant as inhaling a lungful of exhaust fumes. Hopper is creepy, but incoherent and unconvincing in his role and everyone bar Magoo seem hopelessly miscast as bikers. There is scope for firing shots at the objectification of women in the film with close up perv shots that veer into the world of Russ Meyer, but it’s a gripe with the times, and probably worth looking at in greater detail on another occasion.

– RJW
1/10

The Glory Stompers on IMDB
Buy Glory Stompers [DVD] [1967] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Troll Hunter (2010)

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This film languished in my instant queue on Netflix for some time. There was no good reason for it to. I had heard amazing word of mouth about the flick. I love foreign films, I love the weird, and I love cryptozoology and mythology. So, by all counts, I should have been all over this baby. Instead I made the horrible decision to wait until September the 21st, 2013 to watch the Andre Ovredal-directed masterpiece. And I regret that very much.

I have been a fan of Scandinavian cinema ever since the haunting 2008 “Let the Right One In”. Some of you may remember this film for its later American remake starring Chloe Grace Moretz, which while a loving adaptation, still managed to miss the mark in capturing the amazing beauty that is the original Swedish work. I suspect my main hesitation was the found-footage style of shooting, which we all know has just about been done to death, birthed with Blair Witch and peaking with Paranormal Activity. And I suspect that the mockumentary style will stay the hands of many fellow movie hounds, wrongfully so. This isn’t a film that lets itself be defined by its genre.

The movie introduces us to the typical crop of idealistic middle-class college students ‘making a documentary’ about. At this point, I really hope most reputable establishments of higher education warn their students about such activities. According to modern film, it will surely lead to your doom. But, here our young auteurs find themselves researching an alleged and notorious bear poacher named Hans in rural Norway. What they eventually discover (and handle much better than I feel an American crew would, maybe because they are Norwegian?) that the poacher is actually a Great White Troll Hunter of sorts for the government, tasked with the burden of keeping the native troll contingent under control and under wraps. Of course, the movie is chock full of stunning Norwegian landscape shots, ‘heavy breathing while running in the woods’ shots common of found footage films, and the numerous tell tale signs that MAYBE now we should turn back guys, we have enough footage now. But two surprising facets persevere to make the film memorable. One is the trolls themselves. A staple of Norwegian folklore, they have been lovingly recreated here in a manner befitting their legacy. I expected bad CGI or rare brief glimpses (see Cloverfield). We have none of that, you see the trolls and you see them often. And while they are indeed a computer image, they seamlessly fit in to the natural handheld shots SO well that you honestly forget for a moment or two that it isn’t real. Not because the graphics are just that good, they are, but that they are so natural. Is that how a troll really moves and sounds? I don’t know, the closest I have ever been to trolls is going to a North Carolina WalMart at 2 am. But I BELEVE it. The second pleasant surprise of the film is the humor. It is a subtle humor, very subtle indeed. You may not even catch it your first time watching. But throughout the entire film, an underlying sense of almost self-parody humor bubbles to the surface. It’s almost hard to put your finger on, as it is certainly devoid of any slapstick or obnoxious commentary. It wasn’t until I read more about the movie, and I discovered that many of the key actors are highly popular Norwegian comedians, that it made sense. They play their roles with a certain gruff, almost stoic, tongue in cheek that I wish we could see more of in actors here in America.

For me, the true standout of the film is Otto Jespersen, the brilliant actor who portrayed Hans. He is the Western sheriff riding into town to fight the most dangerous battles with the taught hombres, and riding out with the sunset. He plays the role not as a He-Manesque super soldier, but a tough and witty underpaid civil servant who looks like he is about 10 years overdue for a long vacation. Does he give a shit anymore about the governments troll containment program? No. Is he still going to do his job? You bet your ass. His fights with the beasts are anti-climatic and quick. They could have really milked these hunts and the destructive nature of the trolls, but instead decided to focus on telling a great story about a myth coming alive and the typical man on the street who has to deal with it.

If you haven’t surmised by now, I loved this film. It is easily in my top favorite movies I have seen this year, and deserves more of an American cult following than it already has. I read that an American remake of the film is on the table, and it made me cringe slightly upon that discovery. Making this into the next big budget horror film would be a disgrace beyond discussion. Let us hope they keep the majesty and the simplistic beauty of this film alive.

– Adam Schirling

Troll Hunter on IMDB
Buy Troll Hunter [DVD]

C.C. and Company (1970)

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Directed by: Seymour Robbie

There are also some light hearted outlaw biker movies from the glory years. ‘C.C. and Company’ features the acting talents of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath. Immediately a warning light flashed in my mind. Sports icon chooses to act. I’m thinking Michael Jordan in ‘Space Jam’, Mike Tyson in ‘The Hangover’ and the complete filmography of former crazy gang hard nut Vinnie Jones. Disaster after disaster. Imagine if Tim Tebow joined the cast of the next film in ‘The Fast and the Furious’ franchise *shudder*. History has taught us that sports stars don’t crossover too well into Hollywood.

‘C.C. and Company’ happened in the middle of Namath’s NFL career, it seems absurd to think anything like this could wcwe happen again, I mean it’s not like Michael Vick might suddenly get bored with his gridiron career and sign up to star in a film about an Animal Rights Protestor who infiltrates a pharmaceutical company that tests out anti-depressants on Dalmatians. Due to the endorsements they already receive it is highly unlikely a top US sports star would appear in any role other than a quick onscreen cameo.

What’s surprising about ‘C.C. and Company’ is that Namath isn’t squeaky clean, for most of the film he commits acts of petty theft. This begins in the opening scene as Joe pushes a shopping trolley around a supermarket making a sandwich as he goes along each aisle. He even takes time to use a napkin to wipe the crumbs and spots of mayo from his masculine jaw. Joe later gets frisky with a skanky chick named Pom Pom and steals money from the biker gang’s stash.

The film begins when C.C. jumps on his zebra print coloured hog and hits the open road. We then get treated to the C.C. theme song, which is a version of the blues staple ‘C.C. Rider’. Though the song is actually about an unfaithful lover, it has ties to cinema, given that one of the original versions of the song made Martin Scorsese become interested in rock music and this of course led to the classic soundtracks from his movies and concert films such as ‘The Last Waltz’.

C.C. is part of an outlaw biker gang called The Heads, led by an even more physically imposing presence than Namath named Moon played superbly by William Smith. Moon has an effeminate handle bar moustache, but he fits the classic rough and ready biker mould. C.C. begins to reconsider his position in the gang when some of the bikers harass an attractive young woman called Ann (played by Ann-Margret) who’s car has broken down. C.C. steps in to intervene as the gang members, one of whom played by a youthful looking Sid Haig, begin to get a bit too grabby.

The Heads are a goofy bunch, more joyful in temperament than other outlaw biker gangs. They seem to get a kick out of messing about and annoying people rather than getting involved in anything too serious like drug taking, rape or murder. The women in the group pose as hitchhikers and seduce gullible men on the highway, and generally provide the film’s best moments of light relief.

Namath is a wooden screen presence, but he has the macho posture required to be a believable brawny biker bloke who loves to scrap. He comes into his own in the cut and thrust of the motorcycle racing, as he races around the motocross track and then later has a high stakes race with Moon. But as a lover, he is awkward; pawing women like a bear might mount a carcass in the woods. I found the dating sequence between Namath and Ann-Margret to be unintentionally hilarious particularly when they visit a discothèque and dance along to The White Knight of Soul, the pompadour headed cheese ball Wayne Cochran.

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Whilst not as bad as I expected it to be ‘C.C. and Company’ is rather tame in comparison to most other outlaw biker movies, because really it lacks any true grit, grease and grizzle. From reading up on the film it appears that the initial concept was dreamt up by producers to (a) capitalize on the popularity of an NFL star starring on the silver screen and (b) trying to revive the fading career of Ann-Margret, an attractive, albeit limited actress, who seems more like a startled doll than an actress, looking blanker than a shop window mannequin. Whilst not a touchdown, you’d probably say that it’s just about a first down, as the quarterback gloriously finds a wide receiver running in full flight.

– RJW
5/10

C.C. and Company on IMDB

Buy Namath: A Biography

Werewolves on Wheels (1971)

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Directed by: Michael Levesque

The must have reached a point when film studio execs told their underlings that you can’t just have outlaw biker movies that depict cycle savages gallivanting around raising hell. The formula needed to be freshened up because in the early seventies the genre was becoming bloated, there needed to be a new way to tell burning rubber tales. I’m sure a variety of ideas were brainstormed in marijuana fumed blue sky thinking meetings. “Why not throw in occult elements and make it a biker horror movie? What about werewolves? Toss it all in there.”

‘Werewolves on Wheels’ is shot somewhere across America’s vast dry wastelands. The dusty highway runs through a barren scenery that goes on for hundreds of miles, there are occasional petrol stations dotted along the way that break up the monotony. The Devils Advocates roll across the road to a soundtrack of seventies desert rock. They are a bunch of beer drinking, tarot card reading… wait, tarot card reading? Yes, one of the gang members, a pessimistic sad sack fellow called Tarot, reads cards. Tarot has a bad feeling about the journey ahead, and when he reads the cards for Helen, the partner of the gang leader Adam, he kindly informs her that she is doomed.

The Advocates stop in the lovely pretty green country of a monastery. They lark about whilst a cloaked figure observes them from a tower. Whilst the gang joke about the devil and LSD a bunch of cloaked monks arrive offering bread and wine. The gifts are hastily consumed and soon the Devils Advocates are sleeping peacefully on the lawn.  Night hits and the cloaked figure performs a satanic ritual, killing an adorable little kitty cat. Helen is kidnapped by the monks and finds herself dancing seductively with a snake. The Advocates realize she’s gone and rush up to the tower; they rescue Helen, smash up the monks and decide to get the hell outta this freaky satanic situation.

The rest of the movie is a trip in fear and paranoia. Tarot continues to be a gloomy gus and keeps warning the Devils Advocates that bad things are a coming. After the encounter with the monks Adam exclaims “We’re gonna go to the desert and get our heads straight”. Whilst out in the desert several bad things happen to the gang, including the arrival of a werewolf who picks them off one by one. Since the remainder of the film is shot at night, you can’t see much that isn’t illuminated by flame. This doesn’t create eeriness, or even a shaky Blair Witch effect. Instead you basically can’t see shit.

‘Werewolves on Wheels’ has a cool soundtrack and alluringly trippy camera shots but it becomes laughably awful towards the end purely because of the werewolf. Terrible costume and make up decisions make the beast look like a person suffering from hypertrichosis, with little evidence of ferocious fangs that might provide bark at the moon bite. There is a dramatic fiery finale which sees the werewolf finally straddle a motorcycle, but predictably it doesn’t end too well.

– RJW

4/10

Werewolves on Wheels on IMDB

Buy Werewolves on Wheels

Rise of the Zombies (2011)

Trejo watches over us all

Trejo watches over us all

It appears Asylum had some sort of revelation in 2011. They didn’t really need to rip off a specific zombie film, they could just bung the word in any old film title, despite it not making a lick of sense, and enough people would buy / rent it that they would make a profit. I did a bit of research to see if there was a big film released that year that they might have piggybacked off, but it seems not – but checking out IMDB’s list of 2011 zombie films fills me with sadness. So much wasted time! Visit this link if you want to have a look yourself, and apart from “Juan Of The Dead” it’s really slim pickings. Also look for how many of those films you’ve never heard of. Who is making all of them? Let’s put a tax on zombie makeup, or something.

They also decided to load this film with what, for the Asylum, would be considered A-list stars. Oscar nominated Mariel Hemingway, Danny Trejo, French Stewart, Levar Burton, Ethan Suplee and a couple of people who’d had recurring roles on network TV, which is like the Expendables crossed with Oceans 11 for this film company. They’re getting cleverer at shooting on location as well, so they get some pretty impressive scenes in San Fransisco, clearly taken at 5 in the morning on the day of a national holiday, for instance.

This film has the range, dialogue and character activity of a below average computer game. I’m not just being facetious either, so let’s look at the evidence. It gets right into the action – zombies are attacking people from minute one of the film, and don’t really ever let up. They’re also pretty crappy, and die at the least provocation. The main cast gets split up so you get to see a variety of different locations and battles between humans and zombies. There’s plenty of weapon variety to keep you interested. Also, everyone talks like the cut-scenes from a computer game, with stilted dialogue about the most boring topics, and there’s always a final location to get to.

The one interesting thing about this film is the speed it kills off its main cast. People you’d have expected to still be alive and kicking at the end get themselves blown up and eaten and eaten and eaten…for people who have survived at least the first bit of a zombie rising, they’re really bad at checking to see if there’s any zombies about. They’ve made a base at Alcatraz, and seem to be settled there, but for some reason zombies finally figure out they can just swim across, and suddenly one day they get swarmed by hundreds of aquatic undead. This, of course, makes no sense.

Asylum appear to have learned some lessons from criticism of their previous films, but that new knowledge has kicked some old stuff out of their brains. They’ve got a cast who can act, sort of, and the pace of the film is white-hot (especially compared to something like my previous review, “Transmorphers”). Sadly, this still doesn’t result in a decent movie. The zombies just keep on coming, and no matter how many they kill there’s still a load more. This renders all the battles sort of pointless, really. They are unafraid to kill off cast members, which is a good thing, but the way they do this is indiscriminate, so two of the storylines you might reasonably have expected to be central to the film’s ending are just wiped out a little over an hour in, rendering all the time spent with them absolutely worthless.

The rest of the film is sadly not much better. It feels like the middle section of a longer film – there’s no real beginning and there’s certainly no end, so whether they ran out of money, time or were hoping to do a sequel that never materialised, I don’t know. The zombies both shamble and run, and can climb up the side of bridges, so that’s all over the place too…

"Ethan, why did I agree to be in this terrible movie?"

“Ethan, why did I agree to be in this terrible movie?”

Two enthusiastic thumbs down for me for “Rise of the Zombies”. But before I go – why is it called what it’s called? The zombies have very definitely risen long before the movie starts, and in fact appear to have taken over the earth. Are they rising to even greater heights? AH SCREW THIS MOVIE ASYLUM YOU SUCK. Sorry, lost control for a second. This film is purely designed to show people fighting zombies in a bunch of different locations, and any incidentals like plot and characterisation are left to sneak in where they can.

Rise of the Zombies on IMDB

Buy Rise Of The Zombies [DVD]

Transmorphers (2007)

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I’ve avoided reviewing the granddaddy of the Asylum’s mockbusters, partly because I’ve already seen it, but mostly because on that previous occasion, my friend James bought the DVD and it broke three-quarters of the way through. I assumed it was God giving me a lucky break, half an hour off for good behaviour. But for some reason, here we are in 2013, and I thought it’d be a good laugh to watch it again for the ISCFC.

If you’re reading this site, chances are you’ve seen a few Asylum films. They started off in the mockbuster game with “War of the Worlds” in 2005 closely followed by “The Da Vinci Treasure” and “Snakes On A Train” in 2006, but for me it’s 2007’s “Transmorphers” that really put them on the map. Everything that makes Asylum the place we know and love is there – a wacky pun-ish title; at least one actor you maybe sort-of recognise from something else; a plot that surprisingly bears little relation to its namesake, but lots of relation to other films in the same genre; and, of course, a low low budget.

I don’t know if this is deliberate on the part of Asylum or not, but all their films only ever rip off the title or the plot of another film, but never both at the same time. You might be inclined to believe that a film called “Transmorphers”, released the same year as a giant robot movie whose name escapes me for the moment, might be about some giant robots having a fight. You would, of course as the construction of this paragraph has already told you, be wrong. If you rather luckily guessed it’d be the future war bits of “Terminator” crossed with a healthy dose of “The Matrix”, with bits of a hundred other sci-fi movies and TV shows thrown in for good measure, then you’re far too clever for the likes of me.

In 2009, we discover an alien civilization 20 million light years away, we send them a signal then 5 years later some big-ass robots turn up and basically take over the planet, killing 99% of the people, driving the rest underground and so on. Now, right away at the beginning of the film is a problem. Sending a message 20 million light years is not the same as calling your friend who lives a few streets over. Were the robots just five years travel away, having come from this far distant star system at some point in the past? Is it some wormhole-based fun? It almost deliberately puts the viewer on the back foot, and there’s more to come.

A bunch of human fighters try and fail to take on a group of robots. In fact, they barely get out of the door before they’re blown to bits. So, the “leaders” decide to take a badass fighters out of cryogenic freezing prison as he’s the only one who can help. He’s Warren Mitchell, a former revolutionary who was imprisoned five years ago, and luckily Mitchell immediately agrees to help out the people he wanted to overthrow before; after unfreezing his best mate and recruiting all the super-hard misfits from the Army to help him out.

We then get a lot of talking. A lot. The purpose of dialogue in most films is to tell us about the characters, or to illuminate a debate central to the film. Something like that. This film just has it to fill in time – the forced wacky banter between the characters is the same, no matter who’s talking to who; and we never really understand why they’re now so desperate to battle the robots, after spending a century underground. The city they all live in is enormous and beautiful, with flying cars, huge towers and all sorts, even though whenever you see anyone in their own room, it’s a featureless metal box with no windows.

The bad guys are all robots, remember? So it turns out the eccentric scientist’s assistant is an android he created! Why there’s a surprise that a race of people who were virtually wiped out by robots would not be thrilled to have one living with them is never really explored, but this gives scientist guy a chance to explain that he created another android too, designed to be the perfect fighter, but that one had problems. That this other android could only be one person is screamingly obvious from this point on…oh, there’s a third android, but that was clearly put in as a seed for a sequel which never came (Transmorphers: Fall Of Man, the 2009 follow up is a prequel, and that had at least two proper actors in it).

The humans finally figure out a good plan to finish off the robots for good, and the great big confusing battle on three different fronts is the last part of the film. And then it ended, and my wife informed me she’d been reading a magazine for most of the film, and therefore had a much better time than she normally does watching one of these godawful films with me.

It is, unsurprisingly, awful. It’s leaden with large periods of time where basically nothing happens, and other periods of time with poorly shot, confusing fight scenes. The robots are indestructible in one scene, and vulnerable to pistols in the next; the cast are almost without exception terrible actors and writer-director Leigh Scott should stick to something that isn’t writing or directing (while looking him up on the IMDB, the “User Lists” section displays nothing but “the worst directors of all time” and other such lists you really wouldn’t want to be on).

My criticism will mean nothing to the Asylum, they’ll keep on making these rotten films to cash in on blockbusters, they’ll continue to make enough of a profit to keep going, and fools like me will continue to review them. As my reviews have shown, though, cheap films don’t have to be bad, or slow. Asylum could make good films, but it’s like they don’t want to. I feel this film was so leaden and boring that it’s made my review suck. I apologise, readers.

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Transmorphers on IMDB
Buy Transmorphers [DVD]

The Cycle Savages (1969)

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Directed by: Bill Brame

Today begins the first of a series of outlaw biker movies that I’m going to review, or in the case of ‘The Cycle Savages’ provide an adequate synopsis of the film’s inadequacies. I personally think motorcycles are two wheeled death machines and the thought of ever riding one scares the bejesus out of me. It’s safer instead for me to sit here on my tea stained throne and look how bikers have been presented on screen, concentrating mostly on the late sixties, early seventies golden era of grease flicks. We begin with ‘The Cycle Savages’, a film that breathed in the exhaust fumes left by the genre defining ‘Easy Rider’.

After Hunter S. Thompson’s defining book on the Hell’s Angels was published America became obsessed with biker gangs. The riders were seen as these violent marauding Vikings who corrupted minds and spread fear all along the highways. This all happened over a decade after Brando starred in 1953’s ‘The Wild One’, a film also influenced by an article from a prominent American journalist about biker gangs.

‘The Cycle Savages’ is an odd film, because its hero is a clean cut illustrator, a sensitive artist named Romko who is influenced by all the beauty and horror that occurs around him. The artist (played straight by Chris Robinson) is sitting close to a burger bar. He witnesses a gang of bikers rough up some kids who were gorging themselves on fast food. The leader of the biker gang named Keeg, played menacingly by Bruce Dern, sees the pictures and exclaims “Some wise ass is running around drawing pictures of people”.

The artist is aroused (artistically) by beautiful women and he sketches a hot blonde named Lea (Melody Patterson) who is minding her own business feeding the ducks. When the artist gets back to his apartment he bumps into the biker gang. Keeg holds a switchblade to his throat, and demands to know why he is sketching the gang. Keeg slashes the artists belly and leaves him to bleed out.

We learn that Keeg’s older brother has a prostitution ring, and Keeg is in charge with finding young women to work in the trade. Keeg is told by his brother to find a girl with a little class.

Meanwhile the artist is being tended to by a drunken doctor who was fetched by Lea. It appears that Keeg told Lea to get help, and that the doctor tends to all the gangs victims in order to prevent the cops from getting involved in the serious incidents. There is some connection between the gang and Lea’s sister. Lea is instantly attracted by the artist as she nurses him back to health and begins to fall in love with him

Keeg is worried that the artist’s pictures are so well drawn that the gang members will be identified by the police and implicated in local crimes. He plans to crush the artist’s hands and prevent him from ever drawing again. For a fearsome biker, Keeg surprisingly is reluctant to resort to murder.

As the artist recuperates with Lea gang members break into his apartment and steal his drawings. He is understandably pissed off about this and when a local barman tells him informs him about where the gang’s hideout is, he decides to get his pictures back. The artist despite having a stitched up belly is able to grapple and fight with two gang members and recover his pictures. He returns to Lea, and sketches her nude form, they sleep together, and still his stitches don’t come unattached.

The most unsavoury and shocking scene depicts the most animalistic, and indeed savage behaviour of a biker gang. One gang member cycles past a Jayne Mansfield looking blonde who is sitting on a park bench with a girlfriend provocatively licking an ice cream. The gang member convinces the girl to get on the back of his bike and takes her back to the gang’s hideout. She is brutally raped by the biker gang in the midst of a pill popping orgy, and then drugged, and sent back out on the streets when she wanders around in a state of shock.

During this horrific incident a consensual love affair continues to blossom between the artist and Lea, but the vice squad arrive and begin to ask questions and about the belly slashing and the biker gang. We also find out the artist is a Hungarian immigrant, which might explain his fashion sense. Because the two were having sex before marriage the vice cop arrests Leah for prostitution.

Vice, yes, vice. A light bulb goes off in Keeg’s head and he hatches a plan to trap the artists hand in a vice and crush them. I’m not going to spoil the ending, just in case you guys want to see it, but ‘The Cycle Savages’ moves at a snails place, given the premise of the movie is quite basic. Basically it’s – artist draws biker gang, biker gang get pissed off with artist, and take an age to discover how to take care of him.

‘The Cycle Savages’ falls into cult territory, it is trashy, and attempts to clumsily tie in Hells Angels hysteria, cold war paranoia, US attitudes in the sixties to sex and prostitution and the problem with hallucinogenic drugs. The laugh out loud dialogue means that the film is impossible to take seriously. If there is one positive, it is that Bruce Dern at least tries to make himself look psychotic and dangerous in his portrayal of Keeg.

– RJW

3/10

The Cycle Savages on IMDB
Buy Angel Unchained & Cycle Savages [DVD] [1969] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]