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The Wild Angels

USA 1966
produced by
Roger Corman, James H. Nicholson (executive), Samuel Z. Arkoff (executive) for AIP
directed by Roger Corman
starring Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Dern, Diane Ladd, Buck Taylor, Norman Alden, Michael J. Pollard, Lou Procopio, Joan Shawlee, Marc Cavell, Coby Denton, Frank Maxwell, Gayle Hunnicutt, Gina Grant, Art Baker, Dick Miller, Kim Hamilton, Hal Bokar, Jack Bernardi, Frank Gerstle, Barboura Morris
written by Charles B.Griffith, music by Mike Curb, Larry Brown, Joe Leahy, assistant directors: Paul Rapp, Peter Bogdanovich

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Blues (Peter Fonda) and the Loser (Bruce Dern) are Hell's Angels and proud of it - but Loser's motorbike got stolen, but has been found in Mexico. So Blues, Loser and the gang head for Mexico to retrieve it, cause magnificent chaos, and ultiately, Loser doesn't get his bike back but steals a cop's bike. Unfortunately, he's shot at, injred and arrested in the process.

Oblivious to what happened to the Loser, Blues and friends celebrate their return from Mexico with a wild party, only Madge (Diane Ladd), Loser's girlfriend, soon starts to worry about him.

When Blues and company learn what has happened to the Loser, they decide to spring him from hospital, where he's in intensive care, and while their plan goes well, they are not really prepared to take care of the Loser afterwards, and thus he dies before their very eyes.

The loser's death breaks something inside Blues, so he decides to give him a big funeral in his hometown, a funeral during which the angels desecrate a church, tie up the reverend and play around with Loser's corpse, have an orgy, and Madge gets gangraped. Then they want to bury the Loser, but when they hear the cops' sirens, everybody scrams, everybody but Blues, who decides to finish the job burying his friend, even if that means his arrest.

Nancy Sinatra plays Peter Fonda's girlfriend.

 

Roger Corman hired real-life Hell's Angels to help out making this film, and then got blasted because the Angels saw themselves misrepresented. That said though, Wild Angels shows the Angels in a much more positive light than the hundreds of movies that followed in which the bikers usually were nothing short of monsters. That said though, Corman doesn't exactly paint the Angels as knights in shining armour, rather as young men who have lost their direction in life, who no longer consider it a good idea to work themselves to their deaths in crappy jobs, and thus their ultimate goal has become exactly what they are doing - biking and partying. This also leaves them empty though, empty enough to carry Nazi paraphernalia just to provoke, offend but without identifying with Nazi ideas or even thinking about them.

Corman brings all of this to the screen rather well thanks to his very straight-forward directorial style and his refusal to tell the story at hand in a moralistic way. Add to this a certain directorial fascination with the topic at hand - motorbikes -, very decent pacing, and plenty of action that keeps the film's feeble story from being stretched beyond breaking point, and you have got yourself a great movie that has ultimately fathered a whole genre - even though The Wild One from 1953 has already laid much of the groundwork for it.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD