Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Angelmakers (2005)

Director: Astrid Bussink

Starring: Old-ass Hungarians

More Info: IMDB

Plot: A documentary recounting the poisoning of over a hundred men in a small village in Hungary after World War I. For many, it was their wives who killed them.

My Rating: 7/10

Would I watch it again? Yes

Here's a rich as fuck story that I'm DYING to see. After WWI, one of the most respected women of the Hungarian village of Nagyrev discovered how to extract the traces of arsenic from fly paper and use it to slowly poison her husband until he died two months later, seemingly of circumstances that certainly didn't look like murder. She hired herself out to other dissatisfied women of the village. The problem was so widespread that the authorities looked into it, leading to the arrest in 1929 of 51 women in connection with an estimated 140 cases of murder!!! Someone in Europe with the right eye needs to film this story and not make it a comedy or a straight up horror.

This documentary is only 33 minutes long and there is very little to show except current interviews with some of the townspeople who were children at the time and those who can pass along the stories that have been told over the years. It's a fascinating story but there's not an awful lot here. I really wanted more details with more vintage photographs. For what the film makers do show us, the 33 minutes is a nice length. I love the setting. Hungary is such a beautiful country and the people have such amazing features in their faces and demeanor.

It turns out that Nagyrev was not alone. This was happening all over Hungary at the time. Most of the women in other villages went unpunished. Man, I really need to see this story on the big screen.

Bazaar Bizarre (2004)

Director: Benjamin Meade

Staring: James Ellroy

More Info: IMDB

Plot: It's the story of Bob Berdella, an unassuming Kansas City, Missouri man who raped, tortured and killed at least six young men over a four-year period beginning in 1984.

My Rating: 5.5/10

Would I watch it again? Not likely

Here's an interesting take on a documentary that has an interesting subject but has an unconventional method of storytelling...well, sort of. The film opens with his last victim escaping after being tortured for a week. Naked save for a dog collar and leash, he jumps from the second story window and runs for help. Not really shocking but more surprising, Meade is not afraid to show A LOT of this nude man running around and screaming. At first it seems bold but later in the film I began to question it, and the film, as exploitative. See, all of the reenactments are deliberately made to look like old, filthy 8mm prints. Meade did a fantastic job with that. Hell, even the gore is really well done. All of this gives it an air of authenticity. I dug it. There's some real talent here.

The story of the actual guy is kind of interesting if even routine. When it comes to serial killers, he's not going to stand out. He's an average guy that lived alone in a nice, old house in a middle class neighborhood. He owned and operated a novelty shop in a flea marked called Bob's Bazaar Bizzare, a head shop of sorts with all kinds of occult-ish items. He was 35 when his first documented victim was abducted. For the next four years he is known to have raped, tortured an killed 6 young men. Their ordeal lasted anywhere from 48 hours to more than a month before he killed them.

His torture techniques were not unlike some of the WWII Nazi experiments conducted at the various concentration camps. He was discovered to have injected varying substances into the victims' throats to destroy their ability to speak or scream. He would drug them to keep them subdued, sodomize them with carrots, cucumbers and his fist. On at least one victim he injected Drano into his eye. There's more to it but it's clear he was a sick, sadistic fuck.

The guy Meade found to play Berdella in the flashbacks is spot on. Noted crime author James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia - who also produced BB) pops in from time to time about Berdella and his utter distaste for this scumbag. Ellroy's a laugh riot and he's very engaging when he's on screen. This is about where my praise ends. There are two major issues I have with this and I'll start with what I speculated at some point into the picture - it's too voyeuristic and it borderlines on sensationalism and exploitation.

Oh, a minor annoyance is the music by The Alloy Orchestra. I just don't like it. The moment I heard it I had flashbacks to an otherwise GREAT DVD put out by Kino of Fatty Arbuckle & Buster Keaton. They scored those silent films and it's absolutely horrible to the point of lowering the volume to enjoy the films. Yep. It's the same group. I did not see that coming. And how seriously can you take a "documentary" that routinely shows you clips of the musicians and bands who contribute to the score?

There are several people interviewed that took this whole thing far too lightly, smiling and laughing about the crime scenes. This could be interpreted to also show how cruel and stupid we humans can be. OK, I can give Meade that but when you combine it with extended and graphic flashbacks made to look authentic and sometimes humorous, that's where you feel that he's going for sensationalism.

There's one scene in particular that stood out and illustrates this. Berdella is cooking chili (now this is purely speculative that he actually did this with most people close to the case saying it's not likely to have happened) and he cuts up some meat from the victims - fingers and such. After using the knife to push them from the cutting board into the pot, he looks at the knife and licks it. It's funny. It doesn't belong in a documentary unless it A) really happened or B) they're playing the film for laughs. Do it all day long in a movie but not a documentary. It's insulting to the victims and their families.

By the way, Berdella died of a heart attack in prison four years after his arrest.

What's the other big issue? There's a band called, The Demon Dogs, that shows up four times to act as a Greek Chorus, singing songs about Berdella and his crimes. These music videos, besides being just plain bad, are jarring in their inclusion and really take you out of the picture. It's like a commercial and it's time for a bathroom break or something. WTF? At this point I have no idea what Meade was trying to accomplish. I assume this is the film he wanted to make. If so, great. I certainly cannot fault him for that. The best I can muster up at this point is faulting him for not making the film I would have wanted him to make. (cue the shitty music videos)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003)

Director: Nick Broomfiled

Starring: Aileen Wuornos, Steve Glazer and Arlene Pralle

Plot: Nick Broomfield's second documentary on Aileen Carol Wuornos, a highway prostitute who was executed in 2002 for killing seven men in the state of Florida. This second installment includes the filmmaker's testimony at Wournous's trial.

My Rating: 8/10

Would I watch it again? Yes

Broomfield's previous documentary about Wuornos, AILEEN WUORNOS: THE SELLING OF A SERIAL KILLER (1992), left me wanting to know the back story about Wuornos and the questions you would have of what lead her to kill seven men over the course of a year beginning in 1989. Well, here it is. This documentary is more focused than the last and it takes us on a sad journey from her childhood to her execution in Florida on October 9, 2002.

Wuornos' shit bag mother

Her life was shit from the start. Her mother, Diane, married Leo at the age of 15 in Michigan. Leo was a child molester and was strangled to death in prison in 1969. Diane abandoned her children, leaving them with her parents (we get to see Diane interviewed, btw, and she's a piece of shit). At the age of 13, Aileen became pregnant. She had been sexually active with many partners including her brother. At 15 her grandfather threw her out of the house. She lived in the nearby woods for the next two years, supporting herself with prostitution. Sick of living another harsh winter in the woods, she decided to move to the warmer, more agreeable climate of Florida. From there her life of crime escalated, ending with her arrest on January 9, 1991 for the recent murders of seven men.

Now this is what I wanted to see. We also get to find out what has happened over the past ten years with the players from the previous documentary. Wuornos' life was a fucked up mess from start to finish. No doubt about that and this doc is loaded with low-lifes including a friend of Wuornos' that insists gays didn't exist before the 1970s. Unbelievable. It's a great counterpart to his earlier doc. If you only liked the first one a little bit, you need to see this one as it will give you the satisfaction you wanted.

Want to see it? Start watching the whole thing, below, beginning with part one.

Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer (1992)

Director: Nick Broomfield

Starring: Aileen Wuornos, Steve Glazer, Arlene Pralle

More Info: IMDB

Plot: Filmed after Wuornos was imprisoned but before she was put to death, the documentary highlights the media blitz surrounding her case, culminating in interviews with Wuornos as well as her lawyer, her lover and her adoptive mother.

My Rating: 7/10

Would I watch it again? Possibly

Billed as "America's First Female Serial Killer", Aileen Wuornos killed seven men in Florida during a one year period stretching from 1989-1990. She was arrested on January 9, 1991 and executed on October 9, 2002.

The Killer...

Director Broomfield sets out to interview Wuornos but she's got two gatekeepers that want $25k before they make that Aileen's best interest, you see. The gatekeepers are Arlene Pralle, a born again christian who has legally adopted Aileen (after her arrest, mind you, and she did it because god told her to) and Steve Glazer, an utter douchebag, skeezy lawyer that served as Aileen's attorney and Pralle's agent.

The Lawyer...

Both of these characters are ugly and despicable. Aileen Wuornos is ugly and despicable. I can't recall anyone in this film that's no ugly and despicable. Hell, even the director has moments of douchbaggery. It's only toward the end do I actually feel for the guy because he's been clearly lied to and deceived by Pralle and Glazer AND Broomfield had already given them $10k as a down payment for Wuornos' interview. It's interesting to see Broomfield struggle and fight throughout the film to get something he can use to put this documentary together.

His other client (Wuornos' jesus freak adopted mother)

We only really get some basic facts about Wuornos, her lover, the killings and the subsequent arrest and trials. I felt cheated as I wanted to know so much more about Wuornos; where she came from, her motives for the murders, etc. But then I was reminded of the film's title. It's not so much about her life before the arrest but about the insanity and media circus that came after with absolutely everyone around Wuornos wanting a piece of her in order to gain them wealth or fame. From the cops to the lawyer to her lover to her newly adopted bugnuts religiously fanatical mother. It's revolting. If Wuornos hadn't murdered seven people you'd feel sorry for her.

And Her Lover (now there's a sex tape I never want to see)

What we're left with is a cast of characters that are repulsive, trashy and deserve the embarrassment they receive from this picture. Broomfield may or may not be included among them depending on his motives for making this film, of which I'm still not 100% sure.

Murder: No Apparent Motive (1984)

Director: Imre Horvath

Starring: Tons of delightful folks like Ted Bundy, Ed Kemper, David Berkowitz, John Wayne Gacy, Wayne Williams, etc

More Info: IMDB

Plot: Documentary about serial killers and FBI Behavioral Sciences Profilers. Interviews with Ed Kemper and Ted Bundy as well as crime victims and law enforcement officials.

My Rating: 9/10

Would I watch it again? Absolutely

Growing up in Pensacola, Florida during the 1970s, you basically had three career options to getting out; being an astronaut, a high wire trapeze artist or a serial killer. Unfortunately, my math skills were lacking and I was afraid of heights but the sight of blood didn't bother me. Hmmmmm.

Mr. Song & Dance Man, Charlie Manson

But seriously, what is it that we humans find fascinating about serial killers? The two aspects that interest me are the law enforcement hunt, the putting together the pieces of the grisly puzzle, and the killer's ability to continue their crimes without getting caught. For as long as I can remember I've always been more than curious about how things work. Whether it's trying to figure out how movie effects are made or how magicians perform their tricks, the art and skill in which these people perform to deceive is remarkable. Even once I know how a trick is performed, I marvel at the talent and work that went into making it believable.

6'9" tall Ed "C0-Ed Killer" Kemper

This documentary gives you a general overview of the relatively new phenomena (serial killing has been around for ages but it really started to blossom in the 1950s onward), touching on the big names while its main focus is on two figures, Ed Kemper and Ted Bundy (whose arrest in Pensacola put a stop to his killing spree). In John Douglas's excellent book on his participation in the creation of the Behavioral Sciences division of the FBI in the 1970s, MINDHUNTER, he goes into more detail about these and many other killers they hunted over the years. I recently picked it up and it's sparked my longtime interest in the subject once again. I've devoured scores of documentaries on the subject which I will be writing about shortly.

Ted Bundy

John Wayne Gacy

Blatant product placement

M:NAM is a fantastic look at the subject and handles it with care and respect. Some highlights include extensive interviews with super cool G-Man, Robert Ressler (who, along with Douglas, was instrumental in the Behavioral Science division) and serial murderer, Ed Kemper. Until recently I hadn't heard of him. His story is fascinating and I highly recommend Googling/YouTubing it.

Sadly this doc has not made it to DVD and it can be found on VHS for a few bucks on Amazon. It's definitely worth seeking out but I'm sure there have been documentaries since that rival this one but M:NAM has that great feel of the old 8 & 16mm classroom films we used to get way back when. Ahhhh, childhood, where dreams could still come true...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sword & Sandal Trailers Vol. 1

I love this genre and these trailers are a blast. Loaded with adventure and plenty of action, you're catapulted back to a simpler time when there were a myriad of beasts and demons to vanquish, princesses to rescue and armies to slay. Ahhhhh, the good ole days.

It's too bad that most of these will never see a proper DVD release and that it's likely I'll never see any S&S films on the big screen (btw, you'll notice that a few of these are not S&S films but period adventure - for ex., Sinbad films are not S&S). The closest I've ever come is seeing a beautiful 70 mm print of Spartacus on a gigantic screen in New Orleans nearly twenty years ago. THAT was amazing. Except for the first one on the list, ATLAS, I think I've got all of them. There are two more volumes of these trailers that I converted to DVD from the Sinister Cinema VHS tapes I had. Oh, to be a kid in the late 50s/early 60s seeing these larger-than-life adventures in the theater with a big-ass tub of corn and Coke...

01) REVIEW - TRAILER - Atlas (1961)
02) REVIEW - TRAILER - Goliath and the Vampires (1961)
03) REVIEW - TRAILER - Goliath and the Dragon (1960)
04) REVIEW - TRAILER - Ulysses (1967)
05) REVIEW - TRAILER - Duel of the Titans (1961)
06) REVIEW - TRAILER - Hercules in the Haunted World (1961)
07) REVIEW - TRAILER - Hercules Against the Moon Men (1964)
08) REVIEW - TRAILER - Knives of the Avenger (1966)
09) REVIEW - TRAILER - Hercules (1958)
10) REVIEW - TRAILER - Hercules Unchained (1959)
11) REVIEW - TRAILER - Hercules (1983)
12) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Giant of Metropolis (1961)
13) REVIEW - TRAILER - War of the Zombies (1964)
14) REVIEW - TRAILER - Erik the Conqueror (1961)
15) REVIEW - TRAILER - Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
16) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Magic Sword (1962)
17) REVIEW - TRAILER - Clash of the Titans (1981)
18) REVIEW - TRAILER - Jack the Giant Killer (1962)
19) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Wizard of Baghdad (1960)
20) REVIEW - TRAILER - Gladiators 7 (1962)
21) REVIEW - TRAILER - The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
22) REVIEW - TRAILER - The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)
23) REVIEW - TRAILER - Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)

The Abyss (1989)

Director: James Cameron

Starring: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michael Biehn

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: A place on earth more awesome than anywhere in space.

Plot: When the crew of an underwater oil rig are enlisted to assist in the rescue of an American nuclear submarine at the height of the Cold War, they discover a strange and mysterious force living in the deep and their rescue mission becomes an adventure into the wondrous and the unknown.

My Rating: 8/10 (with shit ending) & 9.5/10 (w/o shit ending)

Would I watch it again? Yes and I'll probably stop it short.

I have always considered this to be Cameron's best film along with THE TERMINATOR (1984). It's beautifully shot, the characters are fleshed out nicely along with some fantastic performances (a rarity in a Cameron picture), great score by Alan Silvestri and outstanding special effects that still hold up twenty years later.

It's a great sci-fi thriller. Cameron really knows how to ratchet up some tension, too. The resuscitation scene, despite knowing damn well how it ends, tears me up every time I watch it. Ed Harris is usually pretty intense but he's off the charts in that scene and it's his performance that makes it work as well as it does. I shudder to think what the current go-to, flavor of the month, blandest action star ever, Sam Worthington would have done. Uhhhhhhhhh.

The special edition director's cut is the one to watch...except for one thing; the ending. Now it's been a lot of years since I saw it and I had forgotten how much I loathed the ending. The aliens have Bud (Harris) and they show him a rapid succession of TV clips of violence throughout the ages. Bud verbally figures out that they want humans to stop fighting or it's curtains for the lot of us. It's so heavy-handed that your head hurts from the message that's attached to the shovel that's just been slammed upside your face. WE FUCKING GET IT, CAMERON! STOP! Does it stop? No. From this point to the end credits it's bad acting, dialogue and cornball shit you'd expect from a Michael Bay movie. The spectrum from what came before couldn't be wider.

Wait...maybe, just maybe the aliens really dig shit blowing up and war movies and Bud completely misread it and put words into their mouths. Hmmmm. Naw. Cameron had to shove his message down our throats...just like he did with AVATAR (2009). There are those who believe Cameron to be a truly great film maker. I disagree. He's certainly capable of being one but with THE ABYSS, he had something really special and he blew it in the eleventh hour. Don't get me wrong; I'm not opposed to messages in's just that...well, sometimes it is the messenger and not the message after all.

Casino Royale (1954)

Director: William H Brown Jr

Starring: Barry Nelson & Peter Lorre

More Info: IMDB

Plot: American spy James Bond must outsmart card wiz and crime boss LeChiffre while monitoring his actions.

My Rating: 5.5

Would I watch it again? Not likely

Probably the only reason anyone would want to watch this is for the curiosity of it all. It's the first time James Bond was filmed, beating the Connery pictures by 7 years. That and to see the great Peter Lorre as Bond's foil, Le Chiffre.

This episode of CLIMAX! follows much of the Fleming novel. Fans of the recent film will recognize some small touches used in both films and the novel. Lorre is great as the weaselly heavy. He's a hoot to watch. But for as much fun as he, Barry Nelson's Bond isn't. First of all, he's American and his portrayal feels more at home in a film noir picture, not a spy flick. Not this spy flick. He's over-thinking it and he's often sluggish. What a drag.

Yawn. James Yawn.

Maybe it's my 35 years of seeing the films and reading the books that taints this. I don't know but I am glad I finally got around to seeing it. You'll find it as an extra on the DVD for the 1967 farce, CASINO ROYALE. That's another mess to behold for another time.

Quick Change (1990)

Director: Howard Franklin & Bill Murray

Starring: Bill Murray, Geena Davis, Randy Quaid, Jason Robards

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: The bank robbery was easy. But getting out of New York was a nightmare.

Plot: Three thieves successfully rob a New York City bank, but making the escape from the city proves to be almost impossible.

My Rating: 6.5/10

Would I watch it again? It wouldn't kill me but it'd have to be another 20 years, I think.

I've never seen a Bill Murray vehicle I didn't like. But then I haven't seen that elephant flick he did or the GARFIELD movies. He cracks me up without even trying, something very few comedians/actors can do.

It's been about 20 years since I saw this and, unfortunately, it's not as funny as I remembered. There are some great moments but on a whole it just doesn't work nearly as well as it should or I'd like it. Quaid's character's involvement is questionable except to set up silly situations. Robards nails the worn down cop bit to the back wall. Bob Elliott is fucking hysterical as the old bank guard that spins tales of his bravery to the cops.

QUICK CHANGE is loaded with some early film performances by Phil Hartman, Tony Shalhoub (GREAT outrageous physical role) and Stanley Tucci. Randy Edelman's score doesn't work as well as it should. David Newman would have been my pick for a film of this type. His score for THE FRESHMAN (released the same year) is pure fun.

It's probably the uneven and sometimes slow pacing keeps me from loving this picture. It's certainly worth seeing for any Murray fans but it's hardly the home run we'd like it to be. But hey! It's fuckloads better than SHAKES THE CLOWN Oh, well. Them's tha breaks. It looks like this was filmed before in 1985 as HOLD-UP starring the awesome Jean-Paul Belmondo and the so-so Kim Cattrall. I'm going to have to check that out.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hell's Chosen Few (1968)

Director: David L Hewitt

Starring: Jody Daniels (Joe), Kelly Ross (Sharon), Joe Follino (Willie) and Gary Kent (sheriff)

More Info: IMDB


Plot: Innocent bikers get harassed by the local fuzz and one of them is framed for murder. It's up to his estranged brother to prove his innocence.

My Rating: 5/10

Would I watch it again? Probably not. There are far too many shitty biker films I've yet to see.

#4 on Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

The picture opens up with your standard late 60s biker gang crusin' down the road over the opening credits.

GIRL: Willie, hon?
TOUGH GUY: Whaddaya want, baby?
GIRL: Let's cut out for the beach.
TOUGH GUY: Let's stay with the gang and see what happens.
GIRL: Aw come on, Willie. If we go to the beach I'll give you a big surpriiiise.
TOUGH GUY: Whatever you want. I'd like that
GIRL: OK, Willie, let's like it!

That's the way to keep up your tough guy image. Next thing you know you'll be slappin' on some Old Spice or Mandom!

The gang stops by an auto garage to see an old friend. A deputy copper stops by with a rifle telling them to stay on the north side of the beach and to stay away from this part of town. Next stop, the gang's hangout, the Cactus bar & pool hall for more friends and sport.

The Deputy walks into the sheriff's office where we get some exposition. It seems that the sheriff's daughter is going to the Tiki (local entertainment hot spot for the kiddies) with her date, the lawyer Martin's kid. We're told that the Tiki isn't too far from the beach. Foreshadowing? Btw, the sheriff is running for re-election.

The bikers are done at the pool hall and it's crusin' time to the beach.

At the sheriff's house, he and his wife, Anna, get into an argument when their daughter, Penny, comes down the stairs to meet her date in a dress that cost $49.50. Penny's date, Brad, enters and does the standard Leave It To Beaver meet & greet. They're off to the club to get some kicks!

Back at the sheriff's house, he and Anna are still fighting. He's done and is heading out to the bar to cool off when...

Anna: Alright. You be home before Penny gets back. I'm worried about her.

Sheriff: If she doesn't get any more excited than you do, there's nothing to worry about!


We're off to the Alibi bar for some hard beer drinking and amateurish acting by the sheriff. Back at the Tiki, the kids decide to run down to the beach for some frolicking. The sheriff makes it back home all horny, trying to seduce Anna while singing, "Danny Boy". Despite what you're thinking, it doesn't work. She proclaims he's drunk and he storms out. He ends up at the beach. Now Brad and Penny have broken off from the group and start in ta neckin'. Daddy shows up and starts beating the living shit out of Brad and at one point pops shoves Penny hard into the ocean. Pretty good fight. Too bad I'm watching a shitty, dark print making it sometime tough to see some of the night scenes.

So Brad's lying on the beach and daddy drags Penny back home to show Anna how their daughter has been naughty. Penny looks like fucking hell and in all the shouting Anna asks her...

ANNA: Is this true?

PENNY: Nothing happened, Mama. Really. Forgive me.

(WHACK! Right across the face Anna full hand's Penny!)

ANNA: Why, you little tramp! If you ever do a thing like that again I'll kill you!!!

HARSH! $5 cash money for anyone who can spot mom's hand in the frame when it struck Penny. Yeah, I didn't think so.

It's the next morning and we see the headline...

Lance Armstrong has some 'splainin' to do! I guess that means Brad's dead. But wait! Didn't the sheriff just beat him up? He's in a fuckload of trouble now...or is he? It turns out that a biker had ridden his bike down to where Brad was and he passed out drunk. The deputy picked up the biker who doesn't remember a thing. The sheriff's got himself a scapegoat. This is starting to sound an awful lot like the plot to AVATAR.

Uh, oh. There's a former Marine, Lt. Joe Grady, who's at the the sheriff's office for some unknown business. Joe's got a brother in one of the biker gangs. Any ideas as to who his brother, Willie, probably is? Yep. He's the suspected killer. The sheriff isn't holding back on how much he and his town hates bikers, including Willie.

The sheriff allows Joe to see Willie. They're not on friendly terms but Joe wants to clear Willie on behalf of his dead parents' memory. Willie explains he was on the beach because of that girl.

JOE: You don't even remember her name?
WILLIE: I told you. She was a 'mama'; one of those broads that always hang around bike riders. They belong to nobody in particular and everybody in general.

Willie can't remember where she lives and so he can't really prove anything except he was drunk off his ass. Joe's got ten days to prove his brother's innocence. Joe goes to one of the hangouts of the Hells Chosen Few (there is no apostrophe in the title in the film or on the backs of their jackets, btw) and tells the bartender he wants to join the gang because, together, they can spring Willie.

Only 54 minutes left...

Say, what is it with biker gangs and German WWI & WWII souvenirs?

So there's a meeting of the gang. The bartender introduces Joe.

The gang doesn't take too kindly to him, being all clean cut and fresh out of Vietnam and all. Joe throws some lip around, trying to hold his own. So do they vote him in? As sure as shit they do. WHAT...THE...FUCK?!? Whatever. This would have been a great opportunity for some kind of initiation or fight or something. The bartender fills Joe in on what they're going to do. Their leader, Oddball, is the only one who voted against Joe's inclusion.

Helloooooo Sharon! She and Joe are being pushed together. What kind of girl is she, you ask?

"I guess I'm the girl type."

Yes.You.Are! Would you like to have my babies?

All of the guys are taking "turns" with Tanya, Oddball's woman, and the last in line tells Joe it's his turn and he has no choice about it. Sharon says it's OK and it's part of the initiation. Everyone has to go through it. Oddball threatens Joe with a broken pool cue for dissing Tanya. They say the penalty for turning down the dude's broad is death. Joe defiantly chooses the sloppy 14ths over leaving the gang.

Some great go-go action ensues!




Damn, I loves me some 60s go-go action!!! That's something that needs to make a serious comeback.

So after about 8 minutes of dancing we move on to Joe waking up and Sharon bringing him a warm beer. Joe's acting like a fucking cupcake. What a douche. The two philosophize about the dangers of drinking beer and wine. They're off to the coffee shop when the deputy pulls them over. Suddenly Joe's no longer the square douchebag and he's now a greasy-haired badass talkin' smack to the coppers. Whatever.

An elderly couple in a station wagon pull in behind them all the while looking into the camera. Seconds later they're backing up and driving away. They clearly weren't part of the picture. I love it when shit like that happens.

The deputy hauls the two love birds into the sheriff's office. The sheriff wonders what the deal is with his new getup and Joe starts giving him some lip and explains himself. Joe's angry ass is vowing to find the true murderer. The sheriff wants to know why anyone in his right mind would go around dressed like that riding a chopper at 6 in the morning. Scandalous!

The sheriff cuts them loose and we're back at the Cactus where another gang, Riders East, is there where one of the fellas is giving this chick a tattoo. Joe goes to the bedroom to find Sharon all gussied-up. Her gown cost $4.50, she says proudly. For a guy who's done all sorts of fighting and macho-ing it up overseas, he sure is an idiot when it comes to dames. Shit! She's got her sushi laid out for a buffet and he's thinking he might want a salad. He eventually comes around.

21:32 more to go

It's amusement park time and the gang's all here on the carousel (which, in a moment of brilliance, the carousel is playing the song, "The Gang's All Here" - nice touch). Joe and another member of his gang start duking it out over Sharon's honor or something. Joe's hurt and Sharon patches him up. I have no idea what the point of all of that was. They get on to talking about each other. You know stuff you might want to know a few days after you start fucking like what your last name is. Shit like that. More smooching.

We're back at the Cactus and the sheriff walks in to talk to the bartender, Deacon, asking for Joe. We've got 15 minutes left in the picture and Joe is no closer to finding out the sheriff is the killer. The sheriff is there to show him the morning's headline of a fight with a rival gang. I have no idea where this came from as the fight was between two guys wearing the same gang name on the back of their leather jackets. At first, when they were fighting, I thought it was between the two different gangs. I guess that was the case but how do you explain the names on the jackets? My we todd id brain hurts. I totally need to watch a Bergman picture after this to raise my IQ a few points.

Back a the sheriff's unstable household, Penny is getting hysterical. She's just been to Mexico and she came back drunk! She confronts her father and storms out.

Remember that garage from the start of the picture? We're back. The phone rings and it's Penny. She tells Joe about what really happened to Brad and to warn him that her dad is on his way over. So that's how he finds out. The sheriff wants to make a deal but Joe's got nothin' to do with it. Harsh words are bandied about and the Sheriff pulls his gun. In the midst of the struggle a shot is fired and daddy-O has taken the bullet and hid it in his stomach.

"You lousy trash!"

The deputy, I mean newly promoted sheriff, lets Willie out of his cell.

"Yeah, well your generosity makes me puke, man, so tickle the lock and let me outta here."

I love the way bikers and beatniks speak in movies. The new sheriff gives Willie some more lip and tells him to get out of town. Willie shows up at the Cactus and sees Sharon. It just hit me that she's the chick that Willie was with at the beginning. Willie isn't pleased that Joe is now here man. I sense an impending conflict between Willie and Joe. He wants what's his and forces himself on her. Later that night Willie's got a different broad with him at the amusement park which is closed. Joe's calling out for him but it's dark and Willie can't see him. Sneaky bastard. Willie makes his way to the carousel which has just started up. Joe says he's gotta kill him for 'taking' his woman. Not raping but taking. Whatever.

Now I understand why they had the amusement park sequence earlier, to have a special location for the big confrontation. I hate that movie convention shit. Anyway, the apparently drunken Willie staggers around until Joe strangles him, leaving his body in the dirt as he walks away.

Joe must have turned himself in because now he's in the cell that was occupied by his brother just hours earlier. That's pretty bleak. Didn't see that coming.

Biker funeral and we're done. So what's the moral of the story, kids? This is what happens when you go to fight in Vietnam instead of dodging the draft. I sure have learned my lesson. Woof!

Biker flicks are noted for being particularly good. I've certainly seen worse. I dig the twists in the story but that's hardly a recommendation. I'll chalk this one up to watching it so you don't have to.