Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Run, Angel, Run! (1969)

Director: Jack Starrett

Starring: William Smith, Valerie Starrett, Dan Kemp, Gene Shane, Lee de Broux

More info: IMDb


Plot: Angel, a member of a tough motorcycle gang roaming the Southwest, gets on offer from a major news magazine. In exchange for giving the magazine a big scoop by exposing the inner workings of his gang, the magazine will pay him $10,000. Angel takes the offer, although it means he and his girlfriend must now go on the run from cyclists looking for revenge. Along the way, they hide out with a sheep farmer, earning their keep by taking care of the farm and building a new life together.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Sure.

I've seen plenty of biker flicks over the past few years and this one surprised me in that it's actually good. It's different in that there's more drama than what you're used to in this genre and the bikers aren't buffoons like you see in so many flicks. Yeah, some of them carry on like a bunch of out of control teens with no filter but they're also pretty grounded, mean and hardcore. It seemed like this is closer to the real deal than other biker flicks of the era.

This is the first of five (I think) biker pictures for William "BADASS" Smith and he's really good. I'm sure that even by the mid to late 70s he was a legend in the business; at least I hope he had that kind of respect from his peers because he is a good actor. I guess I can say that I've got a man-crush on William Smith. Tall, good looking, bastard that can act. It's not fair, damn it.

The story's pretty good, too, which is surprising. I mean, there's not much to it but it's still a good idea. It was directed by Jack Starrett who starred in and directed quite a few classic fun action movies in the 70s. This was his first directorial effort and it's not too shabby. He uses the split screen to a nice effect. It seems like most people hate this technique but it can be very effective in telling a story if it's done right and Starrett did it right.

It's funny 'cause I was watching the credits and his name sounded really familiar. It turns out he was in that Jack Nicholson biker flick I watched recently called, HELLS ANGELS ON WHEELS (1967). It wasn't good but I remembered his role and his name. And last week I was on a biker flick kick so I followed this one up with ANGELS FROM HELL (1968) which starred...Jack Starrett. Nice!

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