Hell Ride (Alliance, 2008) D: Larry Bishop, w/ Michael Madsen, Dennis Hopper. Rating: NNN; DVD package: NNN
Happy Halloween. Hell Ride isn't a horror flick, but it's got all the mayhem and bad attitude your inner Michael Myers needs.
It's a biker movie. When a rival biker gang resurfaces, Pistolero (director Larry Bishop) and his buddies Gent (Michael Madsen) and Comanche (Eric Balfour) hit the vengeance trail, looking for payback for the 30-year-old murder of Pistolero's one true love. Sex and violence ensue.
Bishop leans heavily on Sergio Leone for his visuals and on Shakespeare for his dialogue. Madsen's "whopper of a chopper opera" soliloquy must be heard to be believed, and Leonor Varela (as perpetually horny Nada) makes a meal of her extended explicit come-on speeches to Pistolero. They're all having great fun being bad men and wild women, and there isn't a whiff of real danger anywhere about them.
Crappy as most of them were, the original 60s biker flicks had the shock of the new going for them. Hells Angels were brand-new cultural bogeymen, and treating them as the good guys was a giant step away from movie norms. Forty years on, with countless badass heroes and Leone-flavoured movies behind us, the whole enterprise feels a touch cozy.
Bishop, without a doubt, believes in the genre. Don't miss his commentary. This is a guy who talks about his brain like it's got a mind of its own.
EXTRAS Commentary, five production docs. Widescreen. English, French audio. English, French, Spanish subtitles.