(director: Daniel Haller; screenwriter: Charles Griffith; cinematographer: Roger Moore; editors: Kennth Crane/Ronald Steiner; music: Mike Curb; cast: John Cassavetes (Cody), Beverly Adams (Lynn), Mimsy Farmer (Marianne), Maurice McEndree (Joel-the-Mole), Buck Taylor (Gage), Marc Cavell (Billy-the-Kid), George Sims (Leroy), Leo Gordon (Sheriff Charlie Henderson), Paul Myer (Mayor), Russ Bender (Royce), Buck Kartalian (Funky), John Craig (Robot), Richard Anders (Bruno); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Burt Topper; MGM limited edition (AIP); 1967)
“Mindless, lurid and tasteless biker pic.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Mindless, lurid and tasteless biker pic. Tries to cash in on the popularity of Roger Corman’s Wild Angels. Director Daniel Haller(“Monster of Terror”/”Pieces of Dreams”/”My Sweet Lady”) can’t even get a good performance from John Cassavetes, who has a faraway look throughout as if he dreaming about being in a more substantial film.
Cody (John Cassavetes) is the world-weary leader of the California biker gang called the Skulls, who takes his dwindling in numbers gang (from 200 to 26) and his biker gf (Beverly Adams, the wife of Vidal Sassoon) to the open spaces of the West Coast to look for an outlaw sanctuary like Butch Cassidy’s Hole-in-the-Wall. On the way to paradise they break a fellow lunatic biker (Buck Kartalian) out of jail, loot a convenience store, wreck a vacation couple’s truck and destroy a small town called Brookville. After the gang is falsely accused of raping a naive teenage girl (Mimsy Farmer), who foolishly follows a biker to the beach, the gang wants to destroy the town as payback for the insult. The 26-man gang calls for help from another nearby biker gang, and 200 bikers destroy the town and intimidate the fair-minded sheriff (Leo Gordon), the ignorant mayor (Paul Myer) and the piggish town leader (Russ Bender).
In the end, a disillusioned Cassavetes rides off in the sunset alone. He makes a few grimaces, which I believe means that he recognizes he’s been in a crappy pic.
REVIEWED ON 5/12/2015 GRADE: D