Hell Ride [Blu-ray]
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Now, as for comparisons to Easy Rider, it must be stated that the 1969 classic was NOT A BIKER MOVIE. The choppers are only the vesels that propel the protagonists to there destiny. It is about trying to be individuals, but being damned to sell out in the end. It is about the duality of the American individual.
In the end, what may condemn Hell Ride, is the same thing that condemned the Grindhouse feature. Very few people under the age of 50 recognize what these movies are paying homage too, and i am probably one of the few. As a 27 year old, these movies remind me of my childhood watching 70's car chase and chopper movies with my father, a 1970's greaser now forced to settle into fatherhood.
Go watch Peter Fonda in "the wild angels" followed by "Hell Ride" and you'll realize that they came from the same drug filled vein.
Violence? It had it. Nudity? Oh yeah. Had they thrown in a little drug use it would have been the perfect mix. (hint: they did)
A lot of folks may remember Larry Bishop as the sleazy owner of the nudie bar Bud worked at in Kill Bill 2. He chewed up the scenery in the 5 mins or so he was on camera. After doing a little googling, I found out he was the son of Joey Bishop and the star of a hand full of 1970s biker flicks.
Since Tarantino is a "huge fan" of everything and everyone we've never heard of- it goes without saying that he had seen all of Bishop's films and invited him in for that cameo.
He also told Bishop that it was his duty to write, direct and star in the 'Ultimate Biker Movie'.
Not necessarily the existential road movie that EASY RIDER was, but a throwback to the sleazy grindhouse biker flicks of years past.
Oh yeah. The casting choices were amazing. Bishop himself, Michael Madsen, Vinnie Jones, Dennis Hopper and David Carradine and the ever lovely Laura Cayouette all fill their roles perfectly. Out of context the dialogue would be cheesey. But you put Madsen on a chopper in a tuxedo and it makes perfect sense.
The film is violent with liberal amounts of nudity. Don't watch it with the kids around. Don't watch it expecting a documentary on outlaw bikers- but watch it!
Makes me want to see more!! This is for B movie fans.
The chicks in the movie were really hot but again just like I said above the dialogue was all Bishop. Nadas first scene was sexy but the stuff she said in it and in her other scenes was just too forced, too goofy and too contrived.
I liked the cast pretty much from top to bottom though I wasn't sold on Eric Balfour at all at first. I think in the end he ended up doing an ok job. David Carradine and Dennis Hopper were welcome suprises and like all the others they did an ok job with the terrible dialogue they were given. Michael Madsen and Balfours fight in the Dani's bar was just completely nonsensical and stupid. Also Bishop looked like he was trying to hit the right pose in every shot and for the most part it was the same pose ever time.
The bikes were really cool and I also enjoyed all the extras on the DVD about the making of the movie and about the guys, girls and bikes used in the movie. This movie was pretty much total exploitation trash which is what it was going for but it could have been so much better if it would have had somebody else write the dialogue. The story was actually pretty good. If you are a fan of this genre, of bikes or of naked hot girls you might like it but it is not for everybody and I could see where people might say that it stunk.
Bishop, along with his co-stars Michael Madsen and Eric Balfour, manages to conjure up enough charisma in spite of poorly written characters and the cringe-worthy dialog they are forced to spew. Here is where the Tarantino touch would have saved the film, but alas, the famed director's involvement appears to be limited to providing funding and promotion for the film, rather than actually helping to nurse it along. Bishop does the whole Grindhouse/Tarantino/Rodriguez schtick well enough on the surface; the film looks good and has a vibrant soundtrack, but not much else. What the film lacks is true charm and appeal, not to mention, a cohesive or even mildly interesting plot.
Bit parts from the likes of David Carradine and Dennis Hopper may serve to shake you out of the semi-comatose state the film lulls you into, but neither character do much to improve or advance the story. It's almost as if they are there for us to say "Hey, look! Dennis Hopper! Neat!" rather than having the actors put to good use. In the end, "Hell Ride" is all style and no substance. There's lots of eye-candy -- from the babes to the bikes -- but not enough plot to go around, even for it's miniscule 80 minute running time, which still makes for a ride that goes on way too long.