Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Angels Die Hard (1970)



The most amusing moment in this dreary biker flick feels like an accident. During one of the picture’s shapeless fight scenes, someone cracks two-by-four over a biker’s head, and part of the board gets impaled on the spike of the biker’s SS helmet. Conversely, the least amusing moment in the picture seems like it was envisioned as the apex of rebellious hilarity. The motorcycle gang at the center of the story kidnaps a spindly mortician, dragging him along throughout various adventures, so writer-director Richard Compton periodically cuts to the mortician calmly sipping an adult beverage while his biker acquaintances gang-rape a waitress nearby. Yuck. Shot on a meager budget and constructed with a borderline-incompetent approach to continuity, narrative logic, and screen direction, Angels Die Hard vomits its story out in chunks. Events happen that seem vaguely related, so the onus for connecting the dots falls onto the audience. Essentially, the bikers roll into a town, get into a hassle with locals, briefly redeem themselves by helping to rescue a kid who fell into a mine shaft, and then rumble with the locals. Various people get kidnapped and murdered and raped along the way. It’s never clear which character is supposed to be the protagonist, though Tom Baker and B-movie fave William Smith, both of whom play bikers, share top billing. While Baker’s character romances a local girl, Smith often stands around with nothing to do or say, a victim of the filmmakers’ ineptitude. It’s tempting to say that Angels Die Hard is for biker-movie fanatics only, but even those viewers may tire of the endless fisheye-lens shots and fuzz-rock scoring, seeing as how the movie these elements decorate is so aimless and dull.

Angels Die Hard: LAME

3 comments:

Eric Colin Reidelberger said...

I'm definitely one of those people who has a predilection for endless fuzz-rock scoring - and this film has plenty of that.

Jason T. Sparks said...

Tom Baker? Surely not *that* Tom Baker? As in scarf and jelly babies and all the rest of it?

By Peter Hanson said...

Sadly, not the doctor. His scarf would have enlivened things considerably, though one envisions a tragic scene wherein the scarf gets caught amongst the works of a Harley engine.