Sunday, October 4, 2015

Outlaw Riders (1971)

If the best biker movies are the equivalent of powerful machines speeding across the landscape, then this flick is the equivalent of the grease stains those powerful machines leave behind on America’s highways. A mindless compilation of the genre’s most clich├ęd elements, from the fuzzy guitars on the soundtrack to the inevitable rape scene, Outlaw Riders is an 86-minute slog that lacks any detectible traces of excitement, novelty, or quality. The story is more or less coherent, but because the characters are so interchangeable and uninteresting, viewers aren’t given much reason to bother tracking the narrative. Stuff in Outlaw Riders just sort of happens, and the onscreen events neither convey any special meaning nor leave any lasting impression. Quite frankly, the filmmakers would have been better off purchasing outtakes from other biker flicks and splicing that footage together, because the “original” material filmed for Outlaw Riders is beyond enervated. Not that it matters, but the picture begins in Fulton, Arizona, where a biker gang led by Waco (Bryan “Sonny” West) robs the payroll at a mill. The remainder of the picture concerns the gang’s attempts to escape, as well as police efforts to apprehend the criminals. The vacuous nature of the picture is epitomized by a moment in which Waco and his pals run out of gas while cruising down a remote roadway—just as the crooks pay the price for insufficient preparation, the movie regularly sputters to a halt because the filmmakers failed to imagine colorful scenarios before turning on their cameras. Even diehard fans of the biker genre will have difficulty making it all the way through Outlaw Riders, and no one else should bother trying.

Outlaw Riders: LAME

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