Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Young Cycle Girls (1978)

Years after biker movies had lost their relevance, porno filmmaker Peter Perry, making a rare venture into the mainstream, offered a distaff take on motorcycle mayhem. He wasn’t the first person to stir up the genre by putting women atop scooters, but thats not the only reason why The Young Cycle Girls (also known as Cycle Vixens) feels so trite. In some ways, the flick is a bland riff on the biker genre’s biggest hit, Easy Rider (1969). In that film, two hippies celebrate a drug deal with a cross-country trip, but in The Young Cycle Girls, three teenagers trek from Colorado to California because they’re bored during their summer break. Everything about The Young Cycle Girls is as mindless as the setup. Priscilla, Sheila, and Sherry set out for adventure, only to encounter clichéd drug fiends, perverts, and rednecks. The girls make foolish choices, such as flashing a peeping tom and inviting strangers to their campsite in the middle of nowhere, and they pay terrible prices for their naïveté. Yet if Perry and co-director/writer John Arnoldy meant to put across some sort of cautionary tale about the dangers of the open road, they failed completely. The Young Cycle Girls takes place in an alternate universe populated almost exclusively with rural predators, and the “shock” ending is so derivative and pointless as to render the whole movie ridiculous by extension. Even before that point, the picture is amateurish, dull, and repetitive, with the same country-rock theme song popping up again and again, often to complement boring shots of road signs seen from the perspective of moving vehicles. In fact, the movie’s only praiseworthy element is the hip opening title card establishing when the story takes place: “The Time—Like Now.”

The Young Cycle Girls: LAME


Peter L. Winkler said...

"this flick is a bland riff on the biker genre’s biggest hit, Easy Rider (1969). Whereas in that film two hippies travel across America to complete a drug deal,"

I'm sorry Peter, but this happens to be incorrect. Captain America (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper) complete the drug deal at the beginning of the film. After they sell the cocaine to the buyer (Phil Spector and his Rolls Royce making a cameo appearance) at LAX, Fonda puts their money into a plastic tube and secrets it inside the gas tank of his chopper before the duo hit the road on the way to see Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

By Peter Hanson said...

Thanks, Peter... Haven't looked at ER in a while, so misremembered how quickly the drug-deal angle gets dispatched. Made some adjustments.

Unknown said...

Lorraine Ferris here in San Fran. Was fun though..

Simon Blake said...

With a better script, it could have been a great coming of age movie. The ending was unnecessary and ruined the film.