Friday, December 29, 2017

Wild Riders (1971)

Vile trash about soulless bikers brutalizing women, Wild Riders is unwatchable except for a few bizarre scenes featuring the great character actor Alex Rocco, who plays the film’s second lead. His offbeat behavioral choices give vitality to a handful of moments, as when his character freaks out because he thinks a woman has compared his appearance to that of an unsightly sculpture—watching Rocco scream, “Do I look like this shitty frog?” is about as close to enjoyable as Wild Riders gets. The film opens with Pete (Arell Blanton) and Stick (Rocco) molesting and murdering a young girl, whose body they leave strapped to a tree. Turns out she was Pete’s lady until she dallied with a black guy, which was enough to turn Pete homicidal. The killing gets Pete and Stick ejected from their gang, so they cruise the California highways looking for their next thrill, eventually discovering a house occupied by two women. Pete seduces one of them while Rocco rapes the other—as in, these actions happen simultaneously in adjoining rooms. Eventually the home invasion degrades even further, with the bikers murdering a neighbor who stops by to hit on the women. Later still, the bikers terrorize the homeowner, a classical musician married to one of the ladies. If cowriter/director Richard Kanter envisioned some sort of edgy close-quarters thriller, he missed the mark—especially during the gory, over-the-top climax, Wild Riders is a hateful mixture of softcore and ultraviolence.

Wild Riders: LAME


Guy Callaway said...

like a number of films you've covered, this sounds like Cali porn-people reaching beyond their (very) limited abilities?

By Peter Hanson said...

Exactly. The director of this one soon ventured into X-rated films using an alias. Ugh.

Tommy Ross said...

I must admit even I can't usually make it past the first 15 mins of this one, but always enjoy seeing footage with the Griffith Observatory and yes, we love Alex Rocco but not in this. Have it as part of an 8-title set called Savage Cinema which includes such other gems as Trip With The Teacher and Pink Angels, ain't life grand?