A series of unfortunate events stemming from misplaced enthusiasm, inappropriate expectations and gutter behavior result in a Shakespearian body pile-up. A pair of rival parties of motorcycle enthusiasts vaguely squabble over some Southern California roadways and beef with a strange law officer who tails them in an unmarked car (I’m guessing the budget only had so much room for costume and prop) we just accept they’re cops because the actors respond to them as such.
The black bikers appear no more particularly hellish than the white bikers, who we get a lot more screen time with effectively peeing on each other while wearing purple baroque, puffy-sleeved shirts (Or at least one of them does). The opening extended sequence of the young black new-recruit biker gang member causing trouble with the rival gang’s leader “Chains” is told to us in reverse form over a series of sadly sped up film bike chases. The youngster winds up losing his silly fight with Chains, and wrecks himself trying to pull off a bike stunt.
There isn’t really a plot to this uncorked sink, it’s just a miasma of circumstances. Guys on bikes, guys lounging with the ladies who love them, guys interacting with the police, smoking, drinking, slapping a theatrically gay man, cruising on bikes to surprisingly unusual songs (one about eating cigarettes and having no regrets is a performance standout). The message goes wonky. At first it’s a kind of a warning about the dangers of allowing carelessness to prosper (almost Camus-style), but soon it seems to be diverting its energies into fighting a kind of bland racism. Chains at one point berates a gang member for not being able to take his hood off (an evident KKK reference). Chains isn’t as concerned about race as is he is about territory. But just as you think you’re going to rally behind his pragmatic and color-blind approach, he slaps his lady (granted she seems to appreciate it) and verbally mistreats her. Hmmm. Who are the guys from Hell again? Overheard bit of conversation between a biker member and his lady as they coo over their crying baby, “Aw, let’s have another one.”, “You wanna?” “Why not!?”
The finale, as I mentioned, has an exaggeratedly dramatic, cataclysm of bizarre (and probably fairly realistic) violence, including a kidnapping of a biker babe (the black leader tearing open her top and revealing a lovely pair of boobs then threatens her amazing breasts with a switchblade, even in this terrible movie this sequence seems over-the-top and unnecessary. Do not threaten titties dammit!), leading to an all out gang fight and even, at least one, pitch fork stabbing. The evils are highlighted by a randomly slithering snake (all snakes make rattling noises). Satan’s Serpents, after all, are one of the gangs. Of course, the authorities are presented as not just careless themselves, but also wholly impotent.
At one point, our white gang fellows, are hanging out with a newly introduced Mountain Lion on a chain. With the Character Frenchie standing there in his puffy purple shirt one is reminded of a current wildly popular Netflix docu-series that I could not bring myself to watch.
For free on Prime – Though I’m really not recommending it for anything but a chuckle if you’re a fan of old bikes. Incidentally it was also titled Black Angels. Still a lousy title.