One of America’s finest attorneys once declaimed The Neverending Story as among the greatest cases of false advertising. I submit the film Hell Ride, which markets itself as a grindhouse flick about bikers seeking vengeance. From its miscasting and misuse of actors, to its terrible plot and dialogue, to its embarrassing softcore porn and dime-store violence, this movie gets everything wrong in a spectacularly bad fashion. It’s not even over-the-top enjoyable, it’s just depressing. They managed to actually make a Quentin Tarantino movie without any of the elements that make it tolerable, which is even more impressive since Tarantino actually produced this monstrosity. It makes Wild Hogs look like a documentary about Sonny Barger.
There are two biker gangs in the film, the Victors and the Six-Six-Sixes. The Victors consist of actors whose resumes probably read as “Guy Who Got Shanked” on “Prison Break” or “Guy Who Got Assraped for Drugs” on “Oz”. Nobody tough enough to survive in an actual prison. The Six-Six-Sixes consist of the actors who couldn’t even get callbacks on those shows, and their leader is Billy Wings (Vinnie Jones) who kills everyone with a speargun crossbow and ruins his reputation with the worst American accent since Ray Winstone in everything that is not The Proposition or Beowulf. Billy Wings is out to kill all of the Victors, who get names that range from Apeshit to Goody Two-Shoes. There are only three Victors you have to care about. Michael Madsen plays The Gent who dresses like a mariachi reject, and who at this point in his career would star in a snuff film for Tarantino. Eric Balfour, who continues his trend of playing “Guy With Douchey Facial Hair Who You Want To Always Die ALWAYS”, is Comanche, the baby of the gang, and the only male cast member not alive when Squeaky Fromme tried to bust a cap in Chevy Chase. Then there is the leader of the gang, Pistolero, portrayed by Larry Bishop, who also wrote and directed this fine feature. Here’s the part I would normally make my triple threat joke, but this guy is about as threatening as a bowl of oatmeal with a rubber spider in it.
Let me just tell you about Larry Bishop. At first I thought he was Mickey Rourke. He was born in Philadelphia, the son of Joey Bishop, the lemon Starburst of the Rat Pack. Lar-Bear was Rob Reiner’s comedy partner, which is an honor akin to being the last one picked at a cannibal banquet. There is no age listed for him on IMDB, but historical math means he was getting an AARP discount at all those biker motels. He seems to be under the impression that grumbling like Marlon Brando hiding in Al Pacino’s ass sounds leather tough, instead of sounding like the kind of incoherent dude who lives in Scarface’s poopchute. The biggest crime, however, is he decided that most of the movie should consist of him fucking every single woman in the movie. Any time there’s a woman on screen, she has giant stripper titties and Pistolero is licking up on them like a panda served up piping hot bamboo. Mel Brooks thought it was good to piss in a tin bucket or paddleball the secretary, but he doesn’t have shit on The Crypt Keeper dipping his wick in every big boobed harlot in this flick. Seriously, even the bartender Dani, who manages to keep her clothes on, gets the ol’ cooter handshake, which I am officially adopting as my greeting to anyone wearing a Pajiba t-shirt. I guess when you can be mistaken for Mickey Rourke, you’ll take poontang where you can, but when 52 minutes of your 82 minute film consists of you fondling more silicon than a sweatshop child assembling microchips in Micronesia, it’s no longer a film, it’s a fucking audition reel for a lemon party.
There might have been a plot — something about a Mexi-maybe-Indian woman getting killed by a rival biker gang in 1976, and I guess a meth lab where they dealt heroin (wrap your head around that one, Cranston), and a safety deposit box that’s buried in the First National Bank of Under a Cactus. Most of the movie consists of one of three scenes: a bunch of Tarantino also-rans riding Jay Leno’s garage around the desert, one of the bikers getting shot (sometimes with a crossbow) or slashed across the throat, or the lead biker having sex with or partying around lots and lots of giant fake plastic breasts. It wasn’t nearly as exciting as partying with my friend’s Barbie collection in my closet. While this sounds like it should have been all kinds of awesome, it manages to come off as awkward and poorly done. This is the kind of movie that begs to end up on Cinemax as fodder for a fourteen year old to quietly jerk off into a sock.
Dennis Hopper and David Carradine are in this film because apparently Quentin Tarantino has a picture of the two of them engaged in the Ascending Butterfly pose. However, releasing that photo might have been a better career choice than agreeing to degrade themselves as the Crazy Grandpa distraction to Larry Bishop’s Just For Men dye job. David Carradine doesn’t have more than a few scenes as The Deuce, most of which consist of him tied to a chair and trying not to wince as he delivers his painfully awful dialogue. He was more entertaining when he was hawking the fucking Yellow Pages. And poor Dennis Hopper, who must be trying to pay for his half of Christopher Walken’s Super Cruise Line, exists as Eddie Zero for the sole purpose of making a half-assed Easy Rider reference. Other than that, I liked him better when he was flinging fire flowers at Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo. This is the worst role he’s ever had. And his IMDB page reads like the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
Quentin Tarantino produced this pared-down crapfest. If this is what Pulp Fiction thinks is watch worthy these days, someone best Kerrigan his movie-maker bone before Inglorious Bastards gets any further off the ground. He just MADE a fucking grindhouse flick, so I can’t comprehend how he felt this qualified. The bloodshed was shamefully weak. Aside from a quick Departed-esque execution, most of the violence consisted of people gasping and clutching at arrows jutting out of their chests, backs, and stomachs. They manage to make throat slitting shitty. That’s the first lesson you learn in “Gore School”.
There is nothing redeemable about this film in any way. It’s the second worst film I’ve ever seen, and I’m ranking it lower than anything Harmony Korine has ever made. It actually made me bored of boobs. This crime cannot stand. The only justifiable excuse for this putrid festering boil would be some sort of Illuminatian attempt to destroy public interest in biker projects, and spoil our enjoyment of the soon to arrive “1%” and “Sons of Anarchy” television programs. Donal Logue is gonna be pissed.
Brian Prisco is a warrior-poet from the valley of North Hollywood, by way of Philadelphia. He wastes most of his life in desk jobs, biding his time until he finally becomes an actor, a writer, or cannon fodder in the inevitable zombie invasion. He can be found shaking his fist and angrily shouting at clouds on his blog, The Gospel According to Prisco.I Want to Ride My Bicycle
Film Reviews | August 13, 2008 | Comments ()