Saturday, November 15, 2014
HELL RIDE (2008)
Written & Directed By: Larry Bishop
Cinematography By: Scott Kevan
Editor: Blake West & William Yeh
Cast: Larry Bishop, Leonor Valera, Eric Balfour, Michael Madsen, Dennis Hopper, Vinnie Jones, Julia Jones, David Carradine, Michael Beach
Two rival bikers gangs, the Victors and the Six-Six-Six's, refuel their decades-old rivalry.
The idea for the film supposedly came from Quentin Tarantino after watching THE SAVAGE SEVEN with Larry Bishop. He told Bishop it was his destiny to make the best biker movie ever and that he (Tarantino) should produce it.
The opening credit scene being reminiscent of EASY RIDER was also Tarantino’s idea.
Another film that had so much promise, but somehow threw it all away.
I looked forward to seeing this film, so much. The poster was like one's they were designed I the 70's that sort of drew various scenes from the film into a hodgepodge together like a mural to make the film seem madcap.
The trailer for the film made it look like a wild ride I to hell with tons of action, beautiful ladies and a bad ass all star cast. Since Quentin Tarantino produced it. The trailer looked like it could have been one of the Grindhouse movies with it's theme of bikers, booze and babes.
In the future Mr. Tarantino should really think about doing thy for future genre films that he releases should go under the time GRINDHOUSE presents or A GRINDHOUSE film/production even though he rarely lends his name to new films and hasn't added his name to re-releases in over a decade with the films DETROIT 9000, MIGHTY PEKING MAN and SWITCHBLADE SISTERS.
Having said that the film doesn't love up to it's hype at all. In fact the only good thing about this film is the amazingly beautiful female cast, who get topless quite often. Other than that this film feels more like a vanity project for writer-director-star Larry bishop who plays Pistolero, the leader of the motorcycle gang the Victor’s who have to fight off Vinnie Jones and his motorcycle gang the six, six, sixes and seek revenge for an old crime committed against them.
Pistolero was also once upon a time going to be the title of Robert Rodriguez’s film DESPERADO.
The problems with the film are many. First of all the storyline doesn't make any sense. It has so many plot holes and scenes that don't make any sense. Why do so many people who we never see want to kill Pistolero? Why if he's looking after someone does he threaten to kill the person constantly?
Another problem is that while their life is debauchery all over the place it becomes mundane as the scenes just seem to sit there and rarely leap or move forward.
Another problem is that Mr. Bishop suffers from Eric Schaffer disease as like that director they make the films. And set themselves up as the leads with impossibly beautiful women who desire them and are far out of these men's leagues at least Eric Schaffer goes for a Woody Allen type of vibe. Mr. Bishop lays it on thick where it seems every female he comes across can't help themselves around him. In one scene Leonor Valera's character every other line to him is "fuck me" so that threw the believability totally out the window.
Plus for a bad ass motorcycle film there is hardly any action sequences and when there is it happens so fast you hardly get anytime to notice or enjoy it. Which would be o.k. of the dialogue was good or at least memorable, but it's not. even at the end the final battle between the gangs is so non-eventful. It just stops with no effort, but then the movie goes on for 10 more minutes for no real reason.
The Victors also have got to be the most dysfunctional gang ever. They seem to really hate each other more than their enemies yet stay together.
Keep in one this came along even before SONS OF ANARCHY shines light onto motorcycle gangs. So this film actually had the chance to be a trendsetter. Part of me wishes though know it's not true that creator of so SONS OF ANARCHY’s Kurt Sutter saw this film and liked the template but thought the rest was shot and set out to show what could be done with it.
Vinnie Jones is cast as the leader of the 666's and he tries badly to hide his British accent by speaking in a guttural low voice. Producer Quentin Tarantino was originally slated to play Comanche
There are a bunch of flashbacks that go to far as since all these characters are involved. They would have to be in heir fifties. Then you have hear flashbacks where we could learn a few more things about these characters and their personal ties like The Gent played by Michael Madsen whose character always wears a tuxedo pants and shirt.
'Peter Fonda' was offered a role, but declined saying he was 'done with biker movies.
Josh Hartnett turned down the role of Comanche.
David Carradine turned down his role at first. Bishop rewrote his part and said he could shoot it in one day. Carradine agreed.
A flashback could have explained why but the film doesn't take opportunities to do that which could have made the picture much more interesting or if the film was a little supernatural like they have to take on a motorcycle that seems like they came straight from hell. That were killed years ago by the The Victors now they have come back to raise hell and mayhem wherever they do and it's up to The Victors to stop them. Or Pistolero’s gang is from hell to get revenge on the 666's who killed then and that their revenge is to take their souls. Something like that. Anything to build on the potential. This film could have had even the cameos of a couple of Easy Riders can't save this production that I really wanted to like.