The Wild Angels (1966) from Tuna
|If I told you a film starred Peter Fonda,
Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd, and featured
veteran character actor Michael J. Pollard and character
actress Kim Hamilton (Guiding Light, General Hospital, To
Kill a Mockingbird), and was partially directed by Peter
Bogdanovich, you would be thinking major Hollywood
release, right? Wrong.
The Wild Angels (1966) is a Roger Corman
biker exploitation film, which used members of the Venice
chapter of the Hells Angels to fill out the cast. This is
the film that started Bogdanovich as a director. He hired
on as an assistant, but before the film was over,
directed the second unit, and did the editing of his
(Blues) is the president of the Palos Verdes Angels, and
Fonda is his old lady. The gang goes to Meca, California,
to recover the bike owned by Dern (Loser), which was
stolen by Mexicans. Ladd, Losers old lady, of course goes
along. When the police interrupt the attitude adjustment
the Angels are giving to the "taco benders,"
Dern steal a police bike, and is shot by them in pursuit.
The angels break him out of the hospital, only to have
him die at their hangout. While they are springing Loser,
one of the gang members assaults a nurse (Hamilton). The
decide to give Loser a proper funeral in his home town,
but Blues realizes that he has "no where to go"
after all that has happened, especially since he was the
only one identified by the nurse.
incidental underwear shots from several of the
female gang members, but the real exposure is a
see-through bra worn by Hamilton during the rape
readers have it at 4.6/10 based on only a few votes.
People felt much differently about it in 1966, as it
grossed $6.5m in the US. IT was made for $285.000.00,
which probably wouldn't have paid for even one of the
stars 10 years later. It was nominated for a Golden Lion
at the Venice Film Festival.
||Despite Maltin and the
IMDb, this is a well-made film. Obviously, there was a
lot of talent to work with. The plot is probably the
weakest element, but gave ample opportunity for sex,
drugs and violence. Photography was very good for a 1966
film, art direction was top-notch in the gang hideout,
and the DVD transfer is a very good looking Anamorphic.
It is too bad they couldn't have assembled the major
players for a commentary on this one.
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
to the Scoopy report card system, and noting that
the genre is exploitation, I give this film a
solid B. (Obviously lower if viewed as a
the Movie House home page