While wandering through the aisles at the local Blockbuster last weekend looking for a film that doesn’t suck, I happened upon the 2008 film Hell Ride. I rarely seize the opportunity to watch movies in the theatre these days and since I had heard dismal reviews, I guess it just slipped my mind and I never bothered seeing it. Since my options this particular evening appeared to range from Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Hotel for Dogs to Hannah Montana or High School Musical 3, I figured it might just be the best option.
Created as an homage to the trashy and violent B-movies of the 1970’s, Hell Ride follows the exploits of a biker gang known as the Victors as their leader seeks revenge for the murder of his old lady 32 years prior by a rival gang known as the 666ers. Drama unfolds as rocks are unturned and the plot thickens, with the gradual emergence of a star-studded cast including the likes of Vinnie Jones, Larry Bishop, Michael Madsen, David Carradine, Eric Balfour and Dennis Hopper.
Read the review and watch the trailer after the jump.
After watching the film (twice) I can see why some people would criticize the work. With the name “Quentin Tarantino Presents” in the title, audiences can be forgiven for expecting the next Reservoir Dogs or Kill Bill. Not a psychological thriller, nor a gory bloodbath, Hell Ride is merely an attempt to resurrect simpler films from a simpler time. While I understand it may not be everyone’s cup of tea so to speak, that’s not to say it has nothing to offer. In fact, there are parts of the film that are touching and even quite humorous.
Often violent, occasionally sexy and nearly always profane, Hell Ride does justice to the genre down to the smallest of details including wardrobe, location and cinematography. Little character development is portrayed as men speak with their guns and the real focus of such films is in the action. A relatively simple plot with flashbacks a plenty merely provides the backdrop for the necessities that all biker films need follow – bikes, beer and booty. Written and directed by Larry Bishop and produced by Quentin Tarantino, this film is worthy of your viewing if only to enjoy the badass custom bikes and the sharp dialogue that is rich with innuendo and cliché. Those who are fans of biker culture and film history will take away more from this flick as it tips its hat to those that blazed the trail of this genre.
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