Hell Ride: A Vulgar Homage to Cheapie Biker Movies


In the post–Pulp Fiction ’90s, one could throw a rock at random and hit a two-bit Quentin Tarantino knock-off—all chatty gangsters with showy monikers doing the slo-mo “let’s go to work” swagger. Now, with this hyper-sexualized, spaghetti-westernized, vulgar homage to the cheapie biker movies he starred in as an AIP contract player decades ago, actor turned filmmaker Larry Bishop (Mad Dog Time) updates the useless Tarantino derivation for the post-Grindhouse ’00s. Adding two-tone credits, sun-bleached retro camerawork, and a Morricone-goes-rockabilly score to the chatty, showy swagger, Bishop trudges through a perfunctory premise about familial revenge and rival gangs. Street cred can’t save this pic, not even with Dennis Hopper and David Carradine cameos, and QT himself exec-producing and initiating the project. Bishop’s jumbled, wholly unexciting throwback has very little on its mind beyond mythologizing its maker as a bad-ass biker named Pistolero. When he’s not leading the pack in far too many desert-road montages, trippin’ on peyote, or spouting Zen-stupid puns, Bishop lives out fantasies of fucking his frequently full-frontal female cast, most of whom look like FHM sexbots. (Villainous Vinnie Jones shows up sporting a crossbow and tattoos based on the types of pussy he’s eaten: menstrual, crab-infested, or dead—yes, it’s that kind of movie.) Maybe if we were given our own pleasures to indulge in, we’d be able to handle the boys getting theirs.