Sunday, 15 July 2012

Hell Ride (2008)

Any movie with the words, ''QUENTIN TARANTINO PRESENTS:'' on the front cover is going to be in my collection.  As soon as I came across Hell Ride I had to get it.  Sure, I wasn't expecting Pulp Fiction, but with the cast and the concept I had high hopes.  And it delivered.  Sort of.

The second directorial effort from Larry Bishop also casts him as the lead character, Pistolero, leader of the Victors motorcycle gang, who is accompanied by his faithful sidekicks The Gent (Michael Madsen|) and Commanche (Eric Balfour).  It is a revenge tale, stemming from the murder of Pistol's ex girlfriend at the hand of rival motorcycle gang, the Six-Six-Sixers.  There is tension in the camp of the Victor's also, and it's hard to trust anyone.

Hell Ride is an homage to the free spirit motorcycle movies from the 60's, as well as revenge flicks and all things Grindhouse.  It's gritty, violent and at times, trippy.  For me, that's what makes it a cool movie.  It also has that Tarantino influence, and I feel if he had written and directed this movie it would have been a masterpiece.  But he did produce it, and the end result is an enjoyable B movie with some flaws, however, they aren't distracting and some even add to the charm.

So these flaws, you ask?  For a start Larry Bishop isn't a convincing bad ass here and some of his acting is laughably bad.  However, good performances from the supporting cast carry him fine.  Another flaw is some pretty terrible dialogue from time to time, but there's enough good dialogue to keep it interesting.  It is a film that's a little rough around the edges, and it tries to be a little more cooler than it actually is, but it's still cool enough to get the old Grindhouse fire burning.

It really is a fun film though.  To start with the cast really has that cool factor going on - Madsen, Jones, Hopper, Carradine and Balfour is a cool ensemble.  The visuals are also stunning if you dig the whole Grindhouse look, and the desert settings really give it a bad ass biker movie feel.  At times, it may seem like a pastiche of influences being interwoven, but overall it's worth a watch and it's one that I throw on when I can't sleep.

What I really dug was the Six-Six-Sixers.  Huge compliments to Larry Bishop for the concept because they really are cool, especially Vinnie Jones' character, Billy Wings.  In addition to that there's hot chicks, boobs, great music, motorcycles and lots of violence.  Check it out for nothing more and nothing less.  Realistically, many of you will hate this.  I get a kick out of it.

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