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While it contains little of the artistry and none of the nuance of Quentin Tarantino's DEATH PROOF, HELL RIDE is a similarly fun retro romp through the seedier corners of American B-movie history. Written and directed by Larry Bishop (son of Rat Packer Joey Bishop), who also stars, HELL RIDE is a tribute to the biker flicks of the late 1960s and early '70s. The movie follows Pistolero (Bishop) and his two captains, the Gent (Michael Madsen) and Comanche (Eric Balfour), as they booze and brawl their way across the Arizona desert, with the ultimate goal of exacting revenge on a rival gang that murdered one of their members. A healthy mix of throat slitting, coke-sniffing, and naked female oil wrestling makes HELL RIDE one of the more gratuitously sensational films of recent memory; yet if one is able to get past the almost laughably blatant tastelessness on which the movie is built, there is a fairly good time to be had. As the dapper Gent, Madsen proves once again that he could read from the phonebook and still sound like one bad dude, and tip-of-the-cap cameos from Dennis Hopper and David Carradine solidify the film's enjoyably postmodern vibe. Every aspect of HELL RIDE, from the washed-out cinematography to the Link Wray-style spaghetti western surf soundtrack to the pulped-up dialogue, is hyper-stylised and blatantly self-conscious, and that is ultimately what saves the film. If there was even a hint of seriousness here the movie would be unwatchable--luckily, there isn't. Yes, it's completely offensive, and no it isn't going to win over any feminists, but for every BRIDESHEAD REVISITED, you have to have a HELL RIDE or the whole lousy business will just crumble.
Released to Buy:
12 October 2009
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From Executive Producer Quentin Tarantino (Grindhouse Presents: Death Proof) and Writer,
Director, Producer and star Larry Bishop (Mad Dog Time) comes this lean, mean mayhem
machine, fully loaded with the three B’s: bikers, beer and booty! Action packed and fueled by
pure testosterone, Hell Ride revs it up to DVD and Blu-ray on 12th October 2009 from
Warner Home Video.
Larry Bishop takes up the role of Pistolero, head honcho of the Victors, a badass biker gang
who are out to avenge the murder of one of their members at the hands of the 666ers, a rival
gang who relish living up to their hellish moniker. Alongside his cohorts, the Gent (Michael
Madsen - Kill Bill Vol.1&2) and the mysterious Comanche (Eric Balfour - TV’s 24), Pistolero
aims to take down the Deuce, played by David Carradine (Kill Bill Vol.1&2) and Billy Wings
(Vinnie Jones - Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels), the crazed arrow-weidling gang leader.
Packed with copious amounts of sex, violence, and all-out machismo, Hell Ride is a must for
any self respecting grindhouse fan. No stranger to biker movies, Academy Award® nominee
Dennis ‘Easy Rider’ Hopper delivers a stand-out performance as Eddie ‘Scratch’ Zero in this
blood and sex-soaked tale of motorcycle revenge and retribution, where the women are hot, the
bikes even hotter, and the action never stops. In the words of Comanche, “The road to hell is
paved with anythng but good intentions.”
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