Friday, January 28, 2011

#175. Wild Riders (1971)

DVD Synopsis: What starts out as an evening with a pair of bad-boy bikers turns into several days of torment for a pair of unsuspecting women in this suspense-filled thriller.

The two main protagonists of Wild Riders, a pair of bikers named Pete (Arell Blanton) and Stick (Alex Rocco), are some pretty rough characters.  In fact, we're shown just how rough they can be in the film's opening scene, when they torture and kill Pete's girlfriend for allegedly cheating on him with a black man. Fearing heat from the police as a result of this murder, the gang that Pete and Stick rides with asks them to leave. Out on their own and in need of some quick cash, Pete and Stick make a move on a couple of upper-class ladies named Rona (Elizabeth Knowles) and Laure (Shery Bain), who are home alone.  But what starts out as a pleasant afternoon get-together quickly descends into a nightmare of violence. 

Wild Riders is not an easy film to watch; aside from it's intense opening, the movie contains a pretty brutal rape sequence, not to mention a few more murders thrown in along the way. But what's even more disturbing than the violence is how it occasionally crosses the line into sadism, even masochism (despite the fact he's beaten her and taken over her home, Rona remains sexually attracted to Pete throughout the film, and even tries to help him on a number of occasions). Alex Rocco is over-the-top, yet at the same time quite effective as the none-too-bright Stick, but the truly menacing turn is delivered by newcomer Arell Blanton, who's Pete, due to his complete unpredictability, proves the more dangerous of the two. 

As I said, Wild Riders is never easy to watch, and while I can't recommend it to everyone, I will say that it does offer up some fine performances, and the film, however cruel it may be, is never, ever boring.

Please leave a comment below... I'd love to hear from you


Klaus said...

The Savage Cinema collection is a pretty good deal for under $10. I purchased a copy a few months back and have watched a couple of the films, including this one.

After I complete my current Kurosawa project, I think that I'll need some B-movie action - and may revisit this collection again.

Dave Becker said...

@Klaus: Yeah, SAVAGE CINEMA is one of Mill Creek's better compilations. I've seen this one, PINK ANGELS and THE HELLCATS (and thus far, WILD RIDERS is the best of the bunch!)

And B-Movies are a nice group to fall back on! I look forward to reading about some of them on your blog (BTW. awesome job with the Kurosawa Marathon).

Klaus said...

I also have watched Pink Angels and another couple - at least in part, and agree that Wild Riders is the best of the collection.

As for Mill Creek, I like to support these kinds of low budget manufacturers/distributors. Odd stuff you often can't find elsewhere. Their Ultraman "Complete Series" is another good deal - nicely packaged with good quality transfers to DVD.

And thanks for following my AK100 marathon :)

Dave Becker said...

I have quite a few of the Mill Creek sets, including the 50 Drive-In Film collection (which has, among other movies, Paul Verhoeven's KATIE TIPPEL and 1973's INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS (oh, and of course, the made-for-TV Yeti film, SNOWBEAST).

Every now and then, I like to kick back with one of Mill Creek's sets and bask in all that low-budget glory!

And I do want to pick up ULTRAMAN...loved that show when I was a kid.

Thanks for the comment.

Tommy Ross said...

Alex Rocco is great in this as always.