At first gas station attendant Poet is happy when the rockers gang "Hell's Angels" finally accepts him. But he's shocked when he learns how brutal they are - not even murder is a taboo to ...
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Peter Fonda plays 'Heavenly Blues', the leader of Hell's Angels chapter from Venice, California while Bruce Dern plays 'Loser', his best pal. When they both botch their attempt to retrieve ... See full summary »
A rebellious punk of the beat generation spends his days as an amateur dirt track driver in between partying and troublemaking. He eventually kidnaps his buddy's girlfriend, kills a few ... See full summary »
Two brothers have a plan on how to rob the Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas. They join a motorcycle gang and while the others are drinking and partying outside of town, they change their ... See full summary »
Henry Moon is captured for a capital offense by a posse when his horse quits while trying to escape to Mexico. He finds that there is a post-Civil War law in the small town that any single ... See full summary »
At first gas station attendant Poet is happy when the rockers gang "Hell's Angels" finally accepts him. But he's shocked when he learns how brutal they are - not even murder is a taboo to them. He gets himself in trouble when the leader's girlfriend falls in love with him - and he welcomes her approaches. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
The real president of the Oakland chapter of the Hells Angels is seen in the beginning of the movie and other scenes. He was a consultant for the film. His name was Ralph Barger. Also known as Sonny. See more »
During the fight in the pool, one of Poet's attackers acts out being punched to the ground, but Poet never throws the punch. See more »
I tell you what to think and when to think!
Don't tell me anything man, I'm not a member of your private army.
Well then Get out!
I don't need you, and I don't need your rules or your uniform man.
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beautifully obscure, sometimes non-sensible, and a lot of B-movie biker fun
Hell's Angels on Wheels, if you're into the biker genre, is not a second-rate vehicle for its promoters, the Hell's Angels (Sonny Barger, reportedly at the time, said it was the "most accurate" of the films on them). Going by the sort of Roger Corman standard (not just for biker movies but for his brand of 'fast-food' style films, not very good for you but it goes down fast), of a fight or some other form of action happening every 15 minutes or so, the film is hip in its period way, and isn't pretentious in the slightest.
Even with the name of Jack Nicholson's character, Poet, nothing near the intellectual and philosophical realm of Easy Rider comes close (though Nicholson's main scenes are some of the best in the film, more comparable to Five Easy Pieces than the Wild Angels). It's about a guy, Poet, who is a gas station attendant who decides randomly to go along with the Angels. Some of the standard plot stuff happens; the hero's girl flocking to someone 'else'; shenanigans in a small town; beefs with the 'pigs'. Leading along the way, in a sense almost in an unintentional training form for a later triumph, Laszlo Kovacs is the DP and he takes down these images usually in more of a documentary form as they ride around, and there is an added (if of course all in good, violent biker fun) intensity to the fight scenes. Along with Nicholson, his usual brooding, cool self, is Adam Rourke, turning in not a bad performance as the leader of the gang.
Is it trash? Sure. Is it worth watching once? Absolutely, at least if you're curious about/into the period and sub-genre (the music isn't very good, by the way, a sign of what was needed in Easy Rider). Does it give a little room for Nicholson to give a little of his great B-movie gusto? No doubt about it. And is the story paper thin? No doubt about it. Hell's Angels on Wheels is stupid, rollicking good drive-in style fun, with some technical flair and character actor hipness to cover the tracks of the many flaws.
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