Hi-Riders (1978) Poster


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One of the best car films ever made
stevenfallonnyc30 March 2002
Warning: Spoilers
"Hi-Riders" is definitely a film all lovers of "car" movies should definitely seek out! It's pretty rare, lucky for me I duped it a long time ago! The plot goes as such: a California couple named Mark and Lynn in their souped Firebird (awesome) goes on the road searching for action, and scams one tough guy in a drag race, losing on purpose to him for a little bit of cash, but then turning on the power in the rematch for much higher money. The guy turns out to be a member of The High-Riders car and bike gang, and after he takes off without paying, the couple seek him out straight to the gang's hangout.

Fortunately for them, the Hi-Riders leader is a nice, reasonable guy who suggests one final drag race for the cash. Mark wins, and after some heated discussion, Mark and Lynn join the High-Riders for some beers, while Mark becomes good buds with the gang's leader.

From then on, the couple hang with the gang, and the gang get into some big trouble when the tough guy who lost to Mark in the beginning races the son of the most powerful man in town, and both die in a big crash. Then the man's father is out to get his revenge on the gang.

There's a lot of action and never a dull moment. The direction is great and really keeps up the pace. And of course, you see some great cars all over the place, cruising, drag races, and car chases, and even a chicken run with the gang leader's wild Dodge Charger! If your video store rents older releases, look for this one because it's a B-flick that definitely never lets up. One of the best of it's kind!
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Biker Movie With Muscle Cars
Scott_Mercer18 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Just received the new DVD release of this Greydon Clark drive-in movie goodie. I've been reading reviews of these type of B-movies and actually watching videos of the movies for over 20 years now, and believe me, this number was rather obscure. I never heard of it until recently. But now it's available, and fans of 70's action flicks are the better for it.

This movie is very similar to the biker movies of around 1966-72, and I have seen almost all of them. Except here, the biker gang is a hot rod gang. Because none of the cars are newer than 1971, and all the gang members are dressed the same as bikers, this has a real 1972 vibe to it. I was very surprised to find out on the commentary track on the DVD that this film was actually lensed in the summer of 1977. The Farrah Fawcett hair-do on Lynn, the lead female character, should have tipped me off.

The hot rodders race for pink slips with a "local boy." The race gets out of hand, and both parties blow up after hitting a handy dynamite shack at the side of the road. Great gag, but come on! Did Wile E. Coyote live nearby? This is just a little too right out of a cartoon. Such cheesy elements only add to the fun to be had here, actually.

Anyway, the "local boy" turns out to be the son of a local bigwig, a scary dude who is "retired from back East." Supposed to be Mafia? I'm not sure. But anyway, the scary dude vows revenge. His well-paid henchmen (SPOILER ALERT!) wipe out most of the car gang, with only the two leads and their girlfriends left behind, to go on the run and be shot at by just-as-scary rednecks in beat-up pickup trucks. Our heroes regroup for a psychotically dangerous assault on Scary Dude at his house. Will they take him out and get revenge for wasting "the brothers"??

Anyway, this is not Bergman. You folks know the drill by now. What you want from a movie like this is car chases, gunplay, and fist fights. And the occasional cute chick. And this movie delivers! Great stunts, silly plot twists, cool Seventies tunes, awesome muscle cars, and hokey dialog. I love it! If you liked Smokey and The Bandit, or the original Gone in Sixty Seconds, or Macon County Line, or other car chase flicks from the 1970's, then this is your cup of motor oil. And if you like those Sixties biker movies, then this is a worthy addition to that canon. Silly fun.
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Great high octane action!
Warning: Spoilers
HI-RIDERS is a little-known film, but when I finally got to see it I was not disappointed. I knew the movie would feature great car action, and it does indeed. The cars all look brilliant and the racing and chase sequences are filmed excellently. The performances range from okay to atrocious, the worst offender being Stephen McNally as bad guy Mr. Lewis. Then again, his character is genuinely unpleasant. He seeks revenge on the gang for the death of his son, which was pretty much an accident. Then again, the film is probably just trying to show that rich guys like Lewis are all scum. A bit preachy, considering our heroes drink and drive. Even so, the cars are excellent. There's a Firebird, a Dodge Charger and a Mercury Cougar all on display.

Darby Hinton is good as Mark, the latest member of the Hi-Riders and so is Wm J. Beaudine as Hi-Rider leader T.J. (according to IMDb, this was the only film Beaudine ever did. If that's true, it's a shame because he's very good here}. I know Neville Brand was a big star in the 40s and 50s, so I think it's a shame that he has a part here that could have been mailed in.

The ending of the film is very abrupt, though, as the surviving Hi-Riders get revenge on Mr. Lewis for killing their friends, but it just ends there. That said, HI-RIDERS is a very enjoyable picture and I'm glad to have seen it at long last. And I'm glad that a fellow IMDb user feels the same way about it as I do.
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for the cars only
trashgang21 October 2013
This flick is notorious for a few reasons. It do contain classic American muscle cars like a Firebird, Dodge Charger and a Mercury Cougar. There are more to see like a Ford Mustang but the 3 mentioned are the most important ones.

The flick itself is a bit slow sometimes and it really starts around 45 minutes when things go wrong while racing. From there on this flick moves faster but still it's tame for today's standards. But the way it was shot is well done and it shows, Dean Cundey was camera man here and he moved further to the classic Halloween (1978). There are also a few common faces to recognise. Just watch the sheriff, Mel Ferrer and his deputy Ralph Meeker but not only that, the bartender is played by Neville Brand.

But what made this flick notorious was that around the end of shooting a terrible accident occurred with Vic Rivers, the stunt man. He died while driving a truck that was meant to fly off an embankment. But Vic undershot the distance and the truck flipped and crashed near the bank of the river. Due the silt it took an hour to find him, death. But the shot was used.

Worth seeing for the cars only.

Gore 0/5 Nudity 0,5/5 Effects 3/5 Story 3/5 Comedy 0/5
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A bikie movie that doesn't ride or rate high
PeterMitchell-506-56436427 February 2013
Hi Riders was a film that disappeared off the map, from video shops for years. Then one night, it popped up in this video shop. So I rented it, and popped it in my video. I felt short changed, disappointed but I still didn't quite mind it, but the fact remained it was a pretty poor movie, unlike Greydon's Clark's sci fi horror wonder "The Return". This is just a vigilante themed story, about a group of bikers, who Hinton and his girl team up with. They crash pubs, run illegal car races, etc. The latest one has claimed the life of a bartenders son who ignored fatherly advice and died as a result, where the occupants of the other challenging car were killed too. They involved one of the bikers and a hippie town chick looking for some action that she definitely got. Consumed with vengeance, the victim's father takes the law into his own hands, killing off the bikers, one by one, which brings a retribution of war, the car crashing through house climax, sudden. This is just an action time passer, and hardly passes as a bikie movie, the chick in the blue top, the best thing about it. Just a limited film, is all.
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Hey!! Rock'n'Roll!!
anxietyresister12 June 2005
Yeah man!! This is like, so cool!! We got this gang of kids, yeah, who set up a club for those who like to build up some speed on the road. We challenge each other to super fast races, and the winner gets to keep the stakes in a big-stakes gambling game. Radical!! But in one of these recent contests, the son of a rich guy got killed, and now the father wants revenge. Bogus!! And as our number gets picked off one by one thanks to his totally heinous hired assassins, will we survive long enough to ever hit those most excellent highways ever again? Watch and find out, my brothers!! You're gonna love this movie!! It's got the lot: Dudes burning rubber, chicks taking their tops off, teens getting blind drunk, fat guys dancing, cops being blown up.. and all in the space of 90 slammin' minutes!! This is totally the best film ever!! Rent it today!! It's bodacious, peeps..

*COUTH* *COUGH* oops sorry.. I lost control of my senses there for a minute, I don't know what came over me. Anyway, what I REALLY wanted to say was: this movie sucks the big one. Every performance bar none is dire, the much-hyped race sequences are rendered boring thanks to sloppy camera-work and the soundtrack is so loud and obtrusive it will have the climbing the wall in seconds.

But what really puts the final nail in the coffin is the 'moral' which seems to be: no matter how many people die in this little group, as long as the survivors stick together.. nothing else matters because its all about 'street cred'. What a sad excuse for conformity, and if the government wants to know why there are so many individuals out there who can't think for themselves and can only function as a unit, my answer would be: take a look at this screenplay, and draw your own conclusions. 2/10
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Drag racing movie is one of the worst ever
Leofwine_draca11 December 2015
HI-RIDERS is one of those all-out speed flicks that were made during the 1970s to celebrate fast-moving vehicles and much vehicular mayhem. This one's about teen drag racing, so kind of an update on the old biker movie sub-genre, as it follows a young couple who join a drag racing gang and contend with all the usual trouble from rivals and the law.

Unfortunately, this is one of the worst of its type, a truly pitiful film in every respect. It doesn't help that the quality of the print in existence is extremely sub-standard. The direction of the drag racing scenes, of which there are many, is awful, and they look like stock footage. In fact, I'm surprised they're so mishandled when director Greydon Clark went on to make the above average sci-fi chiller WITHOUT WARNING.

The cast is eminently forgettable and the characters one-dimensional. A few weary-looking faces show up in supporting roles (Mel Ferrer, Ralph Meeker, and Neville Brand) but fail to register. The plotting is lifeless and dull, and the running time seems to drag on interminably until the blessed moment when the credits finally roll.
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Fun drive-in romp
Woodyanders11 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Hot rod enthusiasts Mark (amiable Darby Hinton) and Lynn (a winningly brash and spunky performance by yummy blonde Diane Peterson) get involved with a hardcore group of drag racers known as the Hi-Riders. After a drag race results in the tragic accidental death of a local hothead, the boy's vengeful rich father (an effectively venomous turn by Stephen McNally) vows to exact a harsh revenge on the Hi-Riders. Writer/director Greydon Clark relates the enjoyable story at a zippy pace, maintains an engagingly breezy'n'easy tone for the first two thirds of the picture, and stages the rubber-burning car races, rough'n'tumble fisticuffs, and wild vehicular carnage with rip-roaring aplomb. Moreover, Clark blends elements from such can't miss exploitation cinema sub-genres as biker movies, redneck revenge films, and, naturally, car chase outings into one heck of a tasty and energetic mix. The titular fiercely loyal and rowdy gang are a lively and colorful bunch, with Wm. J. Beaudine as cool level-headed leader T.J., Roger Hampton as belligerent slob Billy, and Brad Rearden as the scruffy Toad registering strongly as definite stand-outs. Several name thespians in nifty secondary parts further enhances the overall happening entertainment value: Mel Ferror as the sensible sheriff, Neville Brand as crusty bartender Red, and Ralph Meeker as bumbling deputy Mike. Dean Cundey's bright widescreen cinematography provides a pleasing sparkling look. Gerald Lee's funky-throbbing score hits the get-down groovy spot. The gnarly rock soundtrack totally smokes, too. A total blast.
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