5.3/10
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4 user 2 critic

Death Riders (1976)

PG | | Documentary, Sport | July 1976 (USA)
Documentary goes on the road with state fair daredevils.

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(as James Wilson)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Henry Trumblay ...
Commentator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bud Boerma
Joe Byars
Jim Cates
Ron Cheesman
Larry Mann
Jim Moreau
Floyd Reed Jr.
Floyd Reed Sr.
Danny Reed
George Sisson
Rusty Smith
Bob Spears
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Storyline

Documentary goes on the road with state fair daredevils.

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Taglines:

A Motion Picture Dedicated to Those Who Don't Make It See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

July 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Death Rider  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of a 1970s cycle of works which were about stunt-work and the stunt profession in movie-making. In his book "Cult Movies 3", Danny Peary says in his piece on The Stunt Man (1980) that "there had been a proliferation of theatrical and television films about stuntmen". The films include Hooper (1978), Animal (1977), Evel Knievel (1971) (1971), Stunt Rock (1980), Evel Knievel (1974) (1974), Dare Devils (1973), Deathcheaters (1976), Stunts (1977), Viva Knievel! (1977), Superstunt (1977), Death Riders (1976) and The Stunt Man (1980). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Missing Reel: Car Chase Pictures (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Death Rider
Sung by Dorsey Burnette
Written by Porter Jordan and Jerry Styner
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User Reviews

 
Low tech, snapshot of a bygone subculture
12 October 2015 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

This is a fairly early effort in feature length documentary film-making. It focuses on the daredevil travelling show called the Death Riders who perform all manner of dangerous stunts mostly with motorbikes and cars. They jump over lines of people, crash cars, drive through fires and even lie in enclosed wooden boxes that are blown up with dynamite in a stunt known as the human bomb.

These daredevils are all very young guys who are in their teens or early twenties. While the documentary follows them around, we really learn very little about the motivations of the individual riders. They mostly come across as fairly monosyllabic and reticent of saying very much. Nothing wrong with any of that, as they are young boys and their actions speak considerably louder than words but it's possibly a sign of the low tech nature of this film that little attempt was made to get their inner thoughts. The stunts themselves are obviously pretty dangerous, with little safety measures in place really; the film actually begins by naming various daredevils who died attempting the stunts the Death Riders carry out. In the current climate of today where health and safety regulations are taken so seriously, it is very interesting to watch lines of spectators being allowed to volunteer to be obstacles for the riders to jump over on their bikes! So, it's pretty obvious that this whole culture is from a bygone era and can now be viewed pretty much a sunny time capsule nowadays, a show that simply could not be allowed to exist anymore.

Its very rawness and low key nature does mean that we don't see as much as we would probably like and it seems a bit haphazardly constructed a lot of the time. Yet it does capture a certain feeling of a time and place and that is rather a good thing. It's probably one as much for those with an interest in the 70's as it is for fans of bike or car stunts.


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