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Hard Riders (1973)

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Uncredited cast:
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Kim (archive footage) (uncredited)
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Bill (archive footage) (uncredited)
Adam Ward ...
Gary (archive footage) (uncredited)
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Adult

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(DVD-R edition)

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Edited from Kim Comes Home... (1973) See more »

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Incomprehensible nonsense
3 February 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

(While it's impossible to spoil this film, this review does contain plot spoilers for SINNER'S BLOOD, from which it was edited.)

Being a fan of SINNER'S BLOOD, a nifty small town psychosexual melodrama masquerading as a biker flick, I became eager to check out this hardcore mishmash ever since learning about it on IMDb, and even though I had it on good authority that it was completely irredeemable. Ever the optimist, I nevertheless hoped it might hold some further clue to interpreting the oblique and beguiling SINNER'S BLOOD (particularly with the boldly nonsensical ending in its current incarnation). Perhaps SB and KIM COMES HOME (the source of the hardcore footage in this print) might be by the same people and shed some sort of strange light on each other? Even if not, perhaps the deranged vision of whoever decided to combine two fully formed films into one monstrous frankenfeature might illustrate some other perspective or new way of looking at SINNER'S BLOOD? No such luck. I'm here to warn you this is exactly what everyone says it is - random hardcore spliced into an R-rated film with almost no rhyme or reason.

Here's a full breakdown to save other SINNER'S fans the trouble. HARD RIDERS is mostly structured around the 2nd half of SINNER'S BLOOD. It begins with some shots from early in the feature of the biker gang riding down a So. Cal. highway, then cuts into the biker orgy that starts around 50 minutes into the film. (This film literally makes no sense without seeing SINNER'S BLOOD, so I'm defaulting to SINNER'S BLOOD characters and motivations - apologies if you haven't seen that movie.) As Aubrey spies on the biker orgy, the film flashes back to his earlier PSYCHO-style peeping scene at the house, and here splices in the first of the KIM COMES HOME footage. Aubrey watches one MMF three-way through his peephole in the wall, then an FFM one, which weirdly takes places in a completely different bedroom and is shot from a different angle. Back at the orgy, the blond guy (SB SPOILER ALERT) catches his friend in flagrante with his biker boyfriend and runs off, just like in the regular film. A random biker dude and his girlfriend decide to give the remaining guy a drink spiked with acid, and he ends up speeding off with the hippie chick after his friend while high as a kite. As they race along the highway, just before the crash, the film suddenly cuts - presumably an attempt at creating a flashback - to an outdoor sex scene from far earlier in the movie, and then splices into this another long segment of KCH featuring Rene Bond. (This footage takes place in the same room as the 2nd segment, leading one to wonder what possible subtext these repurposed "flashbacks" are attempting to create in the context of SB's narrative.) The girl jumps off the bike and he flies off the cliff and dies like usual, then she runs back to the orgy and throws a crying fit until everyone leaves. Aubrey comes to comfort her and ends up stabbed by the dead dude's biker boyfriend. Aubrey starts running back to the house as the biker begins torturing the woman, then we get that same nonsensical doctor ending and the film just runs out (Aubrey never makes it back to the house). The end.

Anyway, surely to anyone who hasn't seen SINNER'S BLOOD that reads like gibberish, and to anyone who has it's probably not that much better. Basically, if you go into this film having not seen SB it won't make a lick of sense, and even if you have, it's basically just a more confusing way of watching that fully-formed film. What, if anything, the haphazard insertion of these sex scenes is supposed to be bringing to the table is entirely unclear, and while it *almost* gets away with the first two inserts (peepholes being a reliable porthole to random hardcore since the earliest days of the stag film), the final attempt at inserting a sex "flashback" made out of footage from earlier in the film and then spicing that up with more hardcore is really just as ludicrous as things come. Interestingly, this "film" appears to have been assembled from two already extant prints, with each splice to a different source featuring about a second's delay before the audio switches - a sure indicator of print editing, since the audio is delayed about a second from the picture, in terms of physical distance, on a print. Some of the running sections are even spliced in upside down and backwards(!), which could be a problem unique to the SWV print or not, and a comparison with Code Red's SINNER'S BLOOD DVD reveals that the entire picture has been transferred flipped (i.e. a mirror image).

All these weird anomalies leave one curious if the film was edited from two prints, reduped to a new negative and then reprinted (it's certainly fuzzy and blown out enough), or if a bunch of old prints of each were simply cut and spliced together like in the old silent days. (I have it on good authority that there exist more prints of this "feature," so it's not just a weird one-off that SWV discovered.) Either way, it's not particularly worth worrying about. The "movie" is nonsense, and we've all already wasted too much time talking about it. Go out and rent SINNER'S BLOOD instead and watch a real movie.


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