37 user 9 critic

Five the Hard Way (1969)

Motorcycle racer Rommel seeks vengeance against JC, a madman who murdered the sidehacker's fiancee.


Gus Trikonis


Tony Huston (screenplay) (as Tony Houston), Larry Billman (story)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ross Hagen ... Rommel
Diane McBain ... Rita
Michael Pataki ... J.C. (as Mike Pataki)
Richard Merrifield ... Luke
Claire Polan Claire Polan ... Paisley
Edward Parrish Edward Parrish ... Nero
Michael Graham ... Cooch
Hoke Howell ... Crapout
Robert Tessier ... Jake (as Bob Tessier)
Eric Lidberg Eric Lidberg ... Tork
Tony Lorea Tony Lorea ... Announcer
Erik Cord Erik Cord ... Dirty John
Toni Moss Toni Moss ... Lois
Diane Tessier Diane Tessier ... Debbie
Joey Tessier Joey Tessier ... Billy


Motorcycle racer Rommel and his fiancée Rita become friendly with a biker gang led by the unstable J.C. When Rita is raped and murdered by J.C. in a jealous rage, Rommel gathers some biker pals and goes on a hunt for vengeance. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


HARD RIDERS! Mounted on Burning Steel! ... with only their leathers between THEM and HELL!


Action | Sport


M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Goldie Hawn, Gus Trikonis's then-wife, auditioned for the role of Paisely. See more »


Rommel: You ever read the Bible Luke? There's an old passage about an eye for an eye. You ever read that one?
See more »


Five the Hard Way
Written by Jerry Styner, Mike Curb and Guy Hemric
Performed by The New Life
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User Reviews

What the heck does Five the Hard Way have to do with anything?
16 December 2000 | by Mr. PulseSee all my reviews

I saw this movie as featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, under the title "The Sidehackers." I'm used to these bad movies having lots of different titles (Heck the alternate titles to Plan 9 make more sense than the real one), but "Five The Hard Way"? That doesn't even come up in the movie. That makes it sound like it's a card game.

The Sidehackers is a much better title for this dreadful movie, cause it features the ultra-underground sport known as "sidehacking" (or as I call it sidehackin' with an apostrophe, much cooler that way). A sidehack, or uh yeah I guess that's what you'd call it, is a motorcycle with a sidecar. The sidecar is actually just a platform with a bar so a person (Unlucky and no doubt highly stupid) can stand on this thing and lean left and right in the turns to "balance the car out." You could have also tried just getting rid of the sidecar altogether. But hey then I guess there'd be no title, and they'd have to call it something ridiculous like Five The Hard Way.

Eventually these wacky racers get embroiled in a plot that involves murder, revenge, and idiocy. Basically it's a downer, and by the end most of the characters are dead (In this film, the more sympathetic you are the likely you are to get offed). I'm not sure what I was supposed to take out of the film, except maybe that good doesn't always win, or maybe that ESPN's X Games have a lot more to answer for than I thought.

I would not watch this movie again without the help of the MST3K crew. It's pretty terrible, and after the first couple of racing scenes, isn't the least bit cheesy (Dumb throughout, but not cheesy), and it's really a bit of a downer. That and the hat the main character Rommel (You know a character's in trouble when he's named after half of the rant the Hamburgler shouts) is absolutely ridiculous. I hope I get one for my birthday this year.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

11 July 1970 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Side Hackers See more »

Filming Locations:

Perris, California, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Ryder Sound Services)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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