3.7/10
519
18 user 7 critic

The Rebel Rousers (1970)

R | | Crime, Drama | April 1970 (USA)
In a small, U.S. costal town, with many Spanish speakers, a motorcycle gang arrives on vacation. Also in town to try to reconnect with his pregnant girlfriend, Karen, is businessman Paul ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Paul Collier
... J.J. Weston
... Karen
... Bunny
... Randolph Halverson (as Dean Stanton)
Neil Burstyn ... Rebel
Lou Procopio ... Rebel
Earl Finn ... Rebel
... Rebel
... Miguel
Sid Lawrence ... Townspeople
... Townspeople
Jim Logan ... Townspeople
Helena Clayton ... Carmela
Frankie O'Brien ... Townspeople
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Storyline

In a small, U.S. costal town, with many Spanish speakers, a motorcycle gang arrives on vacation. Also in town to try to reconnect with his pregnant girlfriend, Karen, is businessman Paul Collier. Paul and a leader of the bikers, J.J., knew each other years before, so when the gang comes upon the couple and, led by the menacing Bunny, beats up Paul and begins to sexually assault Karen. J.J. tries to intervene: he suggests they hold cycle-riding contests, with the winner claiming Karen (he promises, sotto voce, to set her free if he wins). After the contests commence, Paul crawls away to look for help. He meets with a shrug from a cowardly Sheriff's Deputy; where can he turn? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Their creed: "If it feels good, do it!" See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

April 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Belalilar  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd appeared in this film opposite Harry Dean Stanton. Their daughter, Laura Dern, appeared with Ladd and Stanton in Wild at Heart (1990) and Inland Empire (2006). Dern and Stanton appeared on Twin Peaks (2017). All three were directed by David Lynch. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock Fragment
(uncredited)
Music by Igo Kantor
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User Reviews

 
Great Acting, in service of what?
19 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

As another commenter stated, I believe this film sat on the shelf for a while, not being able to get a release since it was so bad. Then, once Jack Nicholson's career break-out occurred, this was rushed out to the drive-in circuit.

The 74 minute running time of the film gives away its intentions: classic B movie fare, bottom-of-the-bill, baby. Okay, for 1960's drive-ins, and not the 1940's neighborhood Bijoux, but the same principle is at play. This film looks like it was shot in two days on a budget of two cents. They drag a film camera, about ten motorcycles and a ten-year-old Ford out to some blot on the map out past Barstow, then start filming. There were about six locations, and most of them were outside, including a beach. Half of the dialog sounds improvised. Much of it is incoherent yelling.

Nobody actually says it, but I think this is supposed to take place in Mexico. And what a horrible, stereotyped version of Mexico it is. (Call me "politically correct" all you want, this film is ridiculous). All the Mexican characters are played by Gringos with "seester" type of phony accents, if they even tried to fake an accent at all. A lot of lazy, siesta-taking, serape-wearing caricatures. Pinatas hang from every ceiling. They have no modern technology; the "sheriff's office," a crumbling adobe hut, has a hand-cranked telephone! No wonder this hasn't been out on DVD.

The plot, what little there is of it, is highly simplistic. Bikers, led by Bruce Dern, menace Cameron Mitchell and pregnant ex-paramour Diane Ladd, taking her prisoner and beating him up. But Dern doesn't like it. He tries to keep his sadistic buddies in line, he just wants to ride around and party and doesn't like all this violence, man. So how did he end up leading a group of violent bikers? "It's a long story, man." That's it? That's all the back story we get?? Lame!

The only positive thing I can say about this movie is the acting. Watch Nicholson, you'll begin to see why has the legendary career he has today. Dern is quite good, coming across as his usual jittery, manic self, tempered with sincerity and gentleness. Diane Ladd is quite believable as The Post-Feminist Woman Who's Gonna Have Her Baby By Herself, Dammit. Harry Dean Stanton is also around, providing some goofy charm. Also seen are Robert Dix and the omnipresent (if you watch genre movies) John "Bud" Cardos, later director of the William Shatner clas-sick "Kingdom of the Spiders"!!

I give this movie a four only for the acting. Unless you are a biker movie completist, you should give it a pass. Other biker movies I would recommend: The Wild Angels, The Tormentors, Satan's Sadists.


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