A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Undercover: The Day Of The Dead The Hi-Lo Food Show
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features Newswire Great Job, Internet!
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios

Hell Ride

D
D

Hell Ride

Director: Larry Bishop
Runtime: 83 minutes
Cast: Laura Cayouette

Community Grade (1 User)

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F
?

Your Grade

?

Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse was a daring experiment that failed to catch on, an attempt to drag the down-market stuff they grew up on into the 21st century without dislodging a molecule of grit. But Grindhouse's commercial failure wasn't such a bad thing. Had it been a hit, we might be seeing more movies like the Tarantino-produced Hell Ride, a witless reprise of '60s and '70s biker movies written, directed by, and starring Larry Bishop.

Bishop plays Pistolero, a badass motorcycle-gang leader feared by men and desired by women. But as the film opens, Bishop's leadership has reached a point of crisis. A rival gang led by Vinnie Jones (who totes a high-tech crossbow and apparently hails from the bike-loving desert outskirts of London) has killed one of Bishop's best lieutenants, and a new addition to Bishop's gang has some connection to the long-ago death of a female acquaintance.

What's a biker to do? Well, if you're Bishop, you keep your mouth frozen in a half-smirk/half-grimace, and you bike back and forth between a pair of locations, killing and/or fucking while the soundtrack cycles through score snippets from old biker movies. Everyone in Hell Ride seems to be playing dress-up, and apart from Michael Madsen's turn as the tuxedo-shirt-wearing "Gent," no one quite fits into the costumes. Any film that gets Dennis Hopper back on a motorcycle can't be all bad, but Hell Ride sure tries to be. Sludgy even when it hits the highway, it stops at one point for a painful double-entendre-laden exchange in which Bishop and one of the film's succession of biker babes with suspiciously firm breasts and gym-toned abs exchange suggestive lines about "fire-eating," "fire hoses," "calling the fire department," and on and on. (They're actually talking about sex. Get it?) Elsewhere, a character praises adherence to the three B's: "bikes, beer, and booty." Hell Ride features plenty of all three, but someone should have told Bishop that working through a checklist isn't the same as making a movie.