Classic Movie Review: “Werewolves on Wheels” (1971)

Readers, I’m what you might call a biker brat. My parents were bikers...real bikers. Not the kind that drive around on Hondas wearing microphones on their helmets. Not the kind that pop wheelies down the middle of a busy intersection with their crotch rocket crews. I’m talking real bikers.

Outlaw bikers. My Father wore a black Harley t-shirt, a leather vest, boot cut blue jeans and big leather motorcycle boots everyday of his life. When he rode his chopper he wore big leather chaps, a black German soldier’s helmet with the spike on top and a leather jacket with his colors. My childhood was filled with Easy Rider magazine, bike retreats, weed, cocaine, sex and Harley-Davidson. I know there are some of you out there who know exactly what I’m talking about.

My Mother was your average biker bitch and worked as a bartender. My twin sister and I grew up under bar stools, eating beef jerky, drinking Coke and snatching half dollars under pool tables. I know this way of lifestyle isn’t acceptable any longer but when I was a child nothing in this world could compare to the sound of 80 motorcycles roaring down a highway. It was the sound of thunder and it was beautiful.

Course, I’m older now. My Father is in prison (I assume) and my Mother is a born again Christian. My hair is no longer down to the middle of my back (I shave my head) and my own gang living has caught up with me in my ripe old age of 29. One thing that never leaves you though is the love of a good biker flick.

Werewolves on Wheels is sheer, unadulterated exploitation, and yet, it’s surprisingly accurate and effective. I really enjoyed myself while watching it. Granted, it was no Mask, Easy Rider or even Beyond The Law (I know! I know! I still love it though!).

Adam (Stephen Oliver) and The Devil’s Advocates are a rough group. They ride free and when trouble comes looking for them, they give trouble a kick in the ass.

During a long ride across the desert a few of the bikers are run off the road by some gold ole boys. Not about to let that slide, the gang follows them to a small gas station where they proceed to politely hand the driver his ass. Wait, did I say politely?

Anyhow, Adam decides he wants the ultra-enlightened Tarot (Duece Berry) to read his old lady Helen’s (D.J. Anderson) cards. Though Adam doesn’t like how the card reading is going down, Tarot tells it like it is. He’s all about TRUTH and if it’s too heavy for his Brothers, well then, so be it.

Later on the gang rides out and Tarot challenges Adam and the rest of the Advocates to follow him and find out where “it’s really at”. They all ride up a path and spot what looks to be a mysterious temple of some sort. The gang makes their way to a clearing with a fountain and the partying ensues. That is...until the satanic monks show up, lead by One (Severn Darden), with bread and wine for a Black Mass ceremony. Unfortunately, the bread and wine are drugged and while everybody sleeps, Helen is drawn to an evil ceremony being conducted in the basement of the temple.

The monks and One have decided to make Helen the bride of Satan and after she partakes of another unholy bread and wine offering, she begins to dance topless with a snake. What kind of snake? WHO THE HELL CARES, SHE’S TOPLESS!

The proceedings arouse Adam and the rest of the gang and they rush into the ritual knocking monks on their unholy rumps. There’s only one problem, before each monk is flattened, they each leave a mark on the forehead or face of one of the bikers. THEY’VE BEEN MARKED!

Quickly leaving the scene, they ride out, but something is definitely wrong. Tarot is getting bad vibes from this ordeal and he’s worried Adam and Helen will die. He’s close though as biker after biker meets a grisly end each time the gang stops to bed down for the night.

Something is stalking the bikers in the cover of night. Something dangerous, something hungry for death and destruction. Tarot has been ejected from The Devil’s Advocates but he may be their only salvation when the full moon breaks.

Man, I loved this flick. It was so damn cool. The bikers were fairly accurate and some of the terminology they used was still being used up until the 80’s. It was a real trip down memory lane. That’s where the fond memories ended as I’ve never personally known a werewolf, let alone werewolves that ride hogs.

There was some gore here but nothing that requires a strong stomach. The werewolves were your typical Universal style beasts. Sure, they weren’t “scary” by today’s standards but they were savage and cunning. The acting was top of the line as well.

Dark Sky offers up audio commentary by director Michel Levesque and his writing partner for this film, David M. Kaufman. We’re also given a photo gallery, radio spots and trailers. Perhaps a bit on the sparse side but nobody was doing “making of” featurettes back in the 70’s so one has to take that into consideration.

Ultimately, this is a solid release and I definitely recommend it to those that have attention spans and a taste for bikersploitation. There’s no rapid fire, seizure inducing editing, no ear drum shattering metal or product placement. You won’t see a biker driving by wearing an Ipod nor will you catch any of them drinking Gatorade in this. Werewolves on Wheels is a low budget biker flick with weed, tits and werewolves...on wheels.

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