“We wanna be free to do what we wanna do.”
A group of California Hell’s Angels, led by Heavenly Blues (Peter Fonda), wreak anti-social havoc by riding recklessly, drinking, doing drugs, and molesting innocent individuals.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Bruce Dern Films
- Diane Ladd Films
- Dick Miller Films
- Peter Fonda Films
- Roger Corman Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, Roger Corman’s Wild Angels is a “despicable film that thrives on brutality, vulgarity, [and] cheap thrills”, and is not worth the talents of either Corman or scriptwriter Charles B. Griffith. As a (female) motorcyclist myself, I’m somewhat sensitive to how bikers are portrayed, and this exploitation flick simply reinforces every negative stereotype in existence. The characters here are all “intolerable and what they do is offensive”. Indeed, it’s impossible to have any sympathy whatsoever for the Angels’ anti-establishment sentiments: rather than strategically rebelling against “The Man”, they simply degenerate into vile anarchistic chaos. Meanwhile, most of “the acting is bad” (though I like Diane Ladd’s performance as Dern’s lover), and “the wild camera work only calls attention to [the] plot[‘s] deficiencies”. Be forewarned.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Diane Ladd as Gaysh
No, though film fanatics may be curious to check it out once simply for its cult status and for its place in film history as the first of the “outlaw biker” exploitation subgenre. But expect to be annoyed.