Hells Angels on Wheels (1967)

Hells Angels on Wheels (1967)

“Would you fight for me?”

A bored gas pump attendant (Jack Nicholson) joins the Hells Angels and falls for the “Momma” (Sabrina Scharf) of the gang’s leader, Buddy (Adam Roarke).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Gangs
  • Jack Nicholson Films
  • Motorcyclists

This exploitation flick — made with input from Sonny Barger, founding member of the Oakland chapter of the Hells Angels — was just one of many sub-genre films attempting to cash in on the success of Roger Corman’s Wild Angels (1966). Unfortunately (surprise, surprise), it’s a disappointing mess: all we see is yet more evidence of how viciously unappealing this gang is (was?) as a counter-cultural alternative to squaresville. As DVD Savant describes the gang in his review, “They intimidate people, scare girls, break up bars and use every opportunity to get into brawls.”

They casually kill a couple of people, too. Fun. The single redeeming feature of their lifestyle is, not surprisingly, their rides out on the open road:

… but these simply serve as interstitial respite. As noted in TV Guide’s review, “Even Nicholson’s presence can’t lift this trash to a one-star listing.”

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Leslie (Laszlo) Kovacs’s cinematography

Must See?
No; you can skip this one unless you’re curious. Listed as a Cult Movie in the back of Peary’s book.


2 thoughts on “Hells Angels on Wheels (1967)

  1. First viewing (9/28/20). Not must-see.

    ‘On wheels’? As opposed to what, ‘roller skates’?

    Low-budget, 60’s drive-in fodder for those who like to watch guys acting tough in packs. Rather pointless (and occasionally dull and/or clumsily thrown-together) advertisement for the Hell’s Angels.

    I’ve seen better fighting in ‘West Side Story’ – choreographed!

    Amusing moment: Scharf’s lesbian roommate tries (and fails) to seduce her: “Oh now, Lori, don’t start up with me again.”

  2. Well, rollerskates are technically still “wheels”, and if that change had been made, there would have been nothing at all to enjoy about this film! (whew)

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