MOTORCYCLE MOVIES - EPISODE #2: WILD ANGELS ON TWO WHEELS

Published by MAX BRUSTBAUER at November 19, 2017 in Articles

Aip thekobalcollection

Copyright: A.I.P.

At the very first minute it is there, the symbol of a depraved youth who won’t listen anymore, a symbol of the emerging subculture of the 1960s and to this day a biker symbol, the Iron Cross. Only Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister wore it better, as right now as it’s just dangling around Peter Fonda's neck ... by the way, why is the Ö in Motörhead? Because it looked simply meaner, more German-like, he said at least once in an interview. Back to the movie this is all about: “The Wild Angels”.

The Iron Cross flashes and Peter Fonda kick-starts the engine and a gargling sound fills every biker's heart and shortly afterwards “Bongo Party” by Davie Allan & the Arrows breaks off. My first and last thought until the end of the film: I was born much too late!

Wild angels xlg

“The Wild Angels” was the first film to associate Peter Fonda with Harley-Davidson motorcycles, three years ahead of “Easy Rider”, in fact, “The Wild Angels” marked the beginning of the outlaw biker movies. Some people say that it was “Motorpsycho” by Russ Meyer from 1965, but we’re not watching this one until next week.

In “The Wild Angels” Peter Fonda is Heavenly Blues, the leader of the Hells Angels San Pedro, Bruce Dern is his closest friend Loser. Okay, the name and the story are not quite Pulitzer-winning material, but very vivid and therefore quickly summarised: Loser's motorcycle is stolen, the gang captures a rival Mexican biker gang, the bikers fight, Loser flees on a police motorcycle, the police shoots, Loser is put in the hospital, Heavenly Blues and the gang sneak him out, Loser dies on the run, the bikers hold a vigil at a church. A pretty usual weekend, really. By the way, Nancy Sinatra is in the middle of everything, yes, it’s THE Nancy Sinatra, she plays Fonda's girlfriend.

Yes, the film lives on stereotypes and clichés: the policeman shooting from the hospital balcony; a swastika flag on the club wall and the outlaws sitting underneath, with a baby, i.e. a real newborn, not the baby-baby; quiet, thoughtful walks through wind-beach-waves landscapes, again it’s Nancy Sinatra wandering around searchingly. But what more do you want? It is really nice for sure: shots of motorcycling on American mountain highways and listening to the sixties sound of “Midnight Rider” by The Hands of Time held for minutes; a wooden church in the middle of nowhere, in front of it innumerable parked Harleys and inside Peter Fonda in a leather jacket and sunglasses, crying out to the preacher, “The Lord never did nothing for the Loser ... let me tell you something, mother, ... life never let him alone to do whatever he wanted to do ... but the Hells Angels ... We don’t want nobody telling us what to do ... We wanna be free ... to ride machines, get loaded and we want a good time and that is what we are gonna do!” Bam, the church is taken apart, the drugs are being given out, the orgy begins. Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll at its best!

 replicapanheadchopper1949  2

Those who are still not convinced: the orgy scene lasts 13 minutes and at the end Peter Fonda leads the funeral procession on his 1949 Harley Davidson Panhead Chopper.

Clichés? In 1967, the “Evangelische Pressedienst” (the Press Agency of the Protestant Church) wrote, also such a cliché, that the film "does not deserve a recommendation". To put it in the words of Richard Nixon, John Lennon, Clark Gable, Harry S. Truman and even Robert Redford, “I don't give a damn.”

If you need some more music to tune into the mood of the film, listen to this:

The Hands of Time – “Midnight Rider”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEKAtasRXCU

Davie Allan & The Arrows – “Devil's Angels”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFQMLU3QuCQ

Watch the whole movie here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukuxbIqjGtg

LINKS


RISER - Driven by Adventure
Whole movie on youtube

LATEST ARTICLES

Teaser

NEW FEATURE: GETAWAYS - 3 SIMPLE STEPS TO YOUR GROUP RIDE

Published by RISER at December 11, 2017 in Articles
Every time we make appointments with friends to go for a ride, countless messages are sent back and forth, or groups of people are set up on social media or messenger services to facilitate communication. Many of you have written to us describing that they know exactly the same situation. So that’s why we thought...
Teaser

HE'S GOT A LICENSE TO FLY: BEHIND THE SCENES OF BACKEND

Published by RISER at December 07, 2017 in Articles
He really has the license to fly: When Sven joined RISER and we spent the first evenings after work talking about the project but also private stuff, it quickly became clear that this guy is the incorporation of a melting pot of experiences which other people hope to make in their life but most of them never do...
Teaser

EN ROUTE TO THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY: PART 3

Published by MARC STEINHARDT at December 01, 2017 in Articles
The morning sunshine at Loch Ken wakes me up on Friday the 18th of August and reminds me to pack up my tent and everything that belongs to it. My breakfast is quick and sufficient and I’m off to the next ferry from Scotland to Northern Ireland. I buy the ticket for the short crossing directly on the spot. If you are alone or in pairs you can be so spontaneous...
Teaser2

EN ROUTE TO THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY: PART 2

Published by MARC STEINHARDT at November 26, 2017 in Articles
At the end of the first chapter, Marc Steinhardt left the European mainland behind and now continues his British-Irish motorcycle adventure after spending the first night in the camping tent. After a surprisingly restful night and a self-made breakfast (scrambled eggs etc.), I start to put all my camping stuff back on the bike. Of course, it doesn't turn out as easily and space-optimized as it had at home...
Teaser

THE WEISSBORN STORY EPISODE 5 - 33 MILLION GODS, MY MOTORCYCLE AND ME

Published by RISER at November 22, 2017 in Articles
The border between Pakistan and India has been a highly controversial region since the independence in 1947. There is exactly one open border crossing point: Lahore - Amritsar, in the Punjab area. On the Pakistani side, there is virtually no border traffic...
Teaser

THE CURVES ON THE ROAD: BOHEMIAM PARADISE - ČESKI RAJ

Published by CAETHE / THE CURVES at November 17, 2017 in Tours
*Bohemian Paradise - Česky Ráj* is the name of the country just behind the border, it is almost untouched by tourism, and yet it is so beautiful that one can cry 😭 Behind every corner there is a castle, there are endless curves, even mountains (our Austrian calls it 'high hill'), quirky hamlets, caves to ride in and beer in exact temperature specifications.
Sportmediapics manfred binder2

THE FASTEST MOTORCYCLE MOUNTAIN RACE IN EUROPE

Published by MAX BRUSTBAUER at November 13, 2017 in Articles
Vienna Airport is actually located in Schwechat and that's in Lower Austria and I'm not really 2 metres tall (6’7’’) but only 1.95 metres (6’5’’). You always orientate yourself to the next bigger one, the same goes for the motorcycle mountain race “Landshaag - St. Martin”. In fact, you only go from Oberlandshaag to the bus stop Oberhart, which is the suburb of the suburb of the main town...
Teaser

EN ROUTE TO THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY: PART 1

Published by MARC STEINHART / CHRISTIAN ZECHNER at November 07, 2017 in Articles
Marc Steinhart has set off on his bike to one of the world's most spectacular coastal roads - the Wild Atlantic Way, which stretches over 2500 km (1,553 miles) along the west coast of Ireland. By presenting Marc’s personal travel notes on our blog, we accompany him on his route through the fascinating landscape of the United Kingdom and Ireland...
1 werewolvesonwheels

(TRASHY) HALLOWEEN BIKER HORROR MOVIES

Published by CHRISTIAN ZECHNER at October 31, 2017 in Articles
Halloween is certainly a time to be frightened and feeling scared, but these biker horror movies we found might as well make you laugh hard. Be aware that the following incomplete list contains very trashy (the titles might already give a hint) but at the same time very awesome biker horror movies...