“Angels Hard As they Come”video41
Directed by Joe Viola
New World Pictures, 1972

 by Tammy Vrieze

I’ve seen this movie at least twenty times. The only difference each time has been the title. The seventies churned out carbon copies of this same plot more times than John Travolta danced the Hustle. “Angels Hard As They Come” is yet another outlaw biker film playing on the Hells Angels and the infamous Holister incident. Parents lock up your children when you hear that Harley rumble!

Three “Angels” roll into a small California desert town. Monk, Long John, and Juice. At a gas station they meet a rival biker club known as the “Dragons” and sharing a love of entirely too loud bikes and a disgust for “regular” gasoline, the Dragons invite the three strangers to shack up at the hippie commune they’ve taken over for a spell. Sound familiar so far? Read on.

General, the Dragon’s leader, challenges Long John to a race and is humiliated when he loses. As revenge, he allows his club to rape the hippie chic Long John had his eye on. When the Angels attempt to stop the rape, the hippie chic winds up stabbed to death and General imprisons the Angels for their lack of respect. The Angels are at the Dragons’ mercy until Monk escapes and crosses the desert in search of reinforcements.

The film stars Scott Glenn (THE RIGHT STUFF), Gary Busey (YOU SHOULD KNOW GARY BUSEY), Charles Dierkop, Gilda Texter and James Iglehart. Jonathan Demme and Joe Viola are credited as the writers of the screenplay. Could this possibly be the same Jonathan Demme famed for directing “Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia”? The dialogue was so bad! Two lines from the film amused me. “Come in. Let me roll you some dinner” and they refer to Coors beer as “Rocky Mountain Kool-Aid”. What’s with the title? The “Angels” were far from “hard as they come”! The Dragons were the hard asses!

If you are not forced to write a video review for a local magazine and have seen less than a handful of biker flicks, you may enjoy this movie. For me, I felt I had already seen it many times. Perhaps it’s the fact that the “bad ass biker” stereotype is so far behind us now that these films are starting to bore me. Or perhaps I’m just moody.


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