“Angels Die Hard”video71
Directed by Richard Compton
New World Pictures (1970)
86 minutes

by Susan Starr and Kevin Kocur

Susan sez:

I’m sure you’ve heard of B movies. “Angels Die Hard” is a grade Z- movie. I can’t figure out how a movie like this was made, let alone released on video. I’m guessing it was made to capitalize on the success of “Easy Rider” which was released in 1969, a year earlier. Maybe the video release was done to capitalize on the popularity of the miniseries “Rich Man, Poor Man” which featured William Smith, who appears in the movie. (In the mini-series, he played a character named Falconetti but the box of this low budget video release calls the character Falcon Eddie).

The movie is about a biker gang, the Angels (not to be confused with the better known Hell’s Angels) that rides into a small town and causes trouble. One of their members, a biker named Seed (how’s that for a tough guy name?), is killed in an accident or something. It is never made clear. The bikers want revenge on the townsfolk. For the first half of the movie they are rowdy hooligans who don’t care about anything. This is illustrated with scenes including a bar fight (with trumpet blasts choregraphed to every punch thrown, ala Batman–Pow! Biff! Bam! Socko!), a biker picking his nose and the raping of a bar maid with spaghetti!?! At about the midway point of the movie (I know it was midway through because I was watching the clock) they suddenly become kindly, misunderstood bikers. They actually help rescue a boy from a mine shaft. We don’t know if the boy’s name was Timmy or if he had a Collie.

The movie is obviously extremely low budget. Everyone in the movie, except for William Smith, displays the sort of acting talent usually seen in auditions for a junior high school play. The whole movie is bizarre. It is full of faux artsy shots from strange angles. It has no cursing, a character delivers the line “Flake off!” just like they do when movies are aired on TV. But it has plenty of topless women in it (Kevin approved of their priorities). It is implied that the bikers commit a rape but the movie wants us to sympathize with them. When some of the towns folk harrass a waitress by trying to pinch her butt we are supposed to hate them. Maybe that is how things were in 1970, I was worrying about second grade back then so I don’t remember.

My recommendation is don’t rent this movie. Some movies are so bad that they are good. This one is just bad.

Kevin sez:

So, you say you’re looking for a movie with plenty o’ old-style choppers. A film with lots of long forked, brakeless-Star hubbed-ridgids. 3 foot high sissy bars, and 6 bend or Z handlebars are a must. Well, look no further cuz I have the film for you.

“Angels Die Hard” is a biker’s film that was made because–well, we really don’t know why this film was made. Apparently someone without any money was able to convince someone else who had money to let them make a film about a gang riding around on a bunch of choppers. There really isn’t much of a plot. It’s your stereotypical “Townie vs. Sickle Riders” kind of flick. The acting is horrible–just plain “beyond bad”. The shakey camera shots remind you of Cops, or some awful reality show.

The bikers pick up an undertaker who provides them a pine coffin to carry righteous Seed to his final resting place, which they tow behind some kind of trike resembling a giant gourd. Or maybe it was a pumpkin. The straight-laced undertaker ends up hanging out with the outlaws, doing drugs and is eventually run out of town by The Man. In the final scene, some of the Townies take matters in to their own hands, storming the Angels’ party spot on the beach while carrying torches. The only thing missing from that scene were pitchforks and the shouting of “Get the Monster!”

The movie features a soundtrack that is completely forgetable, and apparently they didn’t have a budget for a person to oversee continuity: there are several overhead shots showing 8 or so bikes cruising down the highway and in the next scene they are rolling into town 20 plus. A 1970 Ford Police car magically turns into a ’63 Buick before its big crash scene. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Look for cameos by R. G. Armstrong as a local townie out of control, and a younger, svelte Dan Hagarty.

If you really want to see older choppers, watch “Easy Rider” over and over again until the sensation passes…

M.M.M.

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