Biker Movie Reviews: Vol. 2
By: Jim Dugger
“THE REBEL ROUSERS”
This months flick is “The Rebel Rousers”. It is chocked full of soon to be stars, Cameron Mitchell as Paul Collier, Bruce Dern as J.J. Weston, Diane Ladd as Karen, Harry Dean Stanton as Randolf and the biggie Jack Nicholson as Bunny. Dern, Nicholson and Stanton also appeared together in several other biker films in this time period. This flick was made in 1967 but was shelved (after watching you’ll know why) until 1970. It was released after Nicholson became famous in that other biker flick in 1969 “EASY RIDER”.
Our story starts out in a small coastal Mexican town (presuming to be Mexico or southern California – judging by the towns people’s bad accents, oh yeah there all Caucasian. The gang rides in and J.J. spots a old high school friend Paul. Paul is in town to rekindle his relationship with his pregnant girlfriend Karen. The gang heads to the cantina and starts raising hell. The town sheriff and deputy are called in and run the gang out of town at gun point. On there way out of town they push down a small boy (Big Bad Asses). They head off to the beach once there they all start fighting amongst themselves and three of them take off down the beach. Meanwhile Paul and Karen drive to a hill overlooking the ocean. They are discussing marriage and the baby, when they decide to leave and the car won’t start (Of Course). Then the three bikers show up and start banging on the car trying to get in. One biker is smoking a joint and blowing the smoke inside. They finally break a window and get in. After some harassing J.J. shows up and saves our couple. They all head back down to the beach.
Once there they all are drinking and Karen is being hit on and harassed by all the bikers. Bunny is trying to get Karen to go skinny dipping and says and I quote “You can go in without a suit and show them goobers” (Very Funny). One thing leads to another, and they all beat up Paul. J.J steps in and stops them before they kill him. J.J is the morale compass of the gang. (REALLY?) He decides the gang will drag race for the girl. So as they are all racing up and down the beach, Paul manages to escape to his car. Two bikers give chase only to be run off the road. Paul arrives at the sheriff ‘s office only to find out the sheriff has left to take a prisoner to prison. He pleads with the deputy and the townsfolk to help save Karen, but no one will help him. (Hold on…the cheese only gets cheesier.) The little boy takes him to a birthday party where the men here will help. (At last people who actually look Mexican and are playing stereotypical Mexican music.) One of the mens’ daughters leaves the party with a plate of tacos for a walk down the beach.
Back on the beach, Bunny has cheated and won the race and is going to marry Karen. J.J is preforming the fake ceremony by reading from gangs bible (The Harley Davidson Service Manuel, very funny scene). By now the girl with the tacos shows up and they take her and the tacos hostage. Paul and his band of Mexicans show up (all carrying pitchforks, rakes and hoes like they’re going after the Frankenstein monster) to rescue the girls. Just before the fight breaks out J.J steps in again and him and Bunny start fighting and Bunny ends up being stabbed. Our movie ends with J.J sitting on the beach contemplating life as the waves crash on the beach.
I can’t make this shit up! The quality of this flick is bad, the script and acting even worse. The picture quality is worse than expected from a 60’s movie and the music and sound quality is straight out of a tin can. The bikes are very small and appear to be Triumphs and Hondas, although cool not what you would think big bad bikers would be on. The stunts are bad, bikes laid down gently when crashed and fight scenes that remind me of the old Batman TV show without the “POW” or “BAM”. The wardrobe looks like it came from the Goodwill dumpster. What’s up with Nicholson’s beanie hat and black & amp; white stripped prison pants. Just look at what Randolf is wearing for goodness sake. This one is bad, real bad, but one you should watch at least once because it’s a piece of biker movie history. It’s biker exploitation–crappola at it’s best. It’s only 74 minutes long so suck it up and get your big boy or girl panties on, get a good buzz going and kick back and watch this one. You’ll find yourself laughing at how bad this one is. Just don’t have any sharp object’s around or you may want to gouge your eyes out (as I did on several occasions) before this stink bomb is over.
Till next month, JD
Bikers Welcome USA