JD’s Biker Movie Reviews: VOL. 4: “The Cycle Savages”
This month’s cinematic masterpiece is “The Cycle Savages”. It was written and directed by Bill Brame. He only directed 4 movies in his long career. He’s best known for editing TV shows, which include Star Trek, Kojack, Scarecrow and Mrs. King and Cagney and Lacey. (which is funny cause the editing in this movie is God-awful). It was produced by musician, record producer and soon to be California Lieutenant Governor Mike Curb. Also playing the producer role is Casey Kasem. (that’s right America’s Top 40, keep reaching for the stars – Casey Kasem). He even does a cameo as the head of a sex slave ring. You can’t miss him he is wearing a pink puffy collared shirt and apparently has a bad case of indigestion.
This flick stars Bruce Dern, who plays “Keeg” the leader of the motorcycle gang. Dern plays the same wild-eyed, demented and out of control character as he does in several of these “B” movies of the 60s and 70s. His performance is so over the top it is comical. Also starring Melody Patterson as “Lea”. Best known for playing Wrangler Jane in the TV show “F-Troop” (which gave every pubescent boy a reason to…well you know). She also had major roles in Green Acres, Adam-12 and the Monkees. Chris Robinson play’s “Romko”. He’s starred in hundreds of TV shows but is most known for his roles in General Hospital and The Bold and Beautiful or so I heard. (I’ve never watched these shows because…. Well I have a penis)
Our story starts out with our gang riding up to a drive-up food stand where mayhem insues. They start fighting amongst each other, pouring beer into a woman’s purse and force feed a fellow gang member a glazed donut. (as you can tell these are some bad mamerjammer’s) Little do they know, artist Romko is sketching them. Now Keeg doesn’t like people drawing, especially drawing things the gang is up to. They set out to destroy the drawings before they fall into the hands of the man. They follow him home, beat him up and cut him with a straight razor. Lea takes him into her apartment and gets the washed up, alcoholic doctor who works at the flower shop to stitch him up. Meanwhile the gang does what it does best, enticing young girls back to there club house, getting them whacked out on acid, abusing them and passing them on to Keegs older brother for his sex slave business. But Keeg is still obsessing over Romko’s drawings and has to devise a plan he so never draws again. Back at Lea’s apartment Romko is sketching her. (he doesn’t know she’s spying for Keeg) She poses nude for some drawings (you don’t see anything except her penciled TA TA’S and they are quite nice in a artistic sort of way)
As Lea is keeping him busy, two gang members break into his apartment, trash the joint and steal some drawings and a family heirloom sword. Back at the clubhouse more partying, and we learn they found a member’s stolen bike. Keeg and several members go to get the bike, and beat the crap out of the guy who has it. (you never see the bike stolen, why it was stolen, cause they all had bikes at the beginning) Romko realizes his pad was trashed and his sword was stolen and goes to the gang’s clubhouse to get it back. Once there he beats up two members and gets his sword back. (you never see the sword after this, don’t know the purpose of it anyway) The gang now goes to get another girl for their prostitution ring and find a girl at a bus stop. (this is the “sexy” ice cream scene, you’ll have to see for yourself).
They bring her back to the clubhouse and a long drawn out, acid induced gang rape happens. Back at the apartment Romko and Lea are now sleeping together. The vice squad shows up and arrests our couple. (apparently it was against the law in 1969 to have sex out of wedlock, who knew?) Back at the clubhouse Keeg comes up the plan to crush Romko’s hands in a vice so he will never draw again. The gang heads out to kidnap him and bring him back to the clubhouse. Meantime the still tripping, gang raped girl escapes and goes wondering through the town. Back at the clubhouse they have Romko and yes his hands are in a vice. Lea shows up to save our hero with a gun. She is unable to pull the trigger. So another girl Sandy, that they are going to send to Keeg’s brother takes the gun. As the cops are closing in, Keeg gets to his bike to make his get-a-way but Sandy wants to go with him. Keeg won’t take her and takes off. She starts running down the street, shooting wildly at him. Sandy eventually shoots him in the back and he crashes and dies. THE END!
Honestly that’s it. Trust me, even if I did that much acid I could not come up with this shit. The script, what script, it’s laughable at best. This thing moves back and forth so much you’ll need a neck brace. I give a movie a lot of rope to hang itself and this one does. It leaves you thinking the director just gave Dern notes and he improvised through the entire movie. The editing is just God Awful. (which is funny cause director Brame was a big time Hollywood editor) The camera work was very clumsy and dodgy. The fight scenes you hear punches landing when none are thrown. The sound track was performed by the Cycle-Mates. (ever heard of them, me neither) They play this irritating fuzz-guitar through out the entire movie. It leaves your head numb and ears bleeding by the end. The production was very cheap. Guess that’s why there’s not much bike riding in this biker movie. After all gas was .30 cents a gallon back then. Most of the film is shot between two cheap shithole sets, the apartment and the clubhouse. It looks like it was shot with an entire budget of $26.13.
Overall this is an entertaining piece of biker exploitation that rides on the ridiculous portrayal of carefree, rebellious drugged out thugs. Still this is a miserable film, but well worth watching for its comedic value alone. Its only 82 minutes long (thank god) and I recommend for some late night laughs. So grab some beers, the mind-altering drug of your choice, sit back and enjoy the ride.
I don’t normally rate movies, but I would give this one 2 ballpein hammers, only cause I wish I had them to beat myself in the head for watching this one!!
Till next month,