Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Color 1975 running time 86 min.

Director: Gor Halbolt

Starring: Gene Pitchney and Terry Baxter

This movie is a complete waste of time and yet somehow appealing. This was Halbolt’s first attempt at the biker road movie (I think). Our movie begins with our hero Molasses at his estranged wife’s house. I think we are somewhere in Southern California. They argue and the wife hits the road, heading to her mother’s house in Akron Ohio, taking their four-year-old son with her. This really burns Molasses up. He enlists his best friend and loveable, bumbling-alcoholic Mooch to chase after them. At first The Mooch protests and explains that his only two loves in life are “tacos and bustin’ people up”. Molasses promises him plenty of both and they fire up their bikes and leave. As they enter Arizona a folk song starts up just a man’s voice and an acoustic guitar. A montage takes us down the highway. The Lyrics describe friendship, longing, and America, pretty corny stuff. They arrive in a small tavern somewhere in New Mexico, they drink beers and discuss Vietnam for twenty minutes. This is where the film gets really boring and lags for a bit. Molasses tells us how important it is for him to see his kid again and Mooch also tells the story of how he made some enemies in the joint. Other bikers that go by the name: The Clowns. Suddenly they feel the stare of someone at the bar, he’s a biker but has enormous red shoes, at that moment they know they have been talking too loud and all hell breaks loose. The brawl ends with M&M tying this clown to either end of their bikes and ripping him in two, but not without the sheriff taking notice. They high tail and the 5-O are in hot pursuit. They eventually elude the law by stealing away into the deadly desert back roads. Now we meet the Clown Gang as they discover the bloody remains of one of their own. The leader of the gang is named Simian and he wears small red circles on his cheeks and all the gang members have some sort of reference to clowns in their clothing. There’s even a toady yes-man that juggles! Simian hauls out after the culprits. Camping out at night we learn that The Mooch has a secret companion in the form of a small kitten he carries in his saddlebag. He seems to be ashamed of the vulnerability this displays so he swears Molasses to secrecy. The next day starving and lost in the desert the ride up on an old shack, they approach with caution and observe a woman who is showering under a spigot near her porch. After the woman finishes and goes inside, Molasses approaches the house to get directions. But just as he’s about to knock he hears the rumble of bikes rounding the bend. It turns out this is Simian’s old lady’s place and The Clowns are coming home. The gang quickly surrounds Molasses and begins to taunt him, circling him on their bikes. Molasses explains that he has no intention of “dying here in the desert at the hands of Clowns”. The Mooch sees it all but doesn’t know what to do. The naked woman comes out of the house, she points and laughs at Molasses. She is Hippie trash and Molasses lets her know it. The Clowns begin whipping Molasses with their chains, he has nowhere to run. But then the kitten escapes and runs towards the house. The gang is distracted and Molasses takes advantage by getting the upper hand in this melee. The Mooch flies towards Simian and jumps off his bike at the last second turning the whole mass into a giant missile and screaming “Eat Rubber, Clown”! The bike explodes for some reason, but that’s not nearly the stupidest part of this movie, because somehow only The Mooch and Molasses survive. They mourn the death of the kitten for a brief moment and The Mooch claims, “the kitten saved us both”. Molasses says it’s a long way to Ohio. The Mooch says maybe it’s too long, and that same stupid folk song starts up again, as we get another montage of the bikers sailing down the highway at dusk.

This movie is pointless and trite but if you like it look for some of Halbolt’s other films: UNHOLY BIRTHRIGHT or DEVIL DOES CARE

1 comment:

Crack la Rock said...

The hero's journey...the clown's sad fate...these are the things that make crappy new mexico...oh so great.