Werewolves on Wheels (1971)
I can already hear you thinking, “How can Mike pay tribute to a film like Bad Day at Black Rock one day and an unbelievable title like this the next?” That’s just it! It’s an exploitation title that does exactly what it’s supposed to do. Lure me in with images of guys in a Lon Chaney suit on Harleys and for a minute or two we get just that.
In the tradition of countless biker films from the era of Easy Rider and The Wild Angels we have a gang on bikes known as The Devil’s Advocates who are generally riding around the countryside raising hell. A fistfight here and chasing topless biker babes there. Giving us a hint of what is to come, one of our riders seems to have an affinity for the occult and reading taro cards.
When the gang pulls off the road for some R and R they encounter a group of hooded figures who freely give them bread and wine. Once the drugged drink sets in the coven leader Severn Darden has Donna Anders dancing topless with the customary snake in her hands around a fire with a blood ritual added to the mix.
When gang leader Stephen Oliver comes to he rouses the troops from their slumber and lays waste to the monks and rescues his fair damsel from her demonic gyrations. Somehow she just doesn’t seem the same to me.
Moving on up the highways to their next camp is when things begin to get a little hairy. When Anders puts the bite on Oliver during a little midnight petting we wind up with two Lon Chaney Jr. wannabes. It becomes a tag team effort in a thirst for blood as members of the bike gang begin to disappear at night. Rather than feeding on each other I had hoped this was going to take on a Near Dark theme.
Silly as this whole affair is, I kind of liked this flick for a few reasons with the werewolf subject ranking number one on the list. Another is the fact that after seeing Race With The Devil as a kid I have an affinity for most of those seventies Satanic cult style “B” films. How about The Devils Rain or Daughters of Satan. Let’s also not forget others like The Devil Rides Out and of course a special nod to Rosemary’s Baby.
The music from Don Gere has a driving beat that fits in well with this hybrid horror/cycle flick from director Michel Levesque who gives us some nice camera angles and movements during the 79 minute running time. While only having 5 directing credits on IMDB, Levesque served on a few cult titles as the art director. Films from director Russ Meyer and even an “Ilsa” film. Then again he was credited on an underrated Willie Nelson/Gary Busey film from 1982 called Barbarosa.
Nice print of this available from the Dark Sky Films company if you are so inclined to catch up on your dosage of hooded figures gathered around a topless dancer chanting to their Satanic Lord.