The Mini-Skirt Mob (1968)
I really don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks. I’d rather watch this revenge minded biker flick than Easy Rider most any day of the week. There I’ve said it. And why not when the movie trailer’s deep voiced narrator lures all us wanna be Marlon Brando’s in with the lines…..
“They’re mini-skirt riders and they ride hard. No matter what they’re mounted on.”
And how about that poster! No I don’t have that one here in the vault but I’m on the lookout.
Not only does this mob have short skirts but among the men in the gang is cult favorite Harry Dean Stanton scoring plenty of screen time. Ah, the days of drive in exploitation fare from American International Pictures.
There’s no “artistic” drug hazed statement to be made in this rather straightforward tale of a falling out among the gang that leads to another headline best left to that narrator in the trailer, “A woman scorned. Nothing is more vicious than a scorned guilt ridden blonde.” The blonde in this case is played by Diane McBain. The target is Ross Hagen and his new bride Sherry Jackson.
Cued up with the title tune over the opening credits, the mini-skirt mob led by McBain includes Jeremy Slate, Harry Dean, Patty McCormack, Ronnie Rondell, Sandra Marshall and Barbro Hedstrom. They’re riding through scenic Arizona following the rodeo circuit that Slate is part of. Kicking starting the confrontation that will set the tone of the film, the gang invade a campground where Hagen and his bride Miss Jackson are spending a romantic evening.
McBain and the mob crash the newlyweds site with plenty of booze and music. Hagen takes it in good spirits until Slate and Stanton get a little too fresh with his bride. Fists follow and Hagen has little chance once the gang all turn on him. As for his bride, she winds up in a brawl with McBain who can’t face the fact that Hagen has dumped her for this straight laced city girl.
Though the mob rides on McBain keeps pushing the envelope as the cyclists continue to taunt Hagen and Jackson along the rocky road ways as they pull a camper behind their car. Things will turn frightfully serious when one of the gang misses a curve and goes down a ravine to his death. McBain lays the blame at Hagen’s feet and pushes Slate and Stanton onwards in seeking the ultimate revenge.
This will culminate in a standoff down a country sideroad where Hagen’s tires will be slashed leaving him and Jackson trapped as McBain toys with them from the rocks above. Slate has the all important rifle and will fire a shot on occasion to keep the newlyweds on edge. As for my favorite actor in the film?
Harry’s wearing his cowboy outfit and let’s out with a, “Hot damn party time!” And why not as he seems to have both Miss Hedstrom and Miss Marshall as his own self serving harem. He’s just a good old boy having fun and along with the rest of the gang outside of Patti McCormack, hasn’t realized just how far McBain intends to take this hazing.
That’s pretty much the general plot line in this 86 minute “B” flick from director Maury Dexter. In the same year he’d also helm the drug flick, Maryjane that also starred both Miss McBain and Miss McCormack alongside actor/singer Fabian. He would end up working alongside Michael Landon on both the Little House and Highway to Heaven television series before retiring.
Like Stanton, Slate is a familiar face and during the late 60’s would move freely between motorcycle “B’s” such as Hell’s Angel’s 69 and John Wayne westerns The Sons of Katie Elder and True Grit. As for Stanton, here he’s portraying nothing but a “damn dumb redneck.” as McBain so aptly puts it but then as an actor he’s just so damned likable and he represents one of those instances when I can say I beat the general movie going public to the punch. I’ve been a fan since I was about ten years old. That’s about how old I was when I first saw Cool Hand Luke and was captivated by the guy singing and playing the guitar. I’d be watching for him from then on in older movies and newer ones being released. I still recall the overnight adoration the movie world seemed to bestow upon him in 1984 when he starred in both Paris, Texas and Repo Man.
Looking to turn the clock back? Grab a copy of this one on DVD through the MGM Midnight Movies brand where it’s paired as a double bill with another cycle flick starring the one and only William Smith and a title that matches this one in exploitation advertising, Chrome and Hot Leather.