Writer/director/star Larry Bishop earned a minor following in that sort of motorcycle movie, notably The Savage Seven and Angel Unchained. And as a result, the ins-and-outs of the genre are embedded in the Hell Ride’s skin: Characters must have unique names (Pistolero, The Gent, Comance, Eddie Zero, Billy Wings, The Deuce), they must speak like they have a mouthful of smoke, and did I mention the guns, bikes, and tits?
The plot is well and standard for such a flick: two rival biker gangs, the Victors (led by Bishop) and the Six-Six-Six’s (led by Vinnie Jones), re-ignite a 32-year-old war when one comes lookin’ for revenge. The gang members (who’ve already been roll-called) are played by the legends and wannabes that Hell Ride is worthy of. Bishop is back to form, and Dennis Hopper and David Carradine’s aged faces personalize their thin roles. But Michael Madsen plays out his stock persona, and Jones and Eric Balfour just don’t seem schooled enough on the genre to be in on the joke.
And much of the audience won’t be either. You have to wonder if the nostalgic Bishop is aware that the exploitation gimmick’s appeal is limited. You’d think he would’ve remembered the failure that was Grindhouse since he’s ripping from Quentin Tarantino to no end here. Hell Ride was even marketed with the “QT Presents” stamp of approval.
But most of the players “get” it, and that’s what makes Hell Ride an enjoyable one for exploitation nuts. There’s an audience for this kind of movie, and every once in a while, someone will come along (or re-emerge) to dust off the filth. Another feature and Larry Bishop just might be that guy.
The Making of Hell Ride (8:50): Bishop and company discuss how Hell Ride came to be, from the initial phone call to QT and characters to the R-rating and the drive to revitalize the biker flick.
The Babes of Hell Ride (5:20) is a series of interviews with Bishop and some of the female cast, who discuss the overt sexuality in the movie.
The Guys of Hell Ride (14:18): Similar to the previous featurette, the men sit down to discuss the characters. Interviews include Madsen, Carradine, Hopper, and Bishop—no surprise he does most of the talking.
The Choppers of Hell Ride (9:34): Since motorcycles can’t talk, consultant Justin Kell fills in to chat choppers and how they fit each character’s persona.
Michael Madsen’s Video Diary (9:30) is a collection of behind-the-scenes footage shot by Madsen and others to detail the production.
Red Band Trailer.