“Hell Ride” – 2008. Dir. Larry Bishop


With Larry Bishop, Michael Madsen, Eric Balfour, Vinnie Jones, Leonor Varela with David Carradine and Dennis Hopper.

“Hey, what do those white wings mean?”

“They’re for licking virgin pussy. Red wings for licking a bleedin’ pussy. See that? Blue and yellow wings for licking a police woman pussy. Green wings for licking a pussy with crabs. Purple wings – they’re for licking a dead pussy. See this? Pill popping, cunt eating, dope smoking, motherfucker. But you know – in a good way.”     – Billy Wings (Vinnie Jones)

This probably isn’t the movie for you. But I sure as shit love it. This is the ultimate Grindhouse film. It’s about a couple of bikers that have unfinished business with a group of other bikers. There aren’t any good guys, they’re all really bad men.

Larry Bishop (son of Rat Pack alum Joey Bishop) stared in a slew of B movie biker flicks like “The Savage Seven”, “Angel Unchained” and “Chrome and Hot Leather” and then his career as an actor pretty much died. He wrote a few screenplays and directed a movie in the 90’s but he never circled back into the business. It wasn’t until he met Quentin Tarantino who offered him the role of Larry in “Kill Bill”, to have Bishop write, star and direct a biker film, and of course QT would produce it. Go figure.

“Hell Ride” is a brutally graphic film that stars Larry Bishop as Pistolero the head of the Victors biker gang, whose right hand man is The Gent (Michael Madsen) followed by the new kid Comanche (Eric Balfour). They are on a mission to settle an old score with The Deuce (David Carradine) who is the leader of the rival biker gang and his right hand man is the crossbow wielding Billy Wings (Vinnie Jones).

I can’t believe this film is rated R. This has to be one of the most graphic films when it comes to language, violence, nudity and adult content. It is insane. The opening scene is a flashback to the 70’s where Pistolero’s one time fling is sitting naked in a chair, gets her throat slit and than gasoline is poured on her and she’s lit on fire. The movie gets even more graphic, and even more intense. Be warned because this probably isn’t the movie for you.

But if it is; you’re going to love it. Most people who have seen this film are outraged by it – they can’t believe anyone would ever want to watch such a thing! How horrible! Give me a fucking break – it’s a genre film. This is what it is supposed to be. It’s supposed to have bad dialogue, cheesy acting, nudity and graphic violence. It’s supposed to be rough and bad – just like “Machete”.

The films core cast is wonderful. Larry Bishop is great – he’s just so over-the-top that he’s the man. His performance is stiff, he snarls his lines and you can’t help but think, “man this guy is an awful actor!” No he’s not. He is playing the role the way it should be played. Michael Madsen is badass because he’s Michael Madsen on an ape hanger motorcycle; and because he’s Michael Madsen. Dennis Hopper is always good, and he’s even better in this because he’s on a motorcycle once again, but this time he’s got a sidecar that’s filled with machine guns. Way cool.

David Carradine really doesn’t have much to do in the film, other than be completely menacing as the evil villain. Carradine was so cool and his role as The Deuce is no exception. Vinnie Jones plays The Deuce’s right hand man, and I’ll be honest here: this is the only film that I’ve ever really, really, really liked Jones in. He’s fucking awesome in this movie! I mean, the guy has different colored wings tattooed all over himself, and the graphic quote from the top of this post explains what the wings represent. He also carries around a crossbow and fucks some bitches up with it.

This film is the best Grindhouse film because it was made by a filmmaker who lived that era, who starred in those films. Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s career have been built upon the crappy films that people like Sid Haig and Larry Bishop made in the 60’s and 70’s. Bishop was the one guy who had experienced this hands on, and who made a near perfect film.

The fact Bishop cast himself as the lead, yet doesn’t give himself billing is pretty slick. He uses pulp icons David Carradine and Dennis Hopper, and then uses their contemporaries via Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones. For as trashy as this film is, Bishop made it with incredible smarts and skill that leaves me wanting a hell of a lot more Bishop.

This film was everything I wanted it to be and more. The poster for this film is phenomenal and so are the cast and the score and the way the film is shot. Its runtime is 84 minutes which is perfect for what this film is: trashy, graphic and poor taste. “Hell Ride” is nothing less than fucking excellent. But then again; this probably isn’t the movie for you.

Also: all the bikes the actors ride in the film are their own personal motorcycles. That’s pretty cool if you ask me.

Rating: 10/10

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Author: Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

9 thoughts on ““Hell Ride” – 2008. Dir. Larry Bishop”

  1. I didn’t hate it because it was grindhouse, I hated it because it was mind-numbingly boring. Larry Bishop is supposed to be this uber-fuckable, scary-ass guy, and he’s just not threatening. Like, at all. It drags for the last hour, it doesn’t seem to know what its own plot is, and it’s overall just very bad, like, bad bad, unwatchable bad. In my opinion.

  2. Ha ha ha, You’ve rocked the boat this time sir! I thought this could have been so much better but everything about it was cliched to death and made to make Bishop look like a pussy magnet. As far as Bikesploitation flicks go this one’s up there, but as a real film… mmmmmm.

    Great seeing Carradine/Hopper on screen again, and seeing babes in the buff everywhere, but even that doesn’t save the film.

    Best thing about this was the bikes, and extra feature on the bikes :p

  3. Wow…this cast is cursed – Michael Madsen is off the rails, David Carridine and Dennis Hopper are sadly dead, and Vinne Jones is an a-hole!

    …having said that, it’s film I’ve been wanting to see for quite some time. Great review!

  4. Great review! I just LOVE this movie.

    Only one thing and yes I may be nitpicking but Billy Wings didn’t carry the crossbow. He carried a rifle that used compressed air to fire an arrow.

    Comanche used the pistol crossbow during the showdown scene. 😀

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