Tuesday, 24 January 2012

She-Devils On Wheels (1968)

A cult director Herschell Gordon-Lewis is worshipped by many cinema freaks for his unwatchable, scruffy-looking flicks. Nonetheless, a lot of them are really BAAAD (in a bad way) and I’m sure I can say this without hurting no one’s feelings. On the other hand couple of his pieces are really worth watching as in B-movie land they constitute a world of it’s own – kind of sick, twisted and doped-up fantasy land. Screenplay, cinematography and acting are usually a joke and suspense is the worst you can imagine. Gordon-Lewis could definitely shake his hand with John Waters or his alikes if he didn’t do it till this point.

"She-Devils on Wheels" is a feminine take on an outlaw biker movie (sometimes dubbed the biker babes movie) – one of the most profitable exploitation sub-genres between 1967-1971. These gruesome, brutal and very often made in a jiffy pictures were either a total crap or amazing, over-the-top creations. They featured garage music as a soundtrack (some of the tunes absolutely fantastic) and unknown actors just making their way to Hollywood. Hard to say if this movie made any money EVER, I personally doubt it – but it eventually got stuck in cult obscurities drawer. Well, after watching it there is not much to talk about as the cloud of mystery evaporates and you just face the biggest imaginable spoof, about which even HGL said it was different (it definitely was).

Still there's plot, which is a story of The Men Eaters – a female biker gang (not even MC), whose main activisty is drag racing to geat ahed in men-picking order, done as a ritual almost every night. Big disappointment here is lack of genuine nudity, a real bummer. Then gals start a fight over the riding territory with a local male gang – terribly directed brawl scene. Finally, they pick on their own member, who breaks the rules and falls in love with one of the studs, who are supposed to serve only for pleasure (it almost made me cry). In the end men retaliate infuriating The Men Eaters, who set a trap for the leader popping his head off on a country road with a steel wire as he’s chasing after them on a bike. This scene is actually the only funny moment in "She-Devils On Wheels" as we see a plastic head falling down and ketchup spraying all over from victim’s broken neck. This kind of proves without any doubt that HGL was indeed a king of splatter!

I suppose it's only viable for Herschell Gordon-Lewis completists or genre followers and I seriously mean it. I'd advise the others against it - just watch the trailer and dry your sweat!