Hard Ride To Hell
Written by Matthew Chernov, David Rosiak, & Penelope Buitenhuis
Directed by Penelope Buitenhuis
Dirk...Brandon Jay McLaren
Bob Weaver...Brent Strait
A group of vacationing pretty young folk in what can only be called a big-ass RV pull off at a desolate Texas roadside campground to rest up for the night. Being pretty young folk, they do exactly what pretty young folk always do when they're alone in nature: They get rip-roaring drunk. Surprisingly, they don't engage in premarital sex, but presumably this is only because their night was interrupted before the panties could hit the floor.
Gossip rag reporter Dirk accidentally stumbles upong a gang of satanic bikers engaging in a sacrificial cannibalistic ceremony, one that said bikers understandably would like to keep secret. In short order, Dirk leads the leather-clad legion to his friends. Some are beaten...some are eaten...and some are not nearly so lucky.
Here's a little history lesson on how this movie came about:
Imagine a nervous intern at the offices of the television show Supernatural. He's making copies of two different scripts that that show's writers have just completed--one, a remake of the 1971 Brittish biker flick Psychomania, the other a remake of 1975's Race With the Devil. The intern, probably riddled with prescription drugs, accidentally shuffles the two scripts together into one big pile before binding them together. He delivers this movie mishmash to the studio executives, who scratch their heads in confusion before finally shrugging, and giving the green light.
Okay, I confess. None of that actually happened, but at least it gives you a fairly accurate idea of what this movie is. It's a modestly-budgeted rehash of themes that haven't been fresh for at least thirty years. There's very little that is original here, and although the filmmakers are attempting to document a grim and gritty subject--cannibalistic satanic bikers, what's grittier than that?--the film is too pretty and polished to do so successfully.
It should be noted that although the themes on display here are reminsicent of the 'seventies, this is not a fauxsploitation film that pretends to be from that decade--it's a modern film and doesn't deny it. It could easily have lapsed into cheap exploitation and sleaze, succumbing to gratuitous nudity and degredation, but it never does, instead taking itself (somewhat) seriously as a genre film. All of which should please some people and possibly irritate some others, depending on your personal tastes.
Overall, it had its moments and was pretty well-paced, but it wasn't a spectacular piece of cinema. To be fair, though, I've seen far worse pictures with far bigger budgets. Probably worth a rental for fans of bad biker pics and satanist schlock, but I can't advise purchasing it for your collection.
"We're desolation. We're damnation. And you belong to us."