Riders of the Storm (1988)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A group of radical Vietnam vets become broadcasting pirates and take on a Presidential candidate in this crazy comedy. The vets and their leader, "Captain," are television raiders flying all over the country in a B-29 they turned into flying broadcasting station S&M TV, jamming the airwaves wherever they go. Their self-assigned mission for the past 20 years is to keep the public informed about government activity to stop them from launching another foolish war like Vietnam. To do this they monitor the broadcasts of other television stations and when they don't like what they hear, they bust in and expose the lies. The bulk of the story centers around their final mission: an all-out attempt to keep Mrs. Willa Westinghouse, an ultra-conservative Presidential candidate and strong proponent of the Cold War and military strength, from winning the election.
Comedy , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Miramax Films


Dennis Hopper
as The Captain
James Aubrey
as Claude
Nigel Pegram
as Sen. Willa Westinghouse
Michael Ho
as Minh
Craig Pinder
as Irving
Norman Chancer
as Dr. King
Gwen Humble
as Linda
Manning Redwood
as Martinez
Bill Bailey
as Gen. Motors
Bruce Boa
as Col. Parker
John Alderson
as Col. Sanders
Jim Carter
as Castro
Tony Cisneros
as Urban Animal
Ted Maynard
as Leonardo
Don Fellows
as Capt. War Hero
Beryll Nesbitt
as Mrs. War Hero
Tara Ward
as Donna
Michael Feast
as Vet Cameraman
Bill Hutchinson
as Baker Gaspard
Barbara Rosenblat
as Betsy blanket
Ian Tyler
as Carson
Josie Lawrence
as Guerillette
Tony Spiridakis
as Vet Announcer
Britt Walker
as Panther
Danny Brainin
as Radar operator
Chuck Julian
as TV Presenter
Keith Edwards
as WTV Director
Gay Baynes
as WTV Vision Mixer
R.J. Bell
as Big Drummer
Francis Drake
as Farmer
Jennifer Sternberg
as Farmer's Wife
Johnny Myers
as Scientist
Suzie Savoy
as Brunette
Ozzy Osbourne
as Himself
Pete Sayers and His Band
as Tony Manyana & His Tomcats
Dave Cash
as Himself
Scott Prescott
as Urban Animal
Scott Riley
as Urban Animal
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Riders of the Storm

There are no critic reviews yet for Riders of the Storm. Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates!

Audience Reviews for Riders of the Storm

Hopper is good in this, and it's pretty entertaining in some parts, but dude, everyone knew the presidential candidate's big secret from the beginning, I'm surprised it took them so long to figure it out.

Lisa Spader
Lisa Spader

Reading the synopsis I am sadly reminded that many reviewers don't bother to watch the film, much less fact check before publishing their works. Allow me to debunk the bunk : The six person crew of the B-29 bomber assigned to psychological operations during the Viet Nam conflict become disillusioned with the message they are sending and decide to do something about it. They commandeer their aircraft away from the military and use the specialized equipment to create their own program , called " S&M TV ". Their format is not at all the "Peace and love pabulum" that the reviewer indicated, but random jamming of television signals with classic rock music played over footage of the Viet Nam war, informational films on napalm and it's effects on people, and in one case they jammed a Christian television aerobics class with video footage of Voodoo rituals with Billy Squire singing "Everybody Wants You". Their message is one of counterculture, and exposure of the mockery that has become of truth, justice and the American way. They feel responsible for the actions the government as taken as well as their part in it, and choose to do something about it. This is revealed in the first 3 minutes of the film, and how anyone can miss it , and instead say " Rather than find work and become productive citizens " is beyond me. Then along comes Willa Westinghouse , a woman running for president on a war platform. She believes in building up military strength, and using that strength at will for any reason. Backing her is a team of pollsters, a demographic profile of the United States, and the results of a computerized analysis of the way the country is moving. The "Captain" ( Dennis Hopper ) sees this a the gateway to another pointless war, and devotes the efforts of his crew, along with multitudes of fellow broadcast pirates supporting them on the ground, to ensure that she does not get elected. Far from accusing them of being "Reds" , Westinghouse recognizes S&M TV as a threat to her political future and calls in political favors & makes promises to the Army and Air Force if they will simply shoot them down, killing everyone. At the same time a major television conglomerate is trying to convince them to give up their airborne lifestyle in exchange for a ground based transmitter, and a network program. Seeing through all of this, the captain keeps the crew on message, the plane in the air ( an amazing scene of working on the engines while airborne , complete with opera music ) and eventually coming head to head with the potential president. While the message is anti-war, it's not because of peace and love but instead because the crew has seen enough of their friends and family killed, the perceived lies that the government put forward, and to make sure that America does not get into another Viet Nam type conflict. In a heated speech "The Captain" says that if we are to put out the battle flags, that they will fight, but not unless there is a good reason behind it. While you will laugh at the antics, and point out the very dated technology, and maybe some will not be shocked as much as upset by the ending ( not to give it away, but there will be debate and gnashing of teeth over the reason why Westinghouse loses her bid for president ) there is still a serious message underlying the lampooning of the world as we know it. All I can say is , watch the film before you try to review it. With some films you can get away with not watching it and still write a passing review, but in this case it's the failboat for whoever wrote the synopsis.

Dante Allegro
Dante Allegro

Saw it in college as a second-run. (4th run maybe.) It really struck us at the time. Haven't seen it since; it's pretty hard to find. Upon rewatching: This movie is AWESOMELY WRONG!! Glorious. But it came out in 1986, not 1988.

Heather Gilmer
Heather Gilmer

Riders of the Storm Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Riders of the Storm on our Movie forum!

News & Features