The Wild Angels - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Wild Angels Reviews

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½ May 27, 2016
If you've ever thought to yourself, "I wonder what lower depths the lowest common denominator is capable of sinking to?" you could show them this film and it would be all too clear. I don't know how much of this film is reality and how much is Hollywood fantasy, but the film sorts of plods along as one string of violence, drunken partying, raping, and bike riding after another. This is the sort of thing that gives people who ride motorcycles a bad name really. I appreciate certain elements of the film, especially its historical value. It was the first film after many Poe movies that Corman did where he got out on the street and started trying to capture what was "in" at the time. The Hell's Angels were all over the media, and this film was the result. Starring Peter Fonda a few years before production on Easy Rider began, with Nancy Sinatra and Bruce Dern as well. The Wild Angels began the outlaw biker movie craze that lasted for a surprisingly long time, and so its influence permeates the American culture whether they realize it or not. While other hedonistic films can at least be fun while doing so (Corman's next film "The Trip" better captured that), The Wild Angels has an air of nihilistic doom in its ending and its hollow and vile pleasure pursuits. It's a difficult film to grapple with, since it espouses a message of freedom while depicting a group that yields to conformity in their own ranks and committing acts that are the natural end of Fonda's manifesto from the film: "We wanna be free! We wanna be free to do what we wanna do. We wanna be free to ride. We wanna be free to ride our machines without being hassled by The Man! ... And we wanna get loaded. And we wanna have a good time. And that's what we are gonna do. We are gonna have a good time... We are gonna have a party."
As Fonda says this in the film, he is standing over his friend's dead body, and shortly after the speech the friend's widow is drugged and raped. Freedom to "do what we wanna do" is costly indeed. Fonda's character better sums up the absurdity of it all at the end. His girlfriend and fellow Angel buddy are riding away to get away from the cops, and as his "old lady" pleads with him to leave he says "There's nowhere to go." When you believe that life has no meaning and your pursuit of pleasure only ends in death and suffering, where is there to go?
½ June 11, 2015
Gang of Hell's Angels just want to be left alone to do what they want and not be hassled by the man. They demand respect but respect no one. Must admit I don't quite understand the biker subculture of the time to appreciate this somewhat notorious film.
½ May 27, 2015
Good to all these old LA locations but the movie is quite base.
February 10, 2015
In between drugs, fights, sexual assaults, loud revving Harley chopper engines and bongo drums, the leader Heavenly Blues (Peter Fonda) of a group of Hells Angels ride out to Mecca, California in the desert to look for Joe 'Loser' Kearns (Bruce Dern) stolen motorcycle. They blame a group of Mexicans in a repair shop, and the two groups brawl. The police arrive, chasing the Angels on foot, and the Loser escapes by stealing a police motorcycle. After a chase on mountain roads, one of the officers shoots the Loser in the back, putting him in the hospital. Eventually Blues and his Angel cohorts sneaks him out of the hospital, and one of them begins to sexually attack a black nurse until Blues pulls him away. The nurse identifies Blues to police though he stopped the attack. Without proper medical care, the Loser goes into shock and dies. His cohorts forge a death certificate and arrange a church funeral in the Loser's rural hometown. But, the funeral ends up in a drug fuelled party with all sorts of consequences...

"The Wild Angels" is a 1966 low-budget Roger Corman film, made on location in Southern California. "The Wild Angels" was made three years before "Easy Rider" and was the first film to associate actor Peter Fonda with Harley-Davidson motorcycles and 1960s counterculture. It was also the film that inspired the outlaw biker film genre that continued into the early 1970s. Cormanīs way of making movies is somewhat stale and static (but yet contains great cinematography and dynamic scenes) with a lot of long sequences that never seems to end which I reckon acts as a substitute for a too short script and less interest in character development. Corman does as much as he can in terms of trying to shock the audience back in 1966 with swastikas, drugs, rape, blasphemy, violence etc. Then again that is more or less his trademark and focus per se. Peter Fonda is quite stiff as Blues (heīs quite stiff in general in his acting in my opinion), Bruce Dern fits as Loser and the lovely Nancy Sinatra doesnīt get much to work with. "The Wild Angels" portrays the counterculture of the 1960s and the anti-establishment cultural phenomenon which is interesting. But, Fondaīs and Dennis Hopper`s "Easy Rider" takes this counterculture a level higher both in production, story and execution.
½ December 1, 2014
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
½ August 4, 2014
Peter Fonda was Cool and Bad at the same time.
½ March 21, 2014
Only three years prior to the output of the cult Easy Rider , Roger Corman , already famous for his independent film firmly niche , makes this biker movie in which would make shine all the charm and sense of empowerment of this sub-culture outlaw hard tHE tax system and against the ordinariness of everyday life for those who are not part of it. Settling to the sound of punches , harassment ( two scenes and a touching rape to get there as well) and assaults on rival gangs are part of the habits of this club fierce robbers, between the rivers of beer and clandestine races on two wheels. Do not you get bored , and the room Corman frames the best poses of Peter Fonda and Bruce Dern as you revel nonstop between these abominations , at least until one of the members there will leave the skin : the dialogues and screenplay are at their lowest common denominators , and that's okay (Nancy Sinatra, for example , another daughter of art in the group, do not flaunt in ruminations particularly marked ) but the problem is that nobody is beyond the sketch of his coarse , and the plot does not takes off in earnest. The narrative structure is repetitive and taken into consideration on the issue (the choice of a survival free of conventions , that in the 60s still had some taboo ) is present only in a rudimentary way . Beautiful music , however ( and beautiful chicks in the band of Angels ) .
March 1, 2014
I've had this in a Corman boxset for some time. It was only watching the documentary of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls that prompted me to give the The Wild Angels a spin. While this isn't as refined as the other 'biker' films covered in the documentary, such as Easy Rider, this is still an effective evocation of the spirit of 60s anti-establishment rebellion which is aptly encapsulated in Peter Fonda's 'Loaded' speech.
December 17, 2013
Frank Gerstle was my favorite uncle. I miss him a great deal. We had a great time at Disneyland when I was a little girl but people kept recognizing him & wouldn't leave us alone. He was the greatest!
TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
½ October 26, 2013
Biker pictures are some of nastiest, grittiest films in Exploitation. The subject is ugly and intense. Some terrific films of the genre such as Easy Rider and Stone are memorable for their portrayal in the lifestyle. Stone being the more accurate of the two. Roger Corman's The Wild Angels is a classic of the genre, and is a fine biker film. With a great cast of actors, this film is very entertaining and is notable for using real Hell's Angels to add more authenticity to the film. The result is an impressive action drama that is brutal and intense. If you enjoy biker themed movies, then you should watch this film, it is a highly entertaining film that keeps you interested from start to finish. Peter Fonda is great here, and he would later star in Easy Rider. Roger Corman crafts something good here, a film that relies on its authenticity to create one of the most memorable biker films that has ever been filmed. With that being said, it does lack at times, but the fact that Corman hired real bikers for the film, makes this really appealing to viewers wanted a film that feels real. The Wild Angels is a worthwhile picture, one that manages to be packed with action and excitement throughout. Like I said, the film has its flaws, but works well enough to make it a film to enjoy. The Wild Angels is a film that will most likely appeal to midnight film fans, but as it is, it's a picture that deserves to be seen by any film buff looking for a well made cult film.
September 6, 2013
Roger Corman was sometimes ahead of the curve. This film not only lead what became a subgenre of outlaw biker films, but Peter Fonda on a Harley wearing aviator sunglasses before "Easy Rider" hit the scene. Now the film is alright, but it isn't really anything to right home about. Fonda is good, but the film is fairly tame by today's standards.
½ August 2, 2013
This film really makes no sense with all the violence. Oh yeah, it was filmed with actual members of Hell's Angels, so it probably made sense to them or they wouldn't have been in it. Filmed on the fly, it's unfair to judge a culture by a single movie - but this flick would have only increased the mistrust most "moral families" had about bikers and their cries of "freedom from The Man".
½ October 27, 2012
Pointless film about a Hells Angels gang who mourn the death of a brother by beating up the priest at his funeral, ransacking the church, and getting into a brawl with locals at the cemetary. Hey, they said they didn't want to be hassled by the man.
April 6, 2012
"We wanna be free to ride our machines without being hassled by The Man!...And We Wanna Get Loaded!" Peter Fonda & Bruce Dern are Blues & The Loser, the two big toughs that run the San Pedro chapter of the Hell's Angels and they spend their days finding new ways to hassle cops and play their bongos. Roger Corman continues his youth-gone-mad formula battling conformity just cuz; whether its Rock n Roll High Schoolers or swastika fetishizing bikers. Still, I couldn't help but side with Dick Miller's Anzio vet chides Fonda for wearing the Iron Cross or Frank Maxwell's disgusted preacher when dealing with these inconsistent psychotics. Yeah, you wanna be free and get loaded but you also don't have qualms with raping Diane Ladd. VF.
½ November 9, 2011
I enjoyed this one for the style and the era in which it was filmed, though I would confess that I don't think I quite 'get' the whole biker film as a whole. These guys wanna rebel against...whatever, be free to ride their motorcycles, etc, but they spend most of their time being antagonistic dicks to the general public, leading em to question why we owe them their 'freedom' or what the fuck ever they think they need from society.

Worth a rental, but I dunno if I would come back to it any time soon, as the muddled message or agenda is so alien to me.
½ July 6, 2011
Cult biker flick from the late 60's by Roger Corman featuring young Peter Fonda as Blues - a vicious motorcycle club leader. A screenplay itself is blunt, acting is a shame and the only thing making it worth watching is a beautiful soundtrack by Davie Allan & The Arrows plus a couple of amusing shots with swastikas. Only for the biggest fans of the genre!
½ July 3, 2011
"We wanna be free! We wanna be free to do what we wanna do. We wanna be free to ride. We wanna be free to ride our machines without being hassled by The Man! ... And we wanna get loaded. And we wanna have a good time. And that's what we are gonna do. We are gonna have a good time... We are gonna have a party."
May 19, 2011
While not the absolute best movie I've ever seen, I thoroughly enjoyed and had fun with it. Would watch again and again.
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