Saturday, February 18, 2017

147. The Hellcats

147. The Hellcats (1968)
Director: Robert F. Slatzer
Writers: Tony Huston and Robert F. Slatzer from a story by James Gordon White
From: Cult Cinema

After a narcotics detective is murdered, his fiancée and brother infiltrate the motorcycle gang he was investigating to find the real killer.

This is an easy one to write up: nothing happens. See you next week.

Okay, while that’s a justified review, it’s not entirely accurate. We open at the funeral of the former head of the Hellcats motorcycle gang. Two narco cops are watching and wonder aloud how the gang members would feel if they knew their boss was ratting them out. Hiding behind a gravestone are two mafia types who take note of the cops’ presence. When Sheila, the acting head of the gang, shows up late for a drug handoff to the mafia boss, the decision’s made to kill the lead cop.

After the cop’s death, his brother comes home from the war to comfort the cop’s fiancée. They decide to pose as biker types and join the gang. And they do. Forty-ish minutes later, the fiancée rides with Sheila and Betty down to Mexico to pick up some heroin. Betty hides it behind the headlight of her bike, but gets thrown while riding back and dies. Sheila sends a random member of the gang to break into the impound yard to get the drugs from the bike while she goes to talk to the mafia boss. The fiancée follows her, claiming she wants to make sure she gets her cut, and the brother follows the two of them.

The mafia boss is getting ready to skip town, has all three of the meddling kids beaten up, and takes the brother and fiancée with him to dispose of in the harbor. Sheila has escaped and called the Hellcats to come to the harbor for a rumble. They show up, save the fiancée and brother, and beat up the mafia types. Cops show up, everyone gets arrested, and the brother and fiancée go their separate ways: she goes home, and he returns to the road having found a fascination with motorcycles. THE END and PS. I make it sound way more dramatic and action-packed than it is.

This is a 100% snoozer. It’s not particularly camp despite the Hellcats being a weird mixture of Hell’s Angels, beatniks, and hippies, and there’s not much violence or tension despite it being about violent criminals smuggling drugs from Mexico. The majority of the running time is spent watching the Hellcats drink and party while generic 60’s rock plays in the background. And it’s always the whole song. The movie regularly stops to play another song that is completely forgettable.

If you absolutely have to watch it, check out the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of it. This was the ninth episode of the second season and I honestly don’t know how they managed to riff it. There’s just a whole lot of nothing in this picture.

No comments: