Werewolves on Wheels (1971)

Maybe what Tom Stern needed for his film was a group of Satanists. Not to mention a more exploitative title. Werewolves on Wheels provides both of those, although it is notoriously slow in actually living up to that title; mind you, when it finally does, we not only see a chopper being ridden by a werewolf, but a werewolf on fire. That’s… not bad, whatever the fuck it is. It’s a film with a somewhat odder biker gang than the Angels; one, appropriately named Tarot, has a thing for reading tarot cards, and he has some rather disturbing visions of bad vibes ahead. Said bad vibes come in the form of a Satanic cult, who take the gang leader’s moll and, well, turn her into the bride of Satan, and things only get worse for them from there, as Tarot’s own ill feelings about his visions start to infect the rest of the group, which finds its numbers strangely diminishing. This is not a film in which a great deal of sense is made; apparently quite an amount of illicit substances were consumed in the making of the thing, and I suppose that does kind of manifest in the finished work, particularly the somewhat what-the-fuck climax. Apparently large parts of the dialogue (particularly the Satanic ritual) were improvised, too, there doesn’t seem to have been much of a script as such. Like Hell’s Angels ’69, it’s the work of a first-time director, and it must be said it does show; most of Michel Levesque’s career would actually be spent in art direction (in which capacity he would do a few films for Russ Meyer). And yet somehow it seemed more fun than HA69 did, and I might’ve liked it even more had I watched a better copy than the rather crummy full-frame Youtube video I have; I really should look for the Dark Sky DVD, which is apparently quite nice…

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