Monday, June 22, 2009


1971's bizarre exploitation film, WEREWOLVES ON WHEELS, is the darndest movie you'll ever see. It's a bizarre combination between a bad 1970's werewolf horror film and a bad early 70's outlaw biker movie. The result is a film so bad that it's great entertainment and a real cult classic.

The film revolves around a plot of a group of outlaw bikers from a club called Devil's Advocates riding to some abandoned church run by a Satanic cult, who turn a female bike member into a werewolf who infects her boyfriend who attacks and kills others at night. Oh yeah, don't forget her absurd nude snake dance in front of the hooded cult monks giving the poor lonely monks a little badly needed entertainment break or the bad early 70's driving psychedelic hard rock music soundtrack either. It was all real hippie-era schlock of the worst variety, but a funny as heck time-capsule of the era.
This low budget film actually used much real footage of real bikers and does feature some darn great motorcycle stunts such as balancing on the seats while standing, which is pretty cool and impressive. Certainly, the movie is far from the best werewolf horror movie ever made, and certainly far better bike gang films exist than this. But this movie is pure schlock fun.
But the great filmmaker Quentin Tarantino was so impressed by the schlock film double features run by the grindhouses, that it acted as the influence for his great film feat with director Robert Rodriquez, GRINDHOUSE DOUBLE FEATURE. The term "grindhouse" came from the former burlesque houses that ran these crappy exploitation cheapie films. But these awful films which usually opened and closed at these grindhouse theatres or at drive-in theatres did inspire a whole generation of far better quality slasher horror films such as PROM NIGHT, SLEEPWAY CAMP and of course the great Alfred Hitchcock PSYCHO film or a whole generation of zombie films. Even the great Italian spaghetti westerns such as the excellent, THE GOOD, THE BAD And The UGLY, were greatly inspired by the whole grindhouse exploitation genre.
So in many ways, WEREWOLVES ON WHEELS was hardly a landmark film in itself. But films of this type helped to inspire so many other better films of the drive-in or grindhouse genre roots. But films like WEREWOLVES ON WHEELS is great fun and for what sorts of films it inspired. So grab yourself a great snack like popcorn and enjoy. Movies like this laid the cornerstone for far greater films to follow.


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