Hell Ride (2008)

Genre(s): Action / Drama / Thriller
Dimension Extreme || R - 83 minutes - $19.98 || October 28, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-11-02


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Larry Bishop
Writer(s): Larry Bishop (written by)
Cast: Larry Bishop, Michael Madsen, Eric Balfour, Vinnie Jones, Leonor Varela, David Carradine, Dennis Hopper


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • The Making of Hell Ride
  • The Babes of Hell Ride
  • The Guys of Hell Ride
  • The Choppers of Hell Ride
  • Michael Madsen's Video Diary
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Lead Actor/Writer/Producer/Director Larry Bishop’s sophomore flick, Hell Ride, is an all-too hip with forced Tarantino dialogue that never really gels from the word “go”. This is a movie that tries to combine Rodriguez/Tarantino’s Grindhouse with Easy Rider and instead is one long mess that you could not wait until it was over and done with.

Hell Ride is a revenge story about the “prez” of the “Victors” biker gang, Pistolero (Bishop), at war with the rival gang “Six Six Six” led by certifiable Billy Wings (Jones). 32 years before, Pistolero’s true love, Cherokee Kisum (Julie Jones) was savagely murdered by the “Six Six Six” and with the aid of The Gent (Madsen) and newbie Comanche (Balfour), they set to exact the revenge and find a buried bootie that Pistolero promised to keep safe... Or some shit like that; I honestly lost interest a quarter ways through.

I’ll grant that Bishop has a way of copying other filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino (who also was the executive producer) but this was a movie that tried way too hard to be hip, cool and all that. The problem is, it never felt authentic in any sort of way, even in the world of stylish and oh so vogue dialogue.

The cast at least was kind of cool between Michael Madsen and Eric Balfour, hell (no pun intended), even Bishop himself was alright. Hell Ride also features the always fantastic Vinnie Jones and an all too short role and cameos by Tarantino-resurrected David Carradine (enjoying life on shows like “Dexter” and “Numb3rs”) and Easy Rider in the flesh, Dennis Hopper. Carradine plays another member of the “Six Six Six” while Hopper is an old-timer member of the “Victors”. I’d say if there was one reason to watch this movie, it would be for Hopper’s limited appearance.

The story itself, even without the forced chatter, wasn’t all that great as it was only there as a capsule for the stilted dialogue and to satisfy the “BBB” mantra of Bikes, Babes and Booze. And you’ll certainly get a heavy dose of each! That said, I don’t care how many tits you throw on the screen (well, OK, I’ll let that slide) or the revving of a motorcycle — a sound that does nothing for me —, it cannot overcome an inane script with inane dialogue and inane music. You dig?

It is obvious Bishop took plenty of cues from Tarantino/1970s biker flicks and I’m sure some fans of the writer/director or subject matter will eat some of this up, but for me it was too much with none of it melding well together through the still-too-long 83-minute running time.

While I’m positive the ‘R’ rating for “Strong violence, sexual content including graphic nudity and dialogue, language and drug use” will tempt you, please resist, it really is not worth it...



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Feature Commentary – Producer/Writer/Director/Star Larry Bishop and Director of Photography Scott Kevan sit down for an interesting commentary track. Even though I didn’t care for the film Bishop created, I actually like the man himself. He and Kevan utilize every minute to talk about the movie, shooting in 20 days and other bits of trivia.

The Making of Hell Ride (8:56) is a short featurette that covers the basics on the project beginning with Bishop’s introduction to Quentin Tarantino and how the story came about from his days working on biker movies.

The Babes of Hell Ride (5:19), The Guys of Hell Ride (14:18) and The Choppers of Hell Ride (9:33) flesh things out about the making of the movie from casting the parts, the different styles of portraying the women and the types of bikes used. Together this was pretty decent.

Plus there’s also Michael Madsen’s Video Diary (9:03) a little more insight on the behind-the-scenes activities. Madsen gives his insights/commentary on certain scenes or actors. Too bad he wasn’t a part of the feature commentary...

Last is the Red Band theatrical trailer (2:44).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

It’s hard to judge when a movie is trying to add dust, scratches, grain and other elements to give it a certain style, so all I can say is it’s what the director presumably wanted and that’s good enough for me.

The Dolby 5.1 track is more than satisfactory that gets the chopper engine noises into your room and the (more) Tarantino influence soundtrack through each speaker.



.::OVERALL::.

Hell Ride is certainly a movie aimed right at fans of the 60s/70s biker films and even though I generally enjoy Tarantino-esque flicks, I thought this one was trying too hard. I give Bishop props for trying something that hasn’t been done in so many years, but for me, it was not worth the ride.