The Wild Angels (1966) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Roger Corman
Starring: Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Dern
Rated: R/Region A/2:35/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Olive Films
Bikers. Babes. Revenge. Nothing could better sum up this Hells Angels actioner directed by Roger Corman (producer of many classic “B” movies including Death Race 2000, Little Shop of Horrors, Targets) and starring Bruce Dern (Nebraska, The Cowboys), Peter Fonda (Easy Rider, The Limey) and Nancy Sinatra (Get Yourself A College Girl, Speedway). The action is set in motion when a bike is stolen from the Hells Angels. An epic chase to retrieve the bike ensues as the bikers spread fear and trembling wherever they ride. The Wild Angels delivers wall-to-wall biker action at its best.
You remember that cool biker movie that starred Peter Fonda? No, not Easy Rider, but The Wild Angels! Wild Angels is another biker flick starring Fonda that was actually made BEFORE the more well-known and praised Easy Rider. The story here seems a bit different, but the heart of the biker story seems to be just as interesting, or at least it is as far as I’m concerned it is. I also think this is a movie that brings a lot of nice camera work to the mix as well. Now, I’m well aware as a Tennessee man of 32 years of age, I’ve never ever got my motor running and set out on the highway (or been wild) in any other form than the Xbox form, but I think a movie like this does what it needs to do in order to at least show you the spirit of the sky (Or the road at least) in a way that even the citiest of city slickers can even nod a head to in respect. You also can’t deny the fact that Fonda is in his comfort zone and without a film like this, you’d probably not have the performance from him you end up with in the clearly better, Easy Rider. Then again, just because that is a better film doesn’t meant that this isn’t a good film. I think this one is better than average in about any way you want to look at it.
The plot here is simple enough, it takes a few turns along the way, but the characters are what is meant to drive this thing and the characters do a fine job in doing so. There is one thing, then another, and it does seem to lead to one big thing, but it does it all in a loose fashion that never does feel forced or dragged out, it takes time and lets things sink in and at times sting a little. I think if you look at biker films, you have to bring this one up in any coversation. It might be more of an O.G. biker flick than most would want to give credit for. Some extras on this one would have been nice, but taken at face value, you get the good movie on the disc and that should be what is important, even if I do like extras. You want a biker film that doesn’t sugar coat things and at times doesn’t care to give you a swift punch in the gut, then this is something you will want to see. There is fun moments, action moments, and even some sadder moments that all come together to give us this overall classic. If you want to see why people praise actor Peter Fonda, then you will want to see this movie.
Quality of the Transfer: 79%
*Screenshots Taken from Blu-ray.com Review*