HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Covert Action
Strangler's Web
Host
Nimic
House of Bamboo
Murder Me, Monster
Hell and High Water
Possessor
Flint
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Patrick
Cemetery
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Skyfire
Upright
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
Agency
Blue My Mind
Thumbelina
Proxima
Aprile
Assassination Nation
Golden Key, The
Image Book, The
On Body and Soul
Unhinged
Eyewitness
Girlfriends
Danger Within
Rent-A-Pal
Battle in Outer Space
H-Man, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
   
 
  Losers, The War Is Hell's Angels
Year: 1970
Director: Jack Starrett
Stars: William Smith, Bernie Hamilton, Adam Roarke, Houston Savage, Eugene Cornelius, Paul Koslo, John Garwood, Ana Corita, Lillian Margarejo, Paraluman, Paul Nuckles, Ronald C. Ross, Armando Lucero, Fran Dinh Hy, Vic Diaz, Jack Starrett, Alan Caillou
Genre: Action, WarBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The war in Vietnam is raging, and such scenes as American soldiers relaxing and minding their own business only to be ambushed by the Viet Cong are all too common and involve casualties on both sides, although the Americans are not doing as well as they would have liked. In fact, the C.I.A. have recruited some unlikely troops in their battle against the Communists, in this case a group of five Hell's Angels led by Link (William Smith), who gives his new boss, Captain Jackson (Bernie Hamilton) his assurances that his boys will keep in line. Why are they here? To recapture a U.S. government official who has gone behind enemy lines to negotiate with Red China...

The biker movie was allied to a few different genres in its time of popularity, the height of which was the early seventies, but marrying the hog-riding ne'erdowells with war stories, especially a war that was contemporary, was a twist that for some reason was not imitated too often. Of course, what The Losers was truly inspired by was The Dirty Dozen and it was simply easy to exploit the then-current Vietnam War for its setting, but this owed more to the type of movie which had denim and leather clad motorcyclists zooming around California highways and getting up to selected debaucheries than it did to the World War Two men on a mission yarn.

The fact that they chose the conflict they did for their bikers to get caught up in is interesting, and there does appear to be a little more to this than simply utilising it for the sake of a good story. Although the title characters are backing the U.S.A., the hippy viewpoint that the whole thing was a terrible waste of life is wholeheartedly embraced by screenwriter-actor Alan Caillou by the grand finale. The hippy approach even extends to the middle section, where we are treated to the love theme from The Losers, a Joan Baez-soundalike that heralds one of the bikers, Duke, (Adam Roarke) going off to gaze longingly into the eyes of his Vietnamese girlfriend for a spell.

In its rough, tough and manly manner, this all gets very sentimental, as if Caillou shed a few tears for the fallen in the process of conjuring up the screenplay. Sure, there may be barroom brawls and violent death lurking around every corner, but that doesn't mean we should be unfeeling automatons, goddammit! But actually, it's more likely than getting caught up in the characters' emotional lives, you'll be checking your watch and wondering when the mayhem is about to start. And so it is, about an hour in, that director-actor Jack Starrett evidently said, "Enough of this mush!" and the wall to wall action the viewer has been anticipating finally gets underway.

The most famous sequence is the one which was seen in another film far more than it was seen in its original incarnation. That film was Pulp Fiction, and the sequence is where the bikers take to their customised vehicles which have been decked out with machine guns and in one case, a rocket launcher of sorts, and let rip on the Vietnamese village that is hiding the American diplomat (played by Starrett). If you're not interested in messages, then it's the highlight of the movie, with bullets flying and explosions going off every few seconds, all mixed in with motorbikes careering around, but the film feels the need to live up to its title and soon the bikers are being picked off one by one. It turns out the diplomat is less than pleased to see his saviours, and the whole "American is wasting its time and precious young lives in this war" theme is hammered into the ground. Really this wants to have it both ways, but has an undeniably compelling premise that keeps you watching in spite of (or perhaps because of) its dated drawbacks. Music by Stu Phillips.

Aka: Nam's Angels.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3201 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Jack Starrett  (1936 - 1989)

American director of pulpy thrillers like The Losers, Slaughter, Cleopatra Jones and Race with the Devil; he also worked in TV, directing episodes of Starsky and Hutch and The Dukes of Hazzard. Acting roles included parts in Hell's Angels on Wheels, The Born Losers, Blazing Saddles and First Blood.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: