Saturday, November 10, 2012
Werewolves on Wheels (1971)
The 70's was without a doubt the golden age of devil worshipping and good old Satanism, especially if the movies was set in
which is odd by the way. Why do devils and occultism fits so good in sunny New York Los Angeles or on the streets of ? I guess we partly can blame Anton
LaVey, but he also dealt with something very close to atheism and the mocking
of religion by spoofing the rituals of the believers, rather than actually
worshipping a the Christian devil. My favourite movies in his genre is Michael
Winner's The Sentinel and Robert Fuest's The Devil's Rain, but Werewolves on Wheels could actually - at least after another watch - be one of my favourites,
even if it's closer to classic exploitation than a serious attempt on hardcore horror.
A crazy (what else) biker gang, The Devil's Advocates, decides to sleep in a fancy garden belonging to a strange mansion - the rumours it belongs to sect of Satanists! It won't take long until the satanic monks comes out and feeds the bread and wine and soon they're all asleep. Next day they continue their travel, but this time some of them has become werewolves and starts killing the bikers one by one during their road trip!
Werewolves of Wheels must have some kinda record when it comes to the amount of slightly homoerotic man-hugs. The bikers hugs and hugs some more, rolls around in the sand and then - like an after-thought - makes sweet love to their "mama". This, of course, makes Werewolves on Wheels even better and more awesome, because even if the bikers are as annoying as always (I never felt connected with movie-bikers, they're just like big, stupid children!) they also feel more emotional and softer than usual. The man-love gives the movie an aura of hippie, both the smell and the interaction between the characters.
Even if all the details are there it's hard to categorize Werewolves on Wheels as a horror movie. Yeah I know, it has both werewolf-attacks and satanic rites - but it has the soul and mind of a biker-movie and I love that odd combination. It makes it even original and very creative. From the opening shots at the satanic mansion (which looks like some old 30's Hollywood-place, close to 10050 Cielo Drive...) to the effective, almost surreal desert shots during the last part.
It's a simple story, like all real exploitation movies should have, but what makes this better than most other biker-flicks is the quality of the cinematography, the wonderful stoned acting and the beautifully framed satanic rituals (lots of fisheye and wide-angle shots of course). It also have a couple of the coolest werewolves in American movie history, on the same quality level as Paul Naschy - and quite similar to his creations also. The blood - RED like only American exploitation could do it - splashes around a lot and it's quite violent gory in a cheap way, often in slow-mo. I also like how the used the sound of angry dogs as the werewolf-roars, which makes it even more realistic - which reminds me of a short scene outside a gas station which feels almost documentary in style, both the acting and the cinematography. They sure could make movies during the 70's...
Werewolves on Wheels is a surprisingly good and bloody movie. It would fit perfectly in double feature with The Devil's Rain and I think you should check it out as soon as possible.