Posted: 02/27/2006

 

Werewolves on Wheels

(1971)

by Gary Schultz




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Our very good friends at Dark Sky Films bring us yet another gem of classic cult cinema, the re-release/first time on DVD of the 1971 cult film Werewolves on Wheels. Yes that’s right, how could I not want to review this movie. Part road movie, part monster flick this low budget cross genre film is sure to appeal to the fan of seventies cult horror & exploitation cinema. And the box looks cool too.

Our story follows The Devil’s Advocates, a rebel biker gang traveling across the southwest desert engaging in random acts of debauchery and mischief. After beating up some local rednecks that attacked them earlier, (Easy Rider homage) The Devil’s Advocates rob a gas station and look for their next big thrill. Against the advice of one of their key members they arrive at what is supposed to be the grounds of a satanic church. They mock Satan and stop to rest their bikes. They are greeted by a group of Monks who treat them to bread and wine. The Advocates greedily take the offerings but to their surprise the wine has been tainted and they all have been drugged. They pass out and awake to find the leader of the gang’s “Old Lady” missing. After the mass drugging some of the bikers awaken. They rush into the church only to find a large group of monks engaging in a ritual sacrifice with a black cat and some other weirdness. The biker girl they are looking for is doing a naked snake dance on a sacrificial alter. A giant fistfight breaks out and the girl is rescued but to no avail because she has been unknowingly possessed by a werewolf. The biker gang is attacked during the night by an unseen force that ravages its victims like a wild coyote. Chaos and dramatics ensue making a unique cross genre piece that was probably one heck of a good drive-in movie back in the day.

Here’s the Bottom Line: The road movie is back in full force and Dark Sky Films is leading the way in reviving such classics as Werewolves on Wheels and The Losers. Sure by today’s standards these films might seem inferior to the layman. But to the people that truly appreciate these underground films and horror from its best decade the seventies this is a fun ride. It’s sometimes cheesy and you really don’t care much about these characters because most of them are bad people. But that’s why I have so much fun with this decade in horror. It doesn’t play by conventional rules of black and white, good vs. bad. Werewolves on Wheels will make you want to grow a beard, howl at the moon and join a biker gang.

Gary Schultz is an independent filmmaker from Chicago.



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