SAVAGE CINEMA: The Wild Rebels (1967)

Savage Cinema promises you biker movies and it delivers on them. Such is the joy of a Mill Creek box set. While you may often find things that you had no idea you needed, by and large, if the cover art has an alien or a motorcycle, you may get at least 30% out of the films inside about what was promised. Those kind of odds get you into the Hall of Fame, at least in Cooperstown.

William Grefe came right out of the Florida swamps and demanded that you watch his films. He was second unit on I Eat Your Skin before unleashing films like Mako: The Jaws of DeathDeath Curse of Tartu and Stanley, a movie in which a young man menaces Alex Rocco and Marcia Knight with snakes.

Rod Tillman (Steve Alaimo, whose life took him from being in the Redcoats, whose song “Mashed Potatoes” hit #75 on the Hot 100, hosting Dick Clark’s Where the Action Is and even owning TK Records, who dabbled in the Miami bass scene) is a stock car racer out of cash. He sells everything he owns and enters Swinger’s Paradise where he does nothing if not swing. Actually, that’s where he meets Satan’s Angels, a biker gang who needs a getaway driver for a con they have in mind.

They are Banjo (Willie Pastrano, who held the unified world light heavyweight boxing titles (WBA, WBC, The Ring) from 1963 until 1965), Fats (Jeff Gillen, yes, Jeff from Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things and the director of Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile, as well as Santa Claus in A Christmas Story), Linda (Bobbie Byers, the voice of Johnny Sokko in Voyage Into Space) and Jester (John Vella, who played for the Oakland Raiders).

The cops try and get Rod on their side too, but he’s all into Linda, who claims she doesn’t do the crimes for the financial prize, but for the kicks. It all ends up in a lighthouse shootout between the cops, the bikers and our hero, who is caught between both sides.

Featuring real-life members of the Hell’s Angels and a Tampa garage rock band known as The Birdwatchers — you know, for the kids — this movie is probably amongst the best on this set. It also has, I can assure you, motorcycles in it.

You can either watch this on YouTube or see the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version on Tubi.

 

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