NEW WORLD PICTURES MONTH: Bury Me an Angel (1971)

Barbara Peeters, who would go on to direct Summer School TeachersStarhops and Humanoids from the Deep, came up with the idea for this movie while working as a script supervisor on Angels Die Hard. Once actress Rita Murray told her she was looking to produce, Peeters pitched and wrote this film in days. This would make Peeters the first female biker film director.

The six foot tall Dixie Peabody had been in Angels Die Hard in a small part and wouldn’t make many movies past this starring role (she’s also in Night Call Nurses and was a production assistant on Peeters’ Summer School Teachers). She plays Dag, who isn’t just a girl riding the back of the bike, but instead someone who rides for revenge on her own cycle.

As the film begins, we see her brother Dennis (Dixie’s real-life-brother Dan) get shot in the fact with a shotgun blast by a stranger (Stephen Whittaker), an event we see replayed in Dag’s head throughout the film. She grabs Jonsie (Terry Mace), Bernie (Clyde Ventura) and a gun of her own and they all head out north to kill that man, a fact lamented by her mother who realizes there’s no way she can stop her daughter. Maybe no one can.

Yet this isn’t the expected revenge film. The trio meet a witch in the desert who reveals to Dag that the revenge isn’t going to take away her grief and pain. An encounter with a hippie art teacher (Dan Haggerty) that turns into a red lit lovemaking scene which causes Dag to run rather than face up to the emotions she’s running from shows that our heroine maybe has some demons of her own. This is confirmed by the drug trip flashback she has and the ending, which drops some gasoline on the fire of this film and confirms the real reason why Dag’s brother’s death destroyed her.

Top it all off with some great songs by East-West Pipeline — their “Let It Be” isn’t The Beatles’ song but it’s super hot — and this film stands out from the rest of the biker pack. I wonder why Dixie Peabody didn’t do more, because she had the charisma to be somebody big and by that, I mean she’d be the villain torturing Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith or Claudia Jennings in some dank prison somewhere in the jungle, which I see as making it big.

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