Werewolves on Wheels DVD Review
Written by Steve Pattee
DVD released by Dark Sky Films
He wasn’t drunk and he wasn’t stoned. I don’t think he jumped in the fire to keep his feet warm.
Something else happened. Something spiritual you guys don’t want to relate to. – Tarot
Directed by Michael Levesque
Written by David M. Kaufman and Michael Levesque
1971, Region 1 (NTSC), 79 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on February 28th, 2006
Steven Oliver as Adam
D.J. Anderson as Helen
Deuce Berry as Tarot
Billy Gray as Pill
Barry McGuire as Scarf
Severn Darden as One
The Devil’s Advocates are your average bunch of motorcycle ruffians. Cruising the highway, scaring cows, raising Cain. Just your typical motorcycle gang anarchy.
One day the leader, Adam (Stephen Oliver – Angels From Hell, Cycle Psycho), decides it would be a good idea to visit a Satanic church and crash the party, so to speak. The Satanists provide the gang with food and drink, effectively drugging them.
Later that night, Adam’s old lady, Helen (D.J. Anderson – Dream No Evil), enters the Satanic church in some sort of trance, and is the centerpiece of a devilish ritual.
Awakening to find his woman missing, Adam gathers up the troops and the storms the church, effectively manhandling the Satanists, saving the woman and getting the hell out of dodge.
Unfortunately for the bikers, they didn’t leave their problems behind at the church. Because the men are systematically being picked off each night by some unknown beast. Or beasts.
They should have listened to Tarot (Deuce Berry). He told them from the get-go that it was not a good idea to mess with Satanists.
But no one likes a party-pooper.
First and foremost, you will see no werewolves on wheels in Werewolves on Wheels until about the last 15 minutes.
I wish I had known that little tidbit before going into the movie. There is nothing worse than waiting for werewolves riding motorcycles, only to find that they don’t show up until the party is just about over.
That is, of course, if you noticed. Which I didn’t, because Wheels kept me entertained without the Werewolves. Okay, sure, in the back of my mind, I was wondering when they would show up. But it really didn’t matter, because there’s always something entertaining about babes, bikes and good desert scenery, even if the beasts are little late to the shindig.
And that’s where Wheels shines. The babes, the bikes and the scenery. Like 1971’s Vanishing Point, there’s not a lot a plot, there’s not a lot of Oscar performances, there’s not a lot of brilliant dialogue. But because of some damn good camera work and damn good editing, Wheels moves at a damn good clip, keeping the entertainment rolling.
Sure, it’s cheesy at some points: The entire ritual scene has cheese, wine and crackers. But that’s okay, because that is part of the charm.
Wheels isn’t going to enlighten you. It isn’t going to make you look at bikers or Satanists in a different light. It’s just going to give you some good old-fashioned drive-in enjoyment.
And sometimes, that’s what it’s all about.
Video and Audio:
Wow, Dark Sky Films did a really good job restoring Wheels to glory. Its 16x9 presentation is virtually blemish-free, has solid darks and nice color tones throughout. There are a few scratches, but I chalk that up to print damage.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack is crisp and clear, and very easy to understand.
English subtitles are available.
The commentary with director Michael Levesque and half of the writing team, David Kaufman, is fantastic. The moderator, David Gregory, asks all of the right questions and keeps the conversation moving. The discussion was so informative, I actually re-watched the movie under a whole new light. Who knew there would be a political statement that applies today in this movie?
There are also some radio spots, a photo gallery of lobby cards and trailers for Werewolves on Wheels and The Losers. As with The Losers, watch that Wheels trailer to see what a great job Dark Sky Films did cleaning up the print.
Certainly, the lack of werewolves in Werewolves on Wheels was a tad disappointing, but the movie is pure ’70s drive-in schlock that is worthy of at least a rental.
(Equipment includes a Mitsubishi WS-48613 48” HDTV, Sony DVP-CX875P DVD player and Onkyo HTS-770 Home Theater System and, in some towns, a Sony 27” WEGA TV and a Sony DVP-NS50P DVD player.)
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