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on February 16, 2006
Did you ever see those old commercials for Reese's Buttercups? The ones where one person's got a bar of chocolate, another person just happens to be standing around with a jar of peanut butter, and some thing happens causing the two edible products get mixed together? Afterwards the two individuals accuse each other of ruining their respective foodstuffs, that is until they taste the combination and discover `two great tastes taste great together'. Well, that's not really the case here with Werewolves on Wheels (1971), as someone tried to mix two genres (biker films and horror films) together, the result being something that tastes kinda icky, cinematically speaking. Co-written and directed (his debut) by Michel Levesque, who would later find his true calling as art director on films like Supervixens (1975), Cannonball! (1976), and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens (1979), the film features Stephen Oliver, who would later go on to portray the muscled heavy Dugan Hicks in the films The Van (1977) and Malibu Beach (1978), both of which I've had an opportunity to see, for better or worse. Also appearing is Severn Darden (Vanishing Point, The Hired Hand), D.J. Anderson (Dream No Evil), Duece Berry, Billy Gray (The Navy vs. the Night Monsters), inventor of the F-1 guitar pick, and Barry McGuire, former member of The New Christy Minstrels and artist behind the 1960s protest song "Eve of Destruction".

After nearly four minutes of opening credits set against, what else, a group of bikers toolin' down the road, the movie begins proper as said bikers, known as the Devils Advocates (according to their colors), led by Adam (Oliver), chase down a hapless pair of men in an old pick up truck (the driver had a near miss with one of the bikers). The gang finally catches up to the pair at a gas station, proceed to give the driver a beating, followed by fun and games with the gawky, geeky gas station attendant, during which a gang member moll named Shirley pops her top...not bad, a severe thrashing and some sleazy boobage all in the first ten minutes...anyway, soon the gang is back on the road, and they end up camping near a strange, isolated structure populated by monks in brown robes (all members of a Satanic cult). The monks offer the gang some bread and wine, which turns out to be drugged, and the bikers pass out. The leader of the cult, simply named One (Darden), engages in an overly long black magic ceremony, the intent being to turn Adam's chicky Helen (Anderson) into a bride for Satan, culminating in a nekkid snake dance by an enchanted Helen. The gang, finally rising from their doped up stupor, proceed to crack some monk skulls, snatch up Helen, and escape into the desert to `get their heads straight'. They seem in the free and clear, that is until night falls and a couple of members get viciously mauled and killed by some shadowy figures emitting guttural animal-like noises. The bad vibes continue as each night following brings more attacks, and we learn a couple of member of the gang begin displaying lycanthropic tendencies, brought on by a super whammy placed on them by the cult. The plan now is to return to where the cult is and settle the score once and for all, that is if they can keep from ripping each other's throats out before getting there...

This movie started out with potential, but as it progressed, it seemed something was missing...oh yeah, a story. Actually, I think the plot got lost during one of the 162 scenes where we see the boys riding through the southwestern landscapes, perhaps falling off the back of one of the choppers and ending up among the tumbleweeds, never to be seen again. As a result, we get a whole mess of pointless sequences of the boys riding their bikes from place to place, and drinking beer, making camp, building bonfires, and wrestling with each other in the desert (seriously). Eventually the horror elements kick in, as a couple members of the gang go wolfen on their brethren, setting up for a decent biker/werewolf clash near the end, but the wait was long and boring. There were a couple of bright spots, one being during the funeral for the first two members killed (the other members attributed their deaths to accidental causes, namely they were stoned out of their minds, fell down a wash, and broke their necks). Adam delivers a proper eulogy for his fellow biker brother, followed by someone else asking about Shirley (the man's girlfriend, who also died), and another replies `She was a great freak, man!' Another sort of impromptu bit of humor comes from an encounter with an older, uptight, opinionated, mouthy gas station the boys goof on before stealing his gas. My biggest disappointment with this movie was the general lack of skull crackin' fun. During the confrontation between the bikers and the cult members, the cult offers no resistance to getting smacked around, each falling to the ground once struck. I was hoping for some sort of battle royal, the bikers vs. the Satanists, but it never came. Even after the bikers took off, there was no pursuit by the cult members for the sake of retribution.

Here are some things I learned from this film...

1. Bikers sure like to wrestle with each other (maybe a little too much).

2. Bikers generally don't pay for gas.

3. Bikers spend a lot of time trying to `get their heads together'.

4. When on fire, rolling yourself on the ground into a bonfire isn't helpful.

Another disappointing aspect was we don't get to see any real beast action until the last third of the movie. Things do pick near the end, as the movie finally gets its wolf on, and I'll say the creature make-up was decent. There is some bloodletting, but it's fairly minimal (actually, I heard some of the more violent scenes, along with some of the profanities, were removed due to issues with the censors). The acting is so-so, the dialog improvised, and the direction was actually decent. If you don't mind the fact there's so little actual story, you might find this trippy, off-beat, oddball flick fun, albeit a little boring at times.

Dark Sky Films provides an excellent looking, widescreen (1.85:1) anamorphic print on this DVD release, along with a suitable Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track. The picture exhibits some very minor flaws from time to time, but otherwise it's much better than I would have expected. As far as extras, there are English subtitles, a good commentary track featuring director Michel Levesque and co-writer David M. Kaufman, a photo gallery featuring promotional materials for the film, two radio spots, and a rough looking theatrical trailer for the movie along with one for another film called The Losers (1970). All in all an excellent release of a middling film.

Cookieman108
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on September 1, 2007
This movie sounded like it would be a lot of off-beat fun and just my style -- a bizarre blend of the horror and biker movie genres. But unfortunately I ended up kind of disappointed with the overall result.

The movie starts out promisingly enough. We find a typical motorcycle gang of the era cruisin' down the highway to the sound of a great original soundtrack (reminds me of The Band or Grateful Dead). After raising some hell at a gas station, they carouse their way to the vicinity of an isolated and mysterious cult's temple. The cult has in mind using one of the bikers' babes for some kind of strange ritual. This provides us with the coolest scene in the movie, as said mesmerized babe proceeds to give us an eyeful of her nudie snake dance, once again to the sound of the movie's fabulous soundtrack which really adds to this scene. Naturally the bikers bust in just in the nick of time to rescue her, but not before being cursed by the cultists.

Up to this point, I was quite enjoying the movie. But from here on, the movie seems to rapidly go downhill. The gang decides to head out to the desert to "get their heads together". This is when mysterious attacks of some kind of "wild animal" begin picking off members of the gang, one by one. But the pace of the movie at this point really slows right down and becomes quite tedious. It just seems to drag on and on till the inevitable ending.

And worst of all, I found this DVD's cover art quite misleading. I would like to warn you that there is actually only ONE werewolf ever seen riding a motorcycle in the entire movie, NOT a whole gang as the cover would seem to suggest. In fact, this DVD also includes commentary from the movie's writer and director, and the writer himself says that the film's whole gimmick is "you only give 'em one werewolf at the end of the movie". It seems that someone else had been considering making this movie, but was planning to give the audience a whole gang of werewolves on motorcycles. But the makers of this film felt that approach was all wrong.

I totally disagree. I think this movie would have been 100 times better with a whole gang of werewolves on motorcycles as promised on the cover. Instead I ended up feeling massively cheated and ripped off by the purposely deceiving cover art.

As usual, Blue Underground have done a superb job restoring this obscure b-classic. The picture is very fine indeed. The commentary from the writer and director is quite fun, as we find out behind-the-scenes details that really reflect the low-budget moviemaking spirit of the times (-- like how most of the cast was stoned out of their minds most of the time!) In addition, there is also a poster and still gallery.

But unfortunately it is the movie itself in this case which I found not quite up to scratch. Simply put, beyond the one really cool scene which I briefly described above, there is not much here worth seeing. I guess that's why this movie has (deservedly) remained in obscurity all these years.

Hey, now there's an idea! Instead of Hollywood wasting millions making pathetically poor remakes of great movies like it has for the past 15 years or so, why not take movies like this that had a great basic concept but poor execution, and turn them into the truly great movies they should have been?

Naw....that would make too much sense. ;)
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on February 15, 2014
DarkSkyFilms have released a great DVD for an obscure drive-in staple combining both the popular biker-film and werewolf film genres. A film with a title like this mustn't be taken seriously; and for this type of cheese, only horror/grind house/exploitation fans need apply. It is a great flick boasting surprisingly impressive tracking shots of the gang riding down desolate highways along with some eye-popping scenes involving Satanic monks, boobs, and a ball python, but let's not forget the most important aspect of these scenes which is obviously boobs.
By the way, if any horror buffs are reading this, you'll understand this comparison....the werewolves bear a striking resemblance to Paul Naschy's Waldemar Daninsky.
The only grief I notice is on the front cover. It's not a typo or anything it's just a strange statement. On top of the DVD it says "If you're hairy, you belong on a bike!"....I feel sorry for any clean shaven bikers suffering from male pattern baldness buying this movie. That statement is surreal but unintentionally hilarious simultaneously.
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on December 7, 2009
I was entertained by this movie in spite of the flaws that come with 70's grindhouse B Movies.

I like werewolf pictures as well as biker flicks, so this movie interested me greatlt; I wasnt disappointed. Movies of this genre can sometimes be guilty of false advertising. For example the movie Hell's Belles, which was not, as the title would suggest, a biker chick movie, or Chain Gang Women, which was not a women in prison flick. Here though, you get just what the title suggests and more; Werewolf bikers and a big dose of 70's satanism.

Yeah there are the ever present moments which either make you wince or scratch your head, but overall, this was an entertaining flick. The music is great, the cinematography is suprisingly good (lots of creative and interesting shots here), and the main character seems to be acting naturally (in other words; his natural real-life personality seems to be very present). I've seen a blue-million 70's grindhouse flicks and this is one of the better ones you can find. You may not be scared while viewing this, but you will probably laugh a lot.

The presentation is great; widescreen and taken from a good print. If youve seen a lot of this kind of thing, and have had your fair share of cheap/shoddy transfers (usually from a beat up VHS) be assured that this is a superior product in a market full of rip-offs.
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on August 2, 2014
I used to watch a lot of movies years ago.

This is one of those unique movies that came to mind and I was glad I was able to find it even though I couldn't remember the title.

It's about a group of bikers who encounter some strange monks in a weird temple.

There's some nice looking girls in the movie.

Phantasm

The Manster

The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake

Black Widow

Possession (Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill) [IMPORT]

The Beast (La bête)

The Wolf Man [Blu-ray]

Genius: Best of Warren Zevon

I Was a Teenage Werewolf [VHS]
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on October 6, 2013
You have to be a fan of low-budget genre movies from the 60's and 70's to really appreciate this.
I don't know how I first heard about "W O W" (the title of which never actually appears on screen on the DVD oddly), maybe I once rented a videocassette? Not sure, or I may have just seen it among the "new releases" from Dark Sky, the DVD company that released this..
I've watched the movie several times, and don't know how many others will think this has a repeat factor. However, personally, every time I go back to watching it after several years of not viewing, I never go into it recalling very much, or thinking that it's a "classic" but, in the end, I always enjoy it greatly.
Personally the reason this is totally worthwhile as a purchase/keeper is a wonderful audio commentary as one of the extras.
The commentary has a couple of folks originally involved with the movie: one of the writers as well as director Michel Levesque. The commentary was recorded in Sept. 2005. All the participants recall the details surrounding the making of the movie in great detail, so it's a great, fun listen. I guess the timing of recording the commentary was pretty good, since director Michel Levesque sadly passed away in 2010 at the age of 66.
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on February 27, 2015
Let me first just say "I Love This Movie." I first watched it on YouTube and was hooked from the opening shot (more about that later). I''m not a motorcycle gang film aficionado particularly, but I've watched many of the ones now remembered fondly, and this one compares favorably to any of them. The black magic/werewolf elements are just a nice added touch. I am an aficionado of monster movies and this film is a welcome and original addition to the genre. In addition, you get great music, pretty decent actors, cool cinematography and a relatively interesting plot.

I have one major gripe about the DVD. For whatever pennypinching reason, the opening shot of the gang approaching down the highway on their cycles before the credits begin is cut by almost a minute. That's what hooked me into watching the whole film. Cutting it out of the DVD edition WAS A REALLY DUMB IDEA. So watch the first minute on YouTube, then switch to your DVD to get the full experience.
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on September 15, 2015
This is pretty cool film. In some ways the film is just what you would expect it to be from the title and the poster "Werewolves on Wheels" (Motorcycles). In other ways, this film is different than what you would expect it to be.

Yes there are burly bikers who become werewolves - but the unexpected is you don't see them as werewolves very much... nor are they in wolf-man form riding their bikes.

You will also see Satanic Monks, a witch, a tarot card reader, an eerie church, nice desert scenery and a neat little story. The soundtrack is good too!

This is one of those films I really don't want to say too much about - just watch it if you like werewolves, Easy Rider (motorcycle films) and older horror films in general you might enjoy it as I did.

7.5/10
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VINE VOICEon August 7, 2013
Reviewing this may be a bit redundant and unnecessary considering most reviewers here have pretty much hit it on the head with this one. But I need to kill some time before the croissants are done, so here we go. A werewolf biker film from 71? Sounds great, as I love werewolves as well as biker exploitation films. But this film sounds better than it actually plays out.
Like many have said, it starts out strong, with the bikers trespassing on the grounds of a satanic church(the 70s liked their Satan). The satanic monks(they look like your basic monk, but with dirt caked faces, which I suppose is what makes them satanic) try stealing one of the biker mommas for their ritual, and end up having the snot kicked out of them by the bikers. The monks put a werewolf whammy on the bikers though, and when night falls, some unfortunate biker(s) is picked off by the beast.
Yes, there are actually two werewolves, not a full gang of denim clad biker riding werewolves. Only one werewolf hops on a bike either.
This film got real boring real fast. Look, I love a slow burn of a horror film, but something of interest usually has to be going on. Nothing interesting is going on here. Many campout bonfire scenes with the biker gang, who aren't an interesting bunch to begin with. They don't even do much hellraisin' as you'd expect, just harass a couple of gas station attendants. Peter Fonda might have spiced this gang up a bit. The only character of any interest at all is Tarot, the mystic(naturally he's Native American) who keeps warning the rest of the gang of it's doom, only to have it fall on deaf ears and piss off the gang leader, Adam.
Again, nothing to see here, as the saying goes. Lots of romping around the desert(with uninteresting people), and two unexciting werewolf attacks. Then in the final minutes our werewolves make their presence known(they are exactly who you thought they would be), a not so grand final battle is fought, and.......well, if you really wanna find out what happens, I guess you'll just have to watch it. But I believe you'll still live a fairly fulfilling life if you don't.
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on December 3, 2005
I was an extra in this movie in 1971. I was one of the hooded monks. It was really a lot of fun. Scene I was in was filmed across from Bela legosi's old mansion in Glendale, California. I did some of the fight scenes (inside the mansion/castle) with Barry McQuire. This movie is a B-Movie, a Biker/Horror Movie. I saw it years ago on VHS. I'll buy the DVD version as soon as it's released. Nostalgic stuff of the early 70s and in "LA" too. Thirdeyenine.
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