Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.
Released on November 22, 1967
Directed by Anthony M. Lanza
Written by James Gordon White and John Lawrence
Cast: Dennis Hopper, Jody McCrea, Jock Mahoney, Chris Noel, Casey Kasem, Robert Tessier, Saundra Gayle, Lindsay Crosby, Paul Prokop, Gary Wood, Astrid Warner, Jim Reader, Randee Lynne Jensen
Saddle your hogs and ride, man! I never dreamed there could be so many obscure biker movies out there, but apparently there are, and somehow I’m finding them…and spending precious grocery money adding them to my collection. I’m not sure why, but I really get a kick out of these things; perhaps it’s the ever-present revenge motif that always wins me over. And how can you go wrong with a title as abstract and mystifying as this one? You can’t, and that’s only one reason why this film turned out to be a tad better and more entertaining than others of its kind.
Along with a story that actually had some depth, and events that got you involved with the characters, you also had a cast list that featured the most eclectic collection of recognizable names you’ll find anywhere, a list that included Dennis Hopper, Joel McCrea’s son Jody, Bing Crosby’s son Lindsay, former Tarzan actor Jock Mahoney, and American Top 40 host Casey Kasem as, of all things, a bearded chopper creep. Add to that a few genre staples like Robert Tessier and Randee Lynne Jensen, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a celebrity biker party.
However, it was the dichotomy of the plot that really drew me in; Hopper heads a gang of bothersome ‘bad’ bikers who hassle a group of ‘good’ bikers—the Glory Stompers of the title—at a roadside cafe, then kidnap the girlfriend of the Stomper leader, leaving him beaten and dead in the woods…or so they think. This guy soon shakes off his injuries and goes after his girl, intent on saving her and exacting some retribution on the unsuspecting gang, who begin to implode along the way.
Surprisingly, the director and writers delivered some fairly cool moments and shots for this type of movie, and I loved the basic revenge ideas the screenplay offered (I especially liked the scene where the girlfriend got some payback ideas of her own), which is why, along with its title, The Glory Stompers earns itself a spot near the top of this sub-genre’s heap. If you’re a fan of such movies, I’d say give it a look; Quentin Tarantino screened it at one of his film fests, and I’m curious to find out if he ever considered remaking it. To me, it would be right up his alley. (5/10)