Werewolves on Wheels (1971)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Biker Film  |   Release Date - Nov 19, 1971 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Fred Beldin

The title promises ludicrous thrills galore for the psychotronic film devotee, but Werewolves on Wheels isn't quite the wild genre mash it pretends to be. More biker flick than horror show, more head trip than action film, it possesses elusive charms that only the most dedicated trash fan will be able to uncover. Director Michel Levesque has his bikers and Satanists clash quickly, but after a sinister ritual sequence and a quick monk-bashing brawl, the boys get on their iron horses for a long, slow ride that will test the patience of anyone expecting lycanthropic violence. Surreal psychedelic touches that might be groovy to those in certain states of mind should prove sleepy to anyone else, as the bikers drift into fogs of wind-blown sand and set fire to abandoned cars in the middle of the desert. Other than a few nighttime werewolf attacks, the viewer gets improvised campfire rap sessions and genre-standard motorcycle road footage. Most of the audience will probably figure out who is responsible for the werewolf killings early on, but even after the monster's fiery revelation, things get muddled even further with freaky flashbacks and satanic hallucinations. Several of Werewolves on Wheels' cast members appeared in Dennis Hopper's infamous 1971 ego trip The Last Movie, and others were professional stuntmen. They're appropriately bedraggled, bearded, and road worn, but these bikers are awful Hollywood, always quick to perform zany skits for the camera and let loose with John Wayne impressions. Werewolves on Wheels can't live up to its high-concept title, but it remains a unique entry into the biker film canon. Check out The Death Wheelers for a more entertaining horror/motorcycle hybrid, made the same year in England.