A Film Review By Lance Polland
I went to the Hell Ride premiere last night at the Egyptian theater in Hollywood, Ca. I didn’t really know what to expect about this movie since I haven’t seen any advertisements on TV, only the word of mouth that’s been generating since it screened at the Sundance film festival earlier this year. I arrived about an hour early and went to the bar next door and had a couple of drinks, the Paparazzi outside the theater start lining up waiting for the stars to arrive. 30 minutes later I finished my last drink and headed back out the theater, as I was walking past the photographers someone yells out, he’s here and the flash bulbs start going off. Larry Bishop, (The Savage Seven and Kill Bill: Vol. 2) has arrived. Bishop is the movie’s writer, director and star of Hell Ride; he strolls past the paparazzi’s posing for pictures and greeting the crowded fans that have been waiting to see him. I hurry inside the Egyptian theater and get my seat eagerly anticipating the movie, within 20 minutes the auditorium fills up and the lights go out, the movie begins…Michael Madsen (The Doors and Kill Bill: Vol. 2) is ultra cool as a quick gun slinging booty chaser. The Gent is the One of the Victors most trusted member and also Pistolero’s right hand man. Eric Balfour (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) has the role of Comanche, the young baddass biker with a past. The comradery between the lead actors would make you believe they were as close of friends off camera as they were on, especially Bishop and Madsen. Hell Ride has some really cool moments throughout, when retired Victor member Eddie 'Scratch' Zero played by Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider and True Romance) pops up in the most key scenes, one can’t help notice how brilliant he can be with the right character. Other classic moments come from The Deuce played by David Carradine (Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Kill Bill: Vol. 2) steals every scene he’s in. One small but effective role is ‘Goody Two-Shoes’ played by Michael Beach (First Sunday and True Romance) who always delivers a solid performance in any movie he is in. Last but certainly not least is the incredibly beautiful Leonor Varela (Blade ll) as Nada, Pistolero’s current main squeeze. She is mesmerizing to watch on the screen, the raw sexy dialog that Bishop has laid down makes her character seem more believable. Nada’s fowl mouthed naughty tough girl attitude gives sex appeal a whole new meaning. Hell Ride was Executive Produced by Quentin Tarantino, a longtime Bishop friend. At the Q&A that followed after the movie director Larry Bishop said that Quentin had done some editing on the film to amp up the pace a little. It’s easy to see that Bishop has a good handle on tone and style when it comes to the rugged action and more violent shots of mayhem. Although Hell Ride is not an Oscar worthy movie, it’s defiantly an MTV best picture nominee for sure.
I had a chance to spend a few minutes with Larry Bishop and Michael after the premiere, Bishop told me he was excited at the response Hell Ride was receiving and hopes to do another one. Madsen said that filming was a blast and that he would love to do another film with Bishop and crew. I hope that Larry Bishop continues making these great exploitation grind house style films for years to come, the film opens in limited release August 8th, 2008
The author is a co-writer/director of the upcoming film Slices, to hit DVD later this year
(click to enlarge)