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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
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Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
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Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
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Lisbon
Fat Possum
LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

November 5, 2008
RATING: 4.5/10
It's not for nothing that one often reads about "post-Tarantino" films. After all, Quentin Tarantino's influence - beginning with Reservoir Dogs, substantiated by Pulp Fiction, and cemented through both installments of Kill Bill - has undeniably altered the face of modern cinema and set the pace for a rash of neo-exploitation motion pictures. In a self-reflexive but logical move, some recent films cut off of the Tarantino template have proudly displayed a "Quentin Tarantino Presents" banner above their titles. The most recent is sometimes-actor, sometimes-director Larry Bishop's Hell Ride, executive produced by Tarantino, and starring Bishop himself alongside Michael Madsen, Eric Balfour, Vinnie Jones, Dennis Hopper, and David Carradine. The film screened at last year's Sundance Festival and opened with limited release in August, but was quickly shuttled to DVD, where it feels more at home since the quality is just a slim step above straight-to-video.



I'm fairly sure that Hell Ride's plot has something to do with two rival biker gangs, one of which is called the Six Six Six. But it's hard to really focus on the details through the haze of kitschy 1960s and '70s music (just one of Tarantino's fingerprints on the film), a ton of artificially perky breasts and nubile butt cheeks, lots of killing (via guns, arrows, and knives), slow-motion walking-away-from-explosions, and bikers pulling up into bar parking lots. The characters are men who want to share their murderous acts and awkwardly mutter lines like "A fucking arrow in the middle of the desert. It's a nihilist's dream come true," and women who greet their men by saying, "My pussy's on fire." In fact, there are a plethora of of scenes where these biker-men show up in rooms filled with women who are immediately primed for coitus - just like real life! Unfortunately, many of the vixens get killed shortly afterwards, but the memory of their vaginas, whether irritated or actually aflame, lingers.



Assessing the film's merits, a familiar saying comes to mind: "It is what it is." Hell Ride is not a Bertolucci or Bergman film. It's supposed to be mindless fun, violence, filth, and sex. But as the master, Tarantino, makes very clear in his own work, you have to fill in the cracks with clever dialogue that doesn't sound like film school banter, a visual style that can be considered original (even if it isn't), and a flair for pulling iconic performances out of actors and actresses who aren't always expected to deliver a much. Content to ape better films, Bishop doesn't really follow any of these rules, making this an incredibly difficult 80 minutes to sit through.

TRAILER: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHglhwcwO8I

SEE ALSO: www.hellridemovie.com

--
Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other articles by Jonah Flicker.

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