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  Pink Angels Gay Bikers Off Acid
Year: 1971
Director: Larry G. Brown
Stars: John Alderman, Tom Basham, Robert Biheller, Jackson Bostwick, Karen Bouchard, Dan Haggerty, Joe Hansen, Bruce Kimball, George T. Marshall, Henry Olek, Michael Pataki, Steve Pue, Melanie Sintangelo, Maurice Warfield
Genre: Comedy, Trash, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: A hitchhiker along the Californian highways is wary when a biker gang pulls up beside him and tell him to climb aboard. He does so, and presently they stop at a diner some way along the road where they all order food and soft drinks, but the hiker is somewhat nervous especially about the way they jostle him. However, he is even more perturbed when the bikers start making moves on him and it suddenly dawns that these men are gay! Their new passenger cannot get away fast enough as the six hairy homosexuals start a food fight...

Well, here's a thing, very much part of the biker movie craze sparked by Roger Corman with The Wild Angels, only in this case with a gay twist. That development is by and large played for laughs, with Margaret McPherson's script (her only) unwilling to engage with any of the more serious issues that might have arisen from such an unusual group of characters, all of whom are indistinguishable in appearance from the bikers in more conventional exploitation flicks. In their personality, however, it's very much the camp stereotype we're offered.

This intrepid sextet are heading for Los Angeles and what they hope is a big drag party where they can dress up in women's clothes because that's what the film believes gay men like to do. Early on they are stopped by two highway patrolmen who harrass them much in the manner that hog-riding rebels of the road in other films might be, yet here it's all a big joke to make the straight officers uncomfortable when they find a gold lamé ballgown amongst the bikers' possessions. Not knowing what to make of them, the cops allow them to go on their way.

They are not so lucky when their countryside picnic is interrupted by a far more butch, heterosexual gang, but they manage to divert their attention by providing them with prostitutes from a local bar. There is a plot here, though it's so casually assembled that at times Pink Angels resembles a collection of random scenes on a gay theme, the result feeling undeniably bizarre. Adding to that disorienting quality are the inserts of an army General who is part of a crusade against what he sees as deviants, as far as it's possible to make out anyway, and this sets up the serious downer of an ending.

Was that last shot supposed to be funny? Or an Easy Rider kind of sobering up for the audience? As with much of this film, it's very diifficult to tell what the method in the madness was, if indeed there was any at all, but the six actors playing the title characters seem to be game and up to anything the script demands, so you do warm to them and their swishy antics. Among those hijinks are dressing up the rival bikers with makeup and ribbons as a prank, which makes them furious and swearing revenge, although this does not end up as you might expect. For much of the time the humour is of the "I'm homosexual - isn't it hilarious?" variety, yet this is such a strange concoction that it does keep you watching, however disbelieving you are. The soundtrack consists of hippy-dippy rock obscurities.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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