Your Humble Reviewer has always been a fan of Greydon Clark’s 1970’s and early 1980’s work as an exploitation filmmaker so it’s a pleasure to post this 2-for-1 DVD news. Hi-Riders is an action flick that delivers plenty of car and motorcycle stunts, crisply lensed by future John Carpenter d.p. Dean Cundey, and The Bad Bunch is an astonishing blaxploitation/social-commentary hybrid that will leave your jaw on the floor. Having them both on one disc with new transfers is good value for money but VCI further sweetens the deal with a barrage of supplements involving Clark himself. Read on for all drive-in delerium info…
VCI’S GREYDON CLARK DRIVE-IN DOUBLE FEATURE: HI-RIDERS & THE BAD BUNCH
Meet the Hi-Riders – a gang of jean-jacketed drag racers. Every man a devil-driven death machine in a human demolition derby. They live hard and die hard – screaming demons headed for hell on chopped-down hogs. Meet Mark and Lynn (Darby Hinton and Diane Peterson) caught up in a story of hatred and revenge. While at a bar the Hi-Riders are challenged to a drag race by one of the local hot heads. In a spectacular explosion both drivers are killed. During a wild party in honor of the dead drivers, the local boy’s father storms in and vows revenge on the Hi-Riders. A fantastic stunt-filled chase ensues between the Hi-Riders and the local henchmen. Whipped into a blazing frenzy of violence the Hi-Riders are humping hot steel hogs on a raging rampage through the town. Zip up your leather jacket, kick over the starter and take the ride of your life with the Hi-Riders.
Violence and racial tension punctuate this fast moving action film, that is a study of prejudice and discrimination. This is the story of a black gang who run the streets of Watts and of Jim, a white man, who tries to befriend them. Prejudice stands in the way of any friendship and turns black against white in a bloody act of vengeance. This film, set in the mid ‘70’s, does much to show how society has progressed, but to some it may seem that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
82 min., Color, R, 1976, 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio – 4×3.
Q&A with Darby Hinton & Diane Peterson about the making of Hi-Riders
Q&A with director Greydon Clark
Commentaries on both films by director Greydon Clark
Hi-Riders: Mel Ferrer, Stephen McNally, Darby Hinton, Neville Brand, Ralph Meeker & The Hi-Riders.
Bad Bunch: Greydon Clark, Tom Johnigarn, Jacqulin Cole, Aldo Ray.