SHE-DEVILS ON WHEELS (1968)
Article 4086 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis
Featuring Betty Connell, Nancy Lee Noble, Christie Wagner
What it is: Bikesploitation, HGL style
An all-female gang of bikers wreaks havoc and tussles with an all-male rival gang.
If you were in the mood to lay into a bad movie and wanted an easy target, you needn’t go any further than the work of Herschell Gordon Lewis; his movies usually have bad sound, atrocious acting, bad music, stupid dialogue,etc… it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. It’s almost too easy, which is why sometimes I find myself, instead of focusing in on his shortcomings, taking a look at some of the eccentric touches in his work. In this movie, for example, I find it rather odd that one of the favorite pastimes of the motorcycle gang here is to recite poetry; granted, it’s mostly double-entendre-laden limericks, but it’s still pretty strange. Furthermore, I actually find myself rather charmed by the fake-out ending of the movie; just because you’ve reached the final credits doesn’t mean the movie is over in this case. No, it’s not a horror movie; I suspect its inclusion in at least one genre source is due to Lewis’s reputation as the Godfather of Gore, and some of the violence in this one is pretty bloody. Nevertheless, I can’t help but notice that, despite his penchant for extreme bloodletting, his taste in other exploitation elements is sometimes pretty tame; the orgy sequences here would rate no worse than a PG. And if the theme song of this movie is any indication, then Lewis is no better a song lyricist than he was as a director. At any rate, those familiar with Lewis’s oeuvre won’t be surprised by anything here, but will probably need to know that, this not being one of his horror movies, it’s far less bloody than his more famous work.