By 1972, it seemed that biker flick mania had pretty much run its course. After six years of outlaw motorcycle gangs tearing across drive-in screens from coast to coast, the market dried up practically overnight. Biker films had finally run out of gas. Unfortunately for Sam Sherman, head of Independent International Pictures (purveyors of quintessential drive-in fare such as Satan’s Sadists, Blood of Ghastly Horror, and the immortal Dracula vs. Frankenstein), he and director Al Adamson had shot a biker film called Screaming Angels that they were hoping to release, but with the biker craze over, the films’ prospects for making any money looked dim. And then Sam saw The Big Doll House, one of Roger Corman’s first Filipino “women in prison” films, and realized that, with some reshoots, he and Al could change the focus of the film from the scuzzy male bikers to their more attractive cycle mamas…and thus Angels’ Wild Women was born.
The plot, as much as it has one, has to do with all of the male bikers in a motorcycle club going on a run and leaving the women behind. So the women get on their bikes and go to visit a friend at a commune (and, yes, just like in Angel Unchained, the characters all pronounce the word “commune” as if it were a verb), where they get into trouble and are held captive. Along the way they beat up some guys and seduce a farmer. In the end, one of the women finds the guy members of the club and gets them to go back to the commune and fight the women’s captors, two of whom end up dying in a fiery car crash.
Even though the film is just barely a biker flick, as the motorcycles are secondary to beer drinking and fighting, it still has enough exploitable elements to have kept it unspooling at drive-ins for years as support for newer pictures. There’s some mild violence, a suggested rape, one early, surprising instance of one of the more colorful swear words, several bare breasts, and one human sacrifice by the members of the commune. The film was partially shot at the Spahn Ranch, where Charles Manson and his “family” lived when they committed the Tate / LaBianca murders in 1969, and Al Adamson made sure that he showed the “Spahn Movie Ranch” sign at every opportunity. The director’s wife, Regina Carrol, wears a pair of the tiniest boy shorts that I’ve ever seen and some badly-applied white lipstick. She also uses a whip in one scene, although it’s never seen again. Not that it matters, but by my count, six of the film’s stars had appeared in Al Adamson’s previous film, Brain of Blood. Al seemed to like having a repertory company of actors that he could use, picture after picture. Unfortunately, neither Regina nor Al is still with us; Regina died of cancer in 1992, and Al met his untimely demise three years later.
The film’s soundtrack is a huge disappointment, as most of the music seems to be made up of library tracks. As far as I can ascertain, there was no soundtrack album released…which is just as well, considering how generic the film’s music is. However, I found a radio spot for the movie on YouTube. Check this out:
And here’s the theatrical trailer, again courtesy of YouTube:
If the trailer intrigues you, you should make an effort to track down the film. It’s a bit tougher to find these days than it used to be, but you can still pick up a DVD of it for a good price, and at the time that I’m writing this, it’s available on PopcornFlix for free. It’s not going to change your life in any appreciable way, but, try as I might, I find it hard to completely dislike any Al Adamson flick, and you might feel that way, too.
Up next: Doomsville!