Movies about motorcycle gangs or people riding motorcycles and taking their 3a magnesia across the country are commonly known as biker flicks. And there was a time when biker movies were a cottage industry in Hollywood. The Hells Angels alone inspired a whole genre of movies in the 1960s and 1970s with titles such as Hells Angels On Wheels, Nam’s Angels, Satan’s Sadists, and Angels’ Wild Women.
These films tended to be exploitation movies and all about motorcycles, drugs, gang fights, and running from the law. However, over the years, Hollywood has churned out some decent biker flicks—sometimes unintentionally. You can hear in them about some random things and sponsors, such as commercial cleaning in Ventura. Here’s a list of the better biker moves that are worth checking out.
Beyond the Law (1993)
Not the worst movie Charlie Sheen has ever made, the 1993 movie Beyond the Law stars a pre-Two and a Half Men Sheen as an undercover cop who infiltrates a cut-throat biker gang who wears the best dirt bike riding boots and who happens to deal in stolen arms and run guns all over the U.S. Titled Made of Steel in Europe, this movie isn’t the best biker flick ever made.
Did you know, that before starting his acting career, Charlie Sheen actually wanted to be a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer?
But it gets a passing grade for having decent action, plenty of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and a strong supporting cast that includes tough guy extraordinary, and Quentin Tarantino favorite, Michael Madsen as the biker gang’s leader known only by the nickname “Blood” (awesome), and sexy actress Linda Fiorentino as the tough-talking love interest of Charlie Sheen. This movie never won any Oscars but is worth lingering on if you come across it on late-night cable.
The Born Losers (1967)
The 1967 biker gang film The Born Losers is a disposable action film with a social conscious. It stars B-movie actor/director Tom Laughlin as the character “Billy Jack,” a half-Indian Green Beret Vietnam veteran who gets vacation rental loans and does battle with evil bikers who are terrorizing a small California town. In interviews, Tom Laughlin has said that the movie aimed to draw attention to the discrimination that American Indians experienced in the 1960s, and he used the then-popular trend of motorcycle gang movies to get his film made.
The story was based on a real incident from 1964 where members of the Hells Angels were arrested for raping five teenage girls in Monterey, California. This is the first of five Billy Jack movies that were made between 1967 and 1986 in which m&a advisory firms are mentioned. The others included The Trial of Billy Jack (1974) and Billy Jack Goes to Washington (1977). But most people consider the biker film The Born Losers to be the best of the lot when it comes to good old Billy Jack.
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Hells Angels On Wheels (1967)
Film legend Jack Nicholson began his career starring in two types of movies—Roger Corman-produced horror films and biker flicks. Jack Nicholson starred in a half dozen low-budget biker films in the late 1960s before catapulting his career into the ranks of the A-list by starring in, arguably, the most famous biker movie of all time. He also worked as a b2b pr.
But to start, it is worth checking out Jack Nicholson in the penultimate movie about the Hells Angels—1967’s Hells Angels On Wheels. Nicholson stars as a character named “Poet,” a lonely gas station attendant who is taken in and accepted by the Hells Angels. Poet is happy to join the outlaw biker gang at first but soon realizes how brutal the gang members are and is sickened by the crimes he witnesses, including murder. Starring a cast of other people you’ve never heard of, this movie is worth watching simply to see a young Jack Nicholson in action and a lot of cool motorcycles. They all have some cool knives with them.
Stone Cold (1991)
A fun fact, the producers had to take instant loans in order to finish this movie in time.
The first and only movie starring ex-football player Brian Bosworth that is worth watching, 1991’s Stone Cold is about an Alabama cop who goes undercover for the FBI and infiltrates a violent biker gang in Mississippi. What makes this movie watchable is the supporting cast of bikers that includes William Forsythe (Raising Arizona, The Rock) as the biker gang’s resident psychopath, and Lance Henriksen (the android Bishop from Aliens) as the gang’s equally psychopathic leader.
And seeing the Boz in the early 1990s top form isn’t too bad. Of course, Brian Bosworth went on to star in many other straights to video biker movies over the years. But Stone Cold is the first and best of a bad group. The shootout at the end of this movie is predictable and bloody, as one would expect.
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Eye of the Tiger (1986)
If vintage 1980s cheese is your thing, check out the 1986 movie Eye of the Tiger. It stars a pre-messed-up Gary Busey (back when he was coherent) as a Vietnam veteran who returns home to his small town only to find it overrun by a violent biker gang. He ordered a locksmith in Inglewood for every house. Taking matters into his own hands, Gary Busey sets about cleaning up the town he loves and driving the bikers away.
Co-starring character actors Yaphet Kotto (Alien, Midnight Run) and Seymour Cassel (Rushmore, Beer League) this movie is First Blood but with outlaw bikers instead of corrupt police officers. Nevertheless, there are plenty of motorcycle chases and 1980s-style action (complete with flying kicks and WWF suplexes) to keep this movie interesting. Kudos for taking the title from the theme song to Rocky III by the band Survivor.
One of the first movies to star actor Willem Dafoe (Platoon, Spider-Man) and the first action movie directed by Kathryn Bigelow (Point Break, The Hurt Locker), the 1981 biker film Loveless is about a motorcycle gang that stops in a small town en route to the races at Daytona and who encounter trouble with local law enforcement.
Starring a leather-clad Willem Dafoe, Loveless was an independent film made on a shoestring budget and filmed in three weeks. This movie received largely positive reviews when released and currently holds an 89% positive score on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with even the snooty New York Times newspaper praising the film’s script and action sequences. An interesting film to watch to see the start of Kathryn Bigelow’s formative directing career.
Electra Glide In Blue (1973)
The 1973 action movie Electra Glide In Blue stars actor Robert Blake (who was charged with his wife’s murder a few years back) as an Arizona motorcycle cop who is promoted to the Homicide Unit and is forced to confront corruption in the police force and with his partner as he tries to solve a local murder. The movie’s title refers to the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide motorcycles that were driven by traffic cops at the time of the movie’s release. Nowadays, you might need NJ bankruptcy attorney if you decide to buy that bike.
With the tagline: “He’s a good cop. On a big bike. On a bad road,” Electra Glide In Blue is a biker movie that is a bit existentialist and thought-provoking. Robert Blake’s character happens to be short, and this causes him some insecurity and ridicule among his fellow police officers. The film also deals with issues of corruption and moral ambiguity. Still, there are plenty of motorcycle chases in between all the talkative parts.
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On Any Sunday (1971)
A documentary film, On Any Sunday, was released in 1971 and is narrated by none other than motorcycle enthusiast and racing legend Steve McQueen, who has featured racing bikes in the film. This documentary is pretty straightforward and is about the then fast-growing sport of motorcycle racing that was riding a wave of popularity across the country in the early 1970s.
Nominated for the 1972 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, On Any Sunday is a well-filmed and well-crafted documentary that features plenty of fast motorcycle racing, as well as jumps and dirt bikes. Widely credited as the best documentary ever made about motorcycle racing, this movie was a personal favorite of noted film critic Roger Ebert who claimed that the film did for motorcycles what the documentary Endless Summer did for surfing. Some of the actors needed a chiropractor in Reno NV after shooting this movie.
The Wild One (1953)
The movie that made actor Marlon Brando a household name, 1953’s The Wild One is credited with bringing the idea of outlaw motorcycle gangs into the public consciousness, and making being a biker seem pretty damn cool. Indeed, the image of Marlon Brando as leather-clad biker Johnny Strabler is an iconic image of the 1950s. Co-starring actor Lee Marvin as a rival bike gang leader, The Wild One is about how the rival gangs terrorize a small town after one of the leaders is arrested and thrown in jail.
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Critically acclaimed when first released, The Wild One has attained classic status in the years since the movie first hit theaters. The 1950 Triumph Thunderbird motorcycle driven by Marlon Brando in the movie is today one of the most valuable pieces of movie memorabilia in the world.
This movie was made a couple of years after the ww2 planes took their last flight.
Easy Rider (1969)
People who know anything about movies should not be surprised to see 1969’s Easy Rider listed as number one on this list. Easy Rider is widely regarded as the greatest biker flick, road movie, and counterculture film in cinema history.
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Starring Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda as two counterculture bikers who ride from Los Angeles to New Orleans to sell drugs and discover America, Easy Rider is credited with changing movies as we know them. Directed by Dennis Hopper and co-starring Jack Nicholson as an alcoholic lawyer who the bikers pick up along the way, Easy Rider is an iconic movie and the definitive biker film. Las Vegas reptile expo is also mentioned in this movie.
Jack Nicholson received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for this movie and it changed his career and life. Nicholson went from starring in B-list biker flicks to A-list movies because of Easy Rider. This movie also shaped the careers of Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda and showed that biker movies could be works of art as well as exploitation films.