Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chrome and Hot Leather - 1971

I love the fact that there are so many different type of 'splotation movies.  All you gotta do is take any group, faction, occupation....or noun and verb for that matter....add the suffix 'splotation after it and BINGO!  Instant film genre!  There's Nunsploitation, Nazisploitation, Sexploitation, Blaxpoitation, Ozsploitation, Shocksploitation, Canuxsploitation.....and the list goes on and on.

Today we're looking at a fun little piece of Bikersploitation called Chrome and Hot Leather.  It's your standard revenge plot, but this is the ONLY place you will see the one and only Marvin Gaye as a Green Beret disguised as a biker.  It's actually pretty hilarious.  The film follows an army sergeant named Mitch who receives news that his fiancee has been killed in a car crash.  Upon arriving in his hometown to attend her funeral he discovers that her death was caused by a motorcycle gang.  Okay, so really, it was caused by ONE guy in the gang, who kinda looked like Ben Still did when in disguise in Starsky and Hutch......but I digress.  Mitch enlists the help of his fellow Sergeants and they pose as a small bike gang with some Kawasaki dirt bikes.  Apparently Kawasaki was a pretty big financier......

Mitch catches onto the trail of The Wizards, led by T.J.  They're not exactly the most frightening bunch of guys.  They are not particularly ill tempered and the most they do is really kinda mess up traffic a bit and fight among themselves.  Except for Casey...who is the lugnut that ran Mitch's girl off the road.

There is an absolutely hysterical scene in which Mitch enters The Wizards' local watering hole and T.J. takes notice.  He and (almost) the entire gang descend on him and it all stops as we hear bloops and beeps and bumps.  T.J. looks to the side and see's Gabe (one of the gang) playing a pinball machine.  The dialog that ensues is the stuff of cinematic Gold.

T.J. :  "Gabriel......."

GABE:  "Yeah?"

T.J.: (Glaring at Gabe)  "Can't you see I'm trying to menace someone?"

Best part of the whole damn movie right there!  I laughed so hard I nearly choked on my coke!  There's a few little gem moments like that throughout the film.  The plot moves a bit slowly....but that's okay.  The little moments like this make it worth the extra effort it takes to watch.  You WOULD think that with such a lurid title, this film would be balls to the wall biker action, but it's really not.  The fight scenes are pretty amusing....I've definitely seen worse, but they are FAR from believable.

The third act of course culminates in a knock down, drag out fight between the gang and our four intrepid heroes.  It's quite amusing to see the Sergeants execute their battle strategy against the bikers and there's a few really cool bits here and there.  At the end of the day, this is a PG-13 flick that could have been so much more.....but I will take it for what it is.

If you've got some time to kill, you do worse.  Chrome and Hot Leather is currently streaming on Netflix and there is an MGM Midnite Movies double disc that is also available, paired with The Miniskirt Mob.

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