Bob Dylan may have been talking about motorcycle movies when he sang “Come gather ’round people wherever you roam, and admit that the waters around you have grown.” Bob Dylan’s single, The times they are changin’ is as much an anthem to cultural change now as it was in 1964. In fact, ironically, Dylan’s archetypical protest song starts to feel like the only thing that hasn’t been turned upside down in these last fifty years.
But surely things haven’t changed that much, have they?! Check out these six biker B-movies from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, and see for yourself just how much things have changed. Let us know in the comments if you think they could get away with making any of these motorcycle movies today.
1) Wild Wheels
Let’s start our list of motorcycle and biker b movies with Wild Wheels. It’s the story of a bunch of bad guys (bikers), who roll in and start a ruckus against a bunch of beach guys who ride around on dune buggies. That’s the whole premise of the movie. Over-the-top acting? Check. Boom microphones occasionally dropping into the scene? Yup.
The best part of the whole movie might just be the nostalgia you feel looking at the poster, or as one reviewer on IMDB put it: “Even if you like trash, you might still find this one boring and unwatchable.” Burn.
2) The Glory Stompers
The Glory Stompers is a motorcycle biker b movie about a motorcycle gang war that starts off when the leader of one motorcycle gang kidnaps and abuses the leader of an enemy gang.
My favorite positive review of this motorcycle movie on IMDB was titled, “Glory Stompers, not even close to the greatest movie but I keep watching anyway.” Overall, the movie averaged a 5.7/10 review on the site, and with a woman being grabbed right on the cover, even Dennis Hopper couldn’t get it hip to a 2018 mainstream audience.
If you search on YouTube, you can actually find the full version of this 1967 biker b movie. With winter coming up, you might wanna grab your hot mama, a little wacky tabacky, dust off the lava lamp, and tune in, turn on, and drop out to that late ’60’s nostalgia, you dig?
3) Savage Abduction / The Bloody Slaying of Sarah Ridelander
Motorcycle bad guys and abduction seemed to be a common theme in these late 1960s early 1970s flicks. The plot according to IMDB:
A serial killer murders a businessman’s wife, then blackmails the man into procuring young girls for him to murder. The businessman hires a gang of renegade motor-cyclists to kidnap girls for him. (Source: IMDB)
A serial killer, a business man, a motorcycle gang. Three layers of sub-plot. Or one layer for every star this movie is rated (3.4 / 10). When I first saw the movie poster, I was like, sweet, who doesn’t love a little kinky fun from time to time?! Then I looked more closely, and, you know, actually read the words… FIRST IMPRESSION SOURED.
I couldn’t find a trailer for this one, but you can definitely find the full movie on YouTube.
The doctor at YouMotorcycle HQ has diagnosed this as another 1960s movie with cool-poster-until-I-read-it-itis.
“Three bad boy motorcyclists get kicks raping women and generally being a nuisance. When they rape a veterinarian’s wife, he takes exception and pursues them, teaming up with a Cajun woman whose husband they killed. The leader of the gang, a Vietnam Vet, begins showing signs of being a few slices short of a loaf.” (Source: IMDB)
Fun fact about this motorcycle movie: It was made by Russ Meyer, the same year as he made Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! a film with a cult following. So if FPKK is your thing, you may want to give this a chance. You can also find the full version in HD on YouTube to watch.
5) Killers on Wheels
A pair of motorcycle riding couples terrorize the locals. Things get escalated when someone is killed.
Killers on Wheels is the only made in Asia motorcycle movie in our list. This one came out almost a decade after most of the others, but is much along the same lines, BUT, because it was made in Hong Kong in 1976, the martial arts action scenes are so over the top it’s probably less exciting and more hilarious than intended.
Before I started writing this article I was kind of mourning the loss of the biker b movie. It just seems like a part of the motorcycle community culture was completely swept under the rug and forgotten about. The motorcycle manufacturers won’t talk about these movies. The journalists won’t mention them either. The new riders are too tech-obsessed to talk to the old ones about the old days. And so a part of our history gets lost…
But, when I looked at these five examples… Maybe the death of the biker b-movies aren’t such a terrible loss, after all.