BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Angel Unchained (1970) - Blu-ray Review

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Angel Unchained (1970)

Donald Lee Stroud.  Actor.  Surfer.  Drummer.  Is there anything this screen legend of B-grade motion pictures can’t do?  According to Angel Unchained, a biker flick directed by Lee Madden, a pro at making biker-themed action flicks, there really isn’t anything or anyone Stroud as Angel can’t do.  And, with Tyne Daly as Merilee, his co-pilot for this ride, how can he not?

"This biker flick might not be as wicked as Easy Rider, but it is entertaining in its own right as hippies and bikers come together over pints and brew and lots and lots of grass"


You see, Angel Unchained is a kinder and gentler biker picture than one might be expecting.  Sure, the film starts out rough and ready-like as a group of biker gangs go at each other’s throats inside a kiddie’s amusement park, but Angel’s healthy American lust takes him from his biker gang, the Exile MCs, to more of a scenic life with a bunch of hippies, led by Luke Askew as Jonathan Tremaine, as his friends. 

Soon enough, the local townspeople are trying to run off the hippies and their biker buddy.  They’ve had it with their drugs and their whole peace in the valley approach to life and go at them with dune buggies, pitchforks, and whatever weapons they can quickly fashion.  After an initial confrontation in which they destroy their crops, the angry townspeople and their sheriff (Aldo Ray) give the hippies one week to clear out from their home in Phoenix, Arizona. 

But Angel still has friends in his gang.  At least he hopes that he does.  Too bad they could give two shits about him or his life after leaving their gang.

After trying to make peace with the townsfolk (and failing), he takes his dilemma to his two-wheeled posse.  Hopefully, his biker club, featuring Larry Bishop as Pilot and T. Max Graham as Magician, can come to the rescue for a chance to kick the dust up with a bunch of normies in their war against all things peace, love, and applesauce.

Written by Jeffrey Alan Fiskin, and produced by American International Pictures, Angel Unchained features a soundtrack by Randy “Walkin’ the Low Road” Sparks and a bunch of real bikers recruited to beef up the biker gang who answers the distress call.

This biker flick might not be as wicked as Easy Rider, but it is entertaining in its own right as hippies and bikers come together over pints and brew and lots and lots of grass.  The film doesn’t downplay the tension between the two groups and, while brainless, makes for a solid B-grade AIP matinee flick as gun-toting rednecks on their dune buggies get served their comeuppance in fierce desert sands.Angel Unchained (1970)

Okay, okay, so the coalition is short-lived.  I mean, these two acts simply do not get along too well together and, with Angel in the middle of everything, it seems the poor guy just can’t win.  He’s hounded by rednecks on dune buggies, the local police, the hippies, AND his old gang.  It seems that only the old native American(who makes strong ass cookies) in the commune gets him.  But it gets worse.  The biker dudes won't leave his girl alone.  They even taunt her when she is working in the field.  Bad things are bound to happen when Angel is pushed too far and, trust me, you are going to want to see what goes down as retaliation.

Grease those gears!  Angel Unchained is now available on blu-ray thanks to Ronin Flix.

3/5 beers

Angel Unchained (1970)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Scorpion Releasing
Available on Blu-ray
- March 19, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Presented in a crisp 1080p transfer, the new HD scan of the original film elements is a thing of pristine beauty.  The film is dominated with reds and greens that absolutely burst with color.  It’s a low budget film, for sure, but the desert backgrounds burst with new details and a nice level of clarity.  Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural. Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen.  Audio wise, the DTS-HD MA 2.0 mono soundtrack is clear and the dialogue is never lost or hard to hear.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

There are NEW interviews with Larry Bishop and Jordan Rhodes.  A theatrical trailer is also included.

  • Larry Bishop and Jordan Rhodes Interview
  • Theatrical Trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 2/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

Angel Unchained (1970) Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
86 mins
Director
: Lee Madden
Writer:
Jeffrey Alan Fiskin
Cast:
Don Stroud, Luke Askew, Larry Bishop
Genre
: Action
Tagline:
HANG LOOSE WHEN YOU MAKE THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE RUN, Down a gauntlet of violence in a war of survival against the Cycle Freaks and the Dune Buggy Straights!
Theatrical Distributor:
American International Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
December 9, 1970
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 19, 2019
Synopsis: Angel is riding across the desert when he picks up a hippie chick for a ride on his Harley. Arriving at her commune, they get hot and heavy, but before they can slip off their love beads, the commune’s gun-toting neighbors launch a dune buggy ambush, determined to send the hippie’s packing. The commune leader preaches peace, but Angel calls in his biker gang and is about to raise hell.

Angel Unchained (1970) Blu-ray

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