BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Angels Hard As They Come (1972) - Blu-ray Review

Angels Hard As They Come (1972)

“Screw the heat.  We don’t stop for nobody!”

Wine.  Women.  Whiskey.  And weed.  Sounds like a good time, right?  It isn't.  Angels Hard As They Come, a biker exploitation classic with original music by Carp, should know.  Things don't go as planned.

"It’s like football on bikes, you know, except the balls in play are their heads!"


And that good time turns to shit when two warring groups of bikers butt heads during a get-together in a hippie commune run by Vicki (Janet Wood) and Henry (Gary Busey).  The problem is that the more aggressive group, the Dragons led by General (Charles Dierkop), take advantage of their hosts and get way  too frisky for the other group, the Angels.  Especially when Astrid (Gilda Texter), the girl they target for prime pumping is busy making goo-goo eyes at the Angels’ own Long John (Scott Glenn). 

The Angels aren’t going to stand for it. 

Damn the consequences!  Gang rape isn’t groovy, man!  Astrid is killed in the skuffle and the General is almost knifed, too.  He’s pissed and blames the Angles for everything.  Lock them up and throw away the keys, man.  He puts them on trial in his make-shift court and sentences them to their version of prison.

But is that really how things went down?  Complete with a showdown in a ghost town, Angels Hard As They Come has it all.  Babes, bikers, and really bad attitudes.  

Co-written by Jonathan Demme and produced by Roger Corman, Angels Hard As They Come spends most of its time kicking sand in the face of the three heroes - Long John, Juicer (Don Carrara), and Monk (James Iglehart) - as they wind up getting mixed up in the Dragons’ violent games and have to escape before they run out of gas.  It’s like football on bikes, you know, except the balls in play are their heads! Go faster, man!Angels Hard As They Come (1972)

With Monk on the run, trying to figure out how to get to the rest of the Angels and bring some brute force back to the General and his boys, it seems revenge might not be so sweet or swift.  I mean, can he even get out of the desert alive?!

Based around the retelling of Rashomon (except on bikes, ya dig), Angels As Hard As They Come is actually a solid biker flick with strong direction from Joe Viola, who co-wrote the story with Demme, and lots of cool desert locales, bikes, and dune buggies.  In fact, one of the key action sequences involves Monk having to flee a couple of bigoted assholes who try to run him down on a red dune buggy.

With Dierkop chewing the scenery as the bad guy, this biker flick is greased up in HD and rearing’ to go.  It’s violent, wild, and full of outrageous characters and a location that is to die for.  The gritty exploitation cult classic is now back in stores with a new 2K scan from the interpositive. 

Watch as an old ghost town comes alive!  Angels Hard As They Come is now on blu-ray thanks to Shout! Factory.

4/5 beers

Angels Hard As They Come (1972)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory!
Available on Blu-ray
- November 16, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Where the Angels ride, mayhem follows. A hard-living band of bikers, they live by the rules of the road ... and a fiercely loyal code of honor. But when they cross paths with the Dragon — a rival biker gang — they find their loyalty tested and their lives on the line in the wake of a violent act that leaves a young hippie woman murdered.  Co-written and produced by acclaimed director Jonathan Demme (The Silence Of The Lambs, Stop Making Sense, Caged Heat) and featuring early roles from Scott Glenn (The Right Stuff) and Gary Busey (The Buddy Holly Story), Angels Hard As They Come is a classic exploitation flick, as fast-paced as the titular outlaw bikers' lifestyle.

Video:

Angels Hard As They Come arrives on Blu-ray in 1080p HD preserving the film’s original 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  A noticeably vast improvement over the standard DVD, Shout! Factory’s HD 2K transfer has superb detail and bright colors with a good amount of pop to them.  The elements show some speckle from time to time, and a few brief scenes are a tad soft, but this looks to be inherent of the original cinematography.  It doesn’t appear that the picture has been tweaked or modified in any way, and the grain structure is well maintained.  

Audio:

The DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio track is fairly strong, delivering the dialogue and the guitar and drum driven score with nice clarity.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • None

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 0/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

2.5/5 stars


Film Details

Angels Hard As They Come (1972)

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
85 mins
Director
: Joe Viola
Writer:
Jonathan Demme; Joe Viola
Cast:
Scott Glenn; Charles Dierkop; James Iglehart
Genre
: Action | Drama
Tagline:
An eye for an eye... a piece for a piece.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
New World Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
July, 1971
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 16, 2021.
Synopsis: Where the Angels ride, mayhem follows. A hard-living band of bikers, they live by the rules of the road ... and a fiercely loyal code of honor. But when they cross paths with the Dragon — a rival biker gang — they find their loyalty tested and their lives on the line in the wake of a violent act that leaves a young hippie woman murdered.

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Angels Hard As They Come (1972)

 

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