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BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Hell Riders (1984) - Blu-ray Review

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Hell Riders

A silk-suited jogging Adam West (Batman) in a bizarro biker flick?  Where the hell do I sign up to see this example of gonzo-like gear-head shenanigans?!  Turns out the new Vinegar Syndrome Archive line - complete with a hand numbered slipcase that opens from the bottom as if it were a VHS cover - has that ticket to ride.

"this hokey trip back in time is completely bonkers "


Pow! Crush! Boom!  What a ride Hell Riders is!  

Soaked through with dripping wet dialogue, poor acting from damn near everyone, and ridiculously choreographed “fights” with plastic knives, this hokey trip back in time is completely bonkers and I absolutely love it!  West as the town’s doctor delivers more than just a baby as a a big ol’ can of whoop-ass is unleashed upon some of the dumbest bikers to be put on film.

If your ticket is already punched courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome’s new 2K scan of Hell Riders (in a very limited release), then all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the ride through a small town whose fat Sheriff (Jerry Ratay) would rather ignore criminals then charge them. {googleads}

With BIG, BOLD letters, Hell Riders is spelled out across the screen and, as a swinging country and western score kicks in, we are immediately hitting the road with Tina Louise (who famously portrayed Ginger Grant in Gilligan’s Island) and her beat up, piece of shit car.  But Claire Delaney (Louise) fails to notice the severed hand on the side of the road.  I mean, hell, it might be plastic and those might not be real ants climbing across the thumb, but a warning is a warning and, yeah, she misses it.  Maybe she's too worried about having to get out and push her car into town.

Claire is in The Hell Riders territory!  Snake (Ross Alexander), Convict (Dan Bradley), Knife (Renee Harmon), Father (Frank Newhouse), Angel (porn star Melanie Scott) and Rocky (Shawn Klugman) are soon all over her, making her short trip through this dry part of California unforgettable.  After roughing her up a bit, she manages to get back to her car and makes it, eventually, to a local hicktown where watching paint dry is obviously the preferred past time.

That is until the motley gang of motorcyclists roll in and start messing with the locals.  In the end there is a murder which could have been prevented and a cancelled wedding leads to a new bride for the town’s mechanic.  Sure, West and Louise have shit to do in this film, but at least they got paid!  Hell Riders

Directed by James Bryan (Don’t Go Into the Woods, The Executioner II) and written by Renee Harmon (Night of Terror), Hell Riders might be bottom of the barrel, dollar bin material, but it never once stops being unintentionally funny and effortlessly entertaining . . . for all the wrong reasons!  This biker flick has it all: worthless police officers, a hero country bumpkin doctor, a wedding, and psycho bikers all liquored up for some afternoon spoiling.

Cult enthusiasts are going to love the not-so fabulous fury of these Hell Riders!  Low-rent movies trash don’t get much trashier than this.

4/5 beers

Hell Riders


Blu-ray Details:

Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive / Limited Edition of 3,000

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
Available on Blu-ray
- March 31, 20202
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The ‘Hell Riders’ are the most vicious members of a southern California biker gang; so extreme in their activities that they’ve been pushed out of their gang and are now on their own, roaming the countryside on the lookout for people to terrorize. After attacking a stranded woman, who manages to escape to a nearby town, the Hell Riders decide to pursue her, eventually ending up in the town as well and begin violently taking out anyone who has the misfortune of ending up in their bloodthirsty path.

A spectacularly trashy and weird 80s biker film from the exploitation dream team of James Bryan (Don’t Go in the Woods, Executioner Part 2) and Renee Harmon (Frozen Scream, Escape From the Insane Asylum), Hell Riders is loaded to the gills with jaw dropping, head scratching, and mind numbing thrills. Featuring Adam West (Batman) and Tina Louise (Gilligan’s Island) and co-produced by exploitation legend Lee Frost (A Climax of Blue Power), Vinegar Syndrome Archive proudly presents the world disc debut of Hell Riders, newly restored from its original 35mm camera negative.


You’ll never view Adam West in the same way after seeing his scrubs in this low-rent flick. The 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer is a thing of rugged beauty. Newly restored from its original 35mm camera negative, there is a new depth to much of the film which reveals just how cheap and dirty this shoot was. Black levels are strong, too. Grain has never looked this inviting. The details through this feature are simply scrumptious. From fabrics in the jackets of the actors to the facial imperfections of bikers with football helmets on their heads, this AVC encoded image (1.85:1 aspect ratio) 1080p transfer gets the look right. 


A DTS-HD Master Mono Audio track provides the only source of sound for all the beat-downs and bikes.



  • None

Special Features:

Turns out the new Vinegar Syndrome Archive line - complete with a hand numbered slipcase that opens from the bottom as if it were a VHS cover - has that ticket to ride.  Fans get a poster and a new interview with the film’s director and a whole lot more!

  • "Straight to Hell" - an interview with co-writer/director James Bryan
  • Original storyboard excerpt gallery
  • Double-sided poster
  • Reversible cover artwork

Blu-ray Rating:

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

Overall Blu-ray Experience

5/5 stars


Hell Riders

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
90 mins
: James Bryan
James Bryan; Renee Harmon
Tina Louise, Adam West, Russ Alexander
: Action | Drama

Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site:
Release Date:
Septmeber 10, 1984
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 31, 2020
Synopsis: A woman whose car breaks down in the desert and attacked by bikers finds her way to a small town, where the town residents are terrorized by the psycho bikers.


Hell Riders

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