THE LOSERS (1970) – Two of the gods of biker cinema, William “Big Bill” Smith and Adam Roarke, star in a film which takes a minor footnote in history and RUNS with it, using it as its premise! In real life the Hell’s Angels were for a time clashing with Vietnam War protestors whom the Angels considered cowards for not wanting to fight in the conflict.
Peace was negotiated between the two parties by Ken Keasey and Hunter S Thompson if you believe Thompson’s book on the Hell’s Angels and Thompson’s biography.
To make it clear that the Hell’s Angels still disagreed with the protestors’ position on the war even though they had ceased beating them up, Sonny Barger, the Angels’ “Maximum Leader” at the time, released a public statement offering the services of the Hell’s Angels as “a gorilla (sic) force” (LMAO) in the war.
LBJ and Nixon strangely declined to take Barger up on the offer but director Jack Starrett made it the center of this classic bomb.
Hell’s Angels are serving as covert operatives in Vietnam and Cambodia, riding their motorcycles into action despite the fact that such vehicles would be USELESS in the jungle. And you thought the Phoenix Project was a bad idea!
When the Angels are sent to free a captured presidential advisor they find themselves betrayed and left to die by U.S. politicians with their own agenda. Anyway, it’s all the usual biker movie mayhem but set in Southeast Asia.
And see the scene which may have inspired the Comedian’s nastiest deed in The Watchmen!
By the way, this film is sometimes confused with Born Losers, which was the first film to feature the bizarre Billy Jack.
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