I caught the very end of this the other day on Pluto and was happy to find it available on the Internet Archive. I am always looking for bad 70s films to watch and when they involve Satanism and Bikers it ends up a must-watch. Werewolves on Wheels (1971) breezes through the common bikersploitation tropes in the first 10 minutes. That is when they bust out the Tarot deck and things start to get creepy!
From Wikipedia: “As a group of bikers moves across the desert, they come across an old church that a Satanic cult has taken over. The cultists give them drugged food and the bikers soon fall asleep. That night the cultists cast a curse on the biker leader’s girlfriend that makes her turn into a werewolf after nightfall; she soon infects her boyfriend. The bikers leave the church and begin to be killed off whenever they stop for the night. Things come to a climax when the couple changes in front of the bikers, who quickly kill the beasts. The bikers return to the church to have their revenge, but stop when they see themselves in the cult-procession.”
I am a pretty big fan of aesthetics when it comes to films. the fact that most of these guys are actual bikers without any training or real direction adds an element of realism that is often lacking in horror films. That said, these guys spend a lot of time wrestling around with each other and the werewolf makes only a couple brief appearances.
The music is FAR-OUT! Fuzzed up, and perfect for this film. the theme song definitely has that rolling thru the desert with your cult vibe.
Check out this track called “Burnin Grass” and the background music for the ritual scene. Lucky for us this OST was released on vinyl in 2011 and actually trades for reasonable prices. Certainly the type of stuff you could spin at the bar and have people guessing WTF they are listening to.
rock musician Barry McGuire, best known for his 60s hit “Eve of Destruction“; plays Scarf, one of the bikers in this film. It was made right before his conversion to Christianity and I can’t help but wonder the dark Satanic nature of the film played any small part in his rebirth.
Beatnik Stripes & Skull – Poly
Black and White stripes take us back to the beach party movies and biker-spoliation films that we love. From hot rod monsters to beach party pirates, bikers and skeevy surf stoners; all the Kool kids are wearing striped t-shirts. This skull on stripes t-shirt design is an homage to our favorite anti heroes and misfits. The simple skull is our take on the vintage hand painted skulls that would a…
This Poly Striped Skull t-shirt paired with a leather jacket and you might as well go sign up at central casting for a role in a trashy biker flick.