Hell Ride

There’s a rule of thumb to follow regarding movies involving Quentin Tarantino: those he writes and directs are usually good, and those he produces are usually bad. There are a few exceptions to both sides of this rule (perhaps most famously Zhang Yimou’s “Hero”) which led me to believe that “Hell Ride” could be a fun little film, but as it turns out, it’s yet another low-rent vanity project from one of QT’s less-talented friends. Larry Bishop writes, directs and stars as Pistolero, president of the Victors biker gang. When one of their own is tortured and killed by rival gang member Billy Wings (Vinnie Jones) of the Six Six Sixers, Pistolero teams up with his two most trusted members, The Gent (Michael Madsen) and Commanche (Eric Balfour), and sets out to exact revenge.

Hell Ride

Unfortunately, the film isn’t even remotely as entertaining as the red band trailer makes it out to be, and in the process, puts some really cool characters to waste. Bishop sure has the look of a badass biker, but he can’t act the part, nor can he write the kind of dialogue Tarantino is famous for. He certainly tries with these silly rhymes and play-on-word conversations that he must think sound ultra-hip, but they only make the boring mess of a plot even that much more difficult to sit through. Only Dennis Hopper and David Carradine (as veteran members of the rival gangs) truly deliver performances worth remembering, and it’ll make you wish the film spent more time developing their characters instead of focusing so much time and energy on Bishop getting his freak on with a horde of naked chicks. “Hell Ride” may sound like one hell of a time, but you’d be better off checking out FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” instead.

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