In a small, US costal town with many Spanish speakers, a motorcycle gang arrives on holiday. Also in town to try to reconnect with his pregnant girlfriend, Karen, is businessman Paul Collier. Paul and a leader of the cyclists, J.J., knew each other years before, so when the gang comes upon the couple and, led by the menacing Bunny, beats up Paul and begins a sexual assault of Karen, J.J. tries to intervene he suggests they hold cycle-riding contests, with the winner claiming Karen (he promises, sotto voce, to set her free if he wins). After the contests commence, Paul crawls away to look for help. He meets with a shrug from a cowardly sheriffs deputy where can he turn?
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Ahh, bad biker flicks. Bad biker chicks in underwear. Bad Jack Nicholsonbefore he got any respect. Bruce Dern is the star of this piece, and he'san actor in search of a plot. His wife (in real life) Diane Ladd, has athankless role as a damsel in distress, at the mercy of a juvenilemotorcycle gang. Cameron Mitchell is no help. Jack Nicholson leers andtrys to look menacing. And I believe Harry Dean Stanton plays the comichipster biker in the 1940's be-bop suit. But I could be mistaken. Thebestscene is when Nicholson and Dern are arguing, and Dern tells him to quitgrinning....how either one of them kept a straight face during theproceedings is beyond me.
You have to wonder what Jack Nicholson thinks about this movie now that he'sfamous. Of course, you'd have to wonder what anyone would think about thiswhether they were famous or not. The lame plot concerns a group of bikersthat ride into a small town and start creating some havoc. Through somecircumstances that I wasn't paying attention to because I was to busywatching a spider slowly moving across the wall before I threw my shoe atit, the group captures Diane Ladd and Cameron Mitchell (who for once isn'tplaying a psycho or some other person that is against the law or isgenerally disliked). Here I'm not really sure what happened again because Iwas busy watching my Pepsi fizz, but I think some Mexican fishermen/farmers(?) start to bother the "Rebel Rousers" and then there was a fight betweenBruce Dern, who I suppose was the hero, and Jack Nicholson. And then afterthe fight it's over. The End. A complete waste of time, don'tbother.
J.J. Weston (Bruce Dern) belongs to a biker gang that includes a mannamed Bunny (Jack Nicholson). He runs into an old college buddy namedPaul (Cameron Mitchell). Paul is living with Karen (Diane Ladd) who'spregnant with his baby. The biker gang get Paul and Karen alone on abeach. They beat up Paul (for no reason) and propose to marry Karen toBunny. J.J. wants to stop this...but how? Boring and stupid bikerflick. A terrible script really sinks this one. The biker gang acts andsounds like no biker gang I ever heard of. The dialogue is stilted andthe basic plot is just so stupid it's mind-boggling. The part whereJ.J. starts a "marriage" between Karen and Bunny is just beyond belief.This is only of interest for the cast. It has a pre-stardom Nicholson(wearing the most annoying striped pants I've ever seen) and a veryyoung Dern and Ladd (who I believe were married at the time). Theiracting is great but it can't help the horrendous script. A curio atbest.
The Rebel Rousers a few times feels like it could be aiming forsomething more on its lunch-money used for a budget. It's got a verysimple crux to the story- Bruce Dern and Cameron Mitchell as old schoolfriends (hey, they may be oh two decades apart, but it was college Iguess) say hello and go their separate ways at the start of the film,the former being a biker club leader and the latter a soon-to-be fatherof a possibly illegitimate child by Diane Ladd's character. Then, someof the bikers one day find the two in a car, take them down to a beach,and beat the crap out of him for just, well, being there. He slugs offto get help while the other bikers race to see who'll get their 'time'with her, with Jack Nicholson's Bunny (ho-ho) vies for the prize. This crux is given some actors who actually say very basic lines ofdialog with some conviction and faith in the material, but not much.Some of the acting, or at least casting, is a little strange though.Nicholson is given the top billing on most VHS releases of the film,but his is a supporting role that is like RP McMurphy from Cuckoo'snest with his wonderful sarcasm replaced by striped pants (which thedirector decides to use to block some shots). There's also theversatile Harry Dean Stanton among the pack, with possibly the mostridiculous get-up in his whole career. It all leads up to a climax thatincludes a fight, but also a letdown in not having the bikers squareoff against the Mexicans who show up with their pitchforks on the beachafter finally being alerted.All of this is up for good times in the B-movie guilty pleasure senseby the sound of it, and everything that can be made as 'surface' aspossible is used for dramatic or just 'there' effect; Mitchell andLadd's characters have not much else to say except the baby andmarriage; the bikers, aside from Dern and possibly Nicholson (who whenhe does have a line or something to do is very funny), are hard todiscern with any distinguishing characteristics; the police are(amusingly) very limited to a Deputy who's never around and a lummoxwith bricks for brains. There's even a very good scene where Mitchellgets no response from a bar full of patrons even in his beat-up,bloodied state. But the problem with all of the expended effort putinto The Rebel Rousers is that it's too amateurish to be taken at allseriously as a fun time, if that makes sense. Producer/writer/director Martin B. Cohen seems to understand point andshoot (and the previously mentioned stripe-pants blocking shots), andnot much else. There is also the issue of lighting, to which it lookslike the filmmakers didn't have enough money for or just didn't give acrap about- the climax is a letdown mostly for how you can't see a damnthing that's going on. It's ironic to think that Laslo Kovacs went fromEasy Rider to this (or vice versa). His music choices are mostly awful,at least a few supporting actors brought on look like they'reimprovising on the set (and not for the better of the actual script),and any real guilty fun (ala Angels Hard as They Come) of seeing abunch of bikers being really mean and ruthless is compounded by theMitchell/Ladd moments which are un-evenly paced.But even with all of this, as a pre-Easy Rider kind of spectacle (shotbefore it but not released till after it came out, a shelved movie forthree years), it's not bad to look at as a curio piece for some of itsmain players. For fans of the actors who got their feet wet in thesekinds of pictures it's of a little interest to see Dern as the unlikelyprotagonist and Nicholson as the grizzly heel, or Stanton in hissometimes whacked out state. That it leaves no real lasting impressionis no surprise though, aside from being a mixed bag.
I think that "The Rebel Rousers" is not even close to the worst bikermovie ever made. I think this is quite good on a low budget. Bruce Dernis always cool and my hero Jack Nicholson is the best "Rebel" I thinkthis beats the hell out of "The Wild Angels" which even though thetalented and groovy duo of Dern and Peter Fonda were in it. I think"The Wild Angels" is the worst biker film ever made, not "The RebelRousers". Granted that I wish that there were more scenes of actualmotorcycle riding and that most of the movie took place on a beach. Ienjoy the opening music of the movie and the location in which the filmwas shot. Jack Nicholson is delightfully sadistic as "Bunny" especiallywhere he beats the hell out of Cameron Mitchell. The biggest kick I gotout of seeing Jack in this movie is his black and white striped pants.Bruce Dern is out of sight as the "Rebels" leader, "J.J." Bruce is muchbetter in this part than his role as "Loser" in "The Wild Angels" whichreminded me of Terry Kiser in "Weekend At Bernie's" where they all dragBruce's dead body around.
"The Rebel Rousers" is a short, sloppy biker pic from 1970 thatshowcased future stars like Harry Dean Stanton, Dianne Ladd, Bruce Dern& Jack Nicholson. The cast is so good they give gravity to an otherwisedisposable film.The plot is silly... a biker gang terrorizes a young married couplebecause... because the script says so. Much of the dialogue soundsimprovised, and many of the scenes run far too long on one note, theresult of under-edited footage... or an experimental director. It'sNicholson and Ladd who steal the show... when they're on screen you seeno one else, and they're simply ten times more Watchable than anyoneelse around them.If you're a huge fan of Jack, Diane or biker flicks you may want tocheck this out... but it's safe to say that all involved would go ontogreater things.GRADE: C
Architect Paul Collier (an incredibly insipid performance by CameronMitchell) stops off at a small Arizona desert town to visit hisheadstrong pregnant girlfriend Karen (a sound and sympathetic portrayalby Diane Ladd). Paul bumps into old high school buddy J.J. Weston (thealways solid Bruce Dern), who's now the amiable and laid-back leader ofa gang of rowdy bikers. Naturally, J.J.'s scruffy chopper chums take anunsavory interest in Karen. Sound exciting? Well, alas it ain't. MartinB. Cohen's bland direction, working from a drab and talky script whichhe co-wrote with Michael Kars and Abe Polsky, relates the meanderingnarrative at a draggy pace, fails to bring any real tension or vitalityto the proceedings, and gets further bogged down in a sappy love storybetween Mitchell and Ladd. The cast do their best with the sub-parmaterial: Dern and Ladd contribute respectable work, Jack Nicholsonsports an amazing pair of gloriously ghastly striped pants and makesthe most out of his regrettably minor role as volatile rotten appleHarley hound Bunny, and Harry Dean Stanton is a hoot as flaky hipsterRandolph Halverson. Both Laszlo Kovacs' fairly polished cinematographyand William Loose's groovy jammin' score are above average. While themovie occasionally bursts to life with some decent fisticuffs andmotorcycle races, it's overall not gritty or energetic enough toqualify as anything more than a strictly passable time-waster.
Rebel Rousers, The (1970) ** 1/2 (out of 4) Silly but mildly entertaining biker flick about a man (CameronMitchell) who travels to a small town to try and get back his pregnantwife (Diane Ladd) but while the two are talking he's beaten and she'skidnapped by a biker gang led by Bruce Dern. The battered husbandmanages to make it back to town where he tries to find someone to helphim. The highlight of this film is the wonderful cast as we get notonly Mitchell, Dern and Ladd but supporting performances by JackNicholson and Harry Dean Stanton. As far as biker films goes this onehere is a long way away from titles like EASY RIDER and THE WILD ANGELSbut there's enough mild charm here to make this worth viewing. The filmruns a fairly short 78-minutes and I do wonder if there's some stuff onthe cutting room floor as there are a few side plots that never reallyadd up to much and we even get some questionable moments from start tofinish. We're told that Mitchell and Dern played football together butthis never really adds up to anything. We get the escape scene withMitchell taking off yet it's never quite clear why his wife doesn't tryto escape with him. Probably because if she had then the movie wouldhave ended right there. The kidnapping leads to a pretty good endingwhen some Mexican guys with rakes show up to get back Mitchell's wifeas well as one of their daughters who was delivering tacos to thebikers!!! Mitchell is a real head-scratcher here as he pretty muchsleepwalks through the role and his scenes crying are pretty funny asthere's obviously no real emotion behind them. Ladd is charming as thewife and it's always fun seeing Stanton no matter how small the roleis. Dern clearly steals the show as the "mature" biker who is alwayssaying the right thing even though it's hard to trust what he's saying.Finally, there's Nicholson wearing some zebra colored pants that are areal hoot. Fans of the genre will want to check this one out but othersshould see the classics first.
The strange behavior of various characters in this movie made me wonderif this might be a parody of biker movies. It was funny when thestereotypical dumb, lazy and cowardly Latino deputy was on screen. Heand the sheriff were the only law, and at one point even the sheriffwasn't around. The bikers could have taken over and terrorized thetown. And yet they weren't as mean as they could have been, which wasnever really explained. It was like there was an on-off switch decidingwhether the bikers were going to be violent, or funny, or whatever.Some of them were more peace-oriented than the others and tried to getthe meaner ones to behave. What really made no sense was the reaction of Cameron Mitchell'scharacter to the bikers. At first I thought he and Diane Ladd weregiving good performances. Now I have to wonder. I can say this much: Ienjoyed the music that was played in the scenes where Cameron Mitchelland Diane Ladd were together, and of course the funny deputy.Other than that, what was this?
Many times as I sat watching this god-awful film it sure looked likethere really wasn't a script. In many places, it looked as if thedirector, if there was one, just told everyone to 'wing it'--and oftenthe actors talked over each other, spouted gibberish or just talked tohear themselves talk. In addition, sometimes the actors did things thatmade almost no sense--giving further evidence to the idea that therewas no script...or even plot. This is especially true for at least thefirst half hour of the film where most of it just involves a biker gangrunning amok. Amidst all this, there is a plot that keeps trying toappear that involves Cameron Mitchell trying to get his pregnantgirlfriend to marry him. Eventually the two plots intersect as the twoare eventually terrorized by the evil bikers--but in the interim thereis still more rambling and pointless prattle. All this makes up thelast 2/3 of the film. Not a whole lot more to it than this. Amateurishand silly throughout but not outlandish or silly enough to make it funfor bad movie buffs.
A quick once over and The Rebel Rousers seems nothing more than a goodguy versus evil biker gang midnight movie. But,look closer and you seea story about the conflict of conforming to the norms of society orrebelling against them. The star of the film is a heavy-set CameronMitchell who plays a middle-class businessman in a stormy romance withDiane Ladd. Mitchell meets a former high-school buddy played by anintense Bruce Dern(kind of weird pairing here as Mitchell is 18 yearsolder than Dern in real life)the leader of a gang of misfit bikers.Both men seem both happy and sad to see each other. It's as if each manis jealous of the other's lifestyle. Yet, neither one is happy. Arugged looking Jack Nicholson is Bunny, a psycho member of the Rebels.It's clear even here, that Nicholson is a star in the making. There isnot one moment when you feel he is "acting" his part. The main focus ofthe film is Nicholson's attempt to rape Ladd, with both Mitchell andDern preventing it. Ladd's character represents the family values ofthe 1950's and Nicholson's Bunny is symbolic of the devil-may-care1960's lifestyle that may destroy it. If you like movies with a"meaning' The Rebel Rousers is for you.
"I think that's what it's all about" - Jack Nicholson pretty much sumsup this movie, "Rebel Rousers". Brilliant, moving, and real are other words I can use to describe thisdefinitely dated documentation of the times. Cameron Mitchell.... PaulCollier: a biker with a biker attitude. Bruce Dern.... J.J. Weston: Astereotypical Architect businessman whose character embodies theprevailing male, city dweller of his time.. strong and weak at the sametime. Diane Ladd.... Karen: A confused 60's girl in a big wild world.Jack Nicholson.... Bunny: The Rebel Rouser whose independent standtakes him all the way to the end. Harry Dean Stanton.... Randolph:Strange man in a strange place.Halverson Neil Burstyn.... Rebel: Has to lve with himself. LouProcopio.... Rebel: Others have to live with him. Earl Finn.... Rebel:There's one of these guys in every crowd. Unfortunately. PhilipCarey.... Rebel: Just along for the party. Robert Dix.... Miguel: Abrave and just lawman. Sid Lawrence.... Townspeople: 60's fer sure.John 'Bud' Cardos.... Townspeople: 60's Western US male. Jim Logan....Townspeople: Struggling to survive the 60's Helena Clayton....Townspeople: Surviving the 60's Frankie O'Brien.... Townspeople: Simplelife of the 60's hero."Rebel Rousers" is a faithful rendition of the crazy party life of asmall California gang of bikers. None of them knew what they weredoing... just doing it... right or wrong. They each had different ideasof what a rebel was. Much the way real life is. Triumph for some...failure for others. Some fought to live some fought to die. A remindernot to "live to win", but rather "win to live". Beautiful West Coastscenery. Magnificent acting that captures the essence of a day as a"Rebel Rouser".
This late carefree, but crudely gruff low-cost b-grade bikerexploitation (that was shelved for a couple of years before beingreleased because of the fascinating performance of Nicholson in the1969's biker flick 'Easy Rider') is nothing more than a minor curiouspiece for its well oiled cast, who would go onto better things. NamelyJack Nicholson and Harry Dean Stanton. Really they only have supportparts. Stanton who engages with his little screen time (one of therowdy bikers who are far from threatening with their clown-likeappearances), looks totally out of place though. However there'ssomething oddly captivating (strange in stupidly oddball and ditsysense) about this feature, even though it's overly talky anddemonstrates plenty of posing about to stall out the time. Watch asthere's conflicting confrontations, trivial exchanges, more conflictingconfrontationsÂ . Again the usual conflicting confrontation rears itsugly head. Boy how exciting (well it would've been if there was somefiery interest inserted) and sometimes it just goes on for too long.Many of the dialogues are awkward, stiff (although a spirited BruceDern admirably tries his best to infuse life) with the padded natureonly making the short running time meander even more. A sombre CameronMitchell could be mistaken for a wooden plank and Diane Ladd is theretoo look all worried. Nicholson (in some eye-boggling pants) laps it upas the low-brow, cruel biker, but his performance is pretty much on thefringe. An unhinged, funky-dory score hits its cues with force andthere's a few striking scenic views. The story is quite sparse andscratchily old-hat. A couple is terrorised by bikers and the town'sfolk want nothing to do with it when the husband escapes looking forhelp. In the couple of action sequences, the scrappy direction islaughably staged when it does happen and it's the mugging filler thattakes the spotlight. Maybe worth a geeze for the names, but the glaringproblems are hard to digest.
'The Rebel Rousers' sat in the can for two years before eventually beingreleased to cash in on Jack Nicholson's success in 'Easy Rider'. It's awful,only good for some cheap laughs, and playing spot-the-character-actor.Nicholson is actually only one of the supporting players. His biker Bunny ismean and nasty but by no means the focal point of the movie. Bruce Dernplays the biker's leader, and as always he is good, even if the movie isn't.B-grade legend Cameron Mitchell ('Hombre', 'The Toolbox Murders') plays anarchitect who is trying to convince his pregnant girlfriend (Diane Ladd -'Wild At Heart') to marry him. The two get caught up in the mind games ofthe anarchic Rebel Rousers. Harry Dean Stanton joins Dern and Nicholson asone of the bikers - quite possibly the strangest movie biker of all time!It's almost like he stepped in from a completely different movie andprovides some cut rate surreal touches and comic relief, oftenunintentionally. The rest of the bikers will be familiar to b-gradeexploitation fans, and keep an eye out for 'Forbidden Planet's Bob Dix as aMexican no less. If you want to see a good 60s biker movie starring Dern try'The Wild Angels', and Nicholson is much better in 'Hells Angels on Wheels'.'The Rebel Rousers' is a watch once and file under forgettable trash kindaexperience, that's about it.
"The Rebel Rousers" is an obscure and cheaply made biker flick is oneof the least exciting or action-packed entries into the genre. In fact,there's not really a lot of rumbling or anti-socializing going on.Fortunately, it has lots of nearly surreal moments of stupidity thatmake it rather entertaining, at least a lot more than I expected.The amazingly charisma free Cameron Mitchell goes with pregnant financeLaura Dern to a small desert town. He meets an old collage chum BruceDern, who is now in a biker gang (never mind the fact thats there's aroughly twenty year difference between the two actors). Among membersof the gang are a pre-stardom Jack Nicholson (the flick was filmed in1967, but not released until 1970 to capitalize on the success of "EasyRider") and the great Harry Dean Stanton, playing the weirdest moviebiker of all time. Seriously, the gang dresses more like The Monkeesthan The Hells Angels. The biker gang beats up Cameron Mitchell (seeingJack Nicholson whip Mitchell is oddly satisfying for some reason) andkidnap Dern, all to the dismay of Dern, who wants a better life for hisgang or something. Mitchell comes back to fight them eventually, armedwith some locals from the town.The so-called "climax" is extremely disappointing. Mitchell and thetown members find the biker gang, and proceed to do absolutely nothing.Stupid, pointless, and with some boring stretches (Mitchell and Derntalk about interior decorating for what seems like an hour), but oddlyentertaining all the same because of how bizarre it can be at moments.Note, even though hes listed as the star on a lot of the video and DVDversions, Jack Nicholson is hardly in here nor is his character evenremotely interesting. (5/10)
This film was in the cult section at the local video store, and I've cometofind that "cult" films are often one of two things. They are eithermasterpieces which are over-the-top/bizarre/cryptic/left-of-center and canbe watched again and again, or they are very lame films with little-to-noredeeming qualities which have gained a cult following because people getakick out of unintentionally bad films. This film falls into the lattercategory. I can't imagine anyone would think this was actually a decentfilm. Everything about it is lame. The best (best meaning worst in thiscase) part of the film was when one of the men escaped from the bikergang,got a car, and drove into town to the police station. When he comes intothe police station, he's out-of-breath and fatigued. Wasn't he justdriving? He's worn out from driving? This film is awful.1/10