Truly amazing, one-of-a-kind, cheese masterpiece!
David P Jaudon | Ballston Spa, NY United States | 07/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bad movies come in all shapes and sizes. There are the lame, "intentionally" campy Troma films, such as "Surf Nazis Must Die." There is the bloated, overbudgeted, and relentlessly mediocre Hollywood crud, such as "Wild Wild West." However, there are some films so conceptually and ridiculously inept, that they are true masterpieces of cinematic mindrot at their finest. "She Devils-on Wheels" is the "Plan 9 from Outer Space" of biker films. Imagine Russ Meyer's "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" on 1/10th of the budget and talent and you'll understand how wonderfully awful and hilarious this film truly is. Synopsizing "She-Devils on Wheels" is an exercise in futility. Like watching Pat Boone sing heavy metal, it must be seen to be believed. Highly recommended!"
Worst acting ever!!!
ellafan | MI | 06/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I came across this movie accidently quite a few years ago on a very late-night Saturday night Camp Film Fest.I was stunned at the utter cheesiness of it,and most importantly...the "acting." It is so horrible,that you will find yourself spewing your coffee all over yourself as you choke to death laughing.
This movie will absolutely appeal to the type of viewer who revels in movies such as "Eegah!;" any Ed Wood Jr. movie;and those of us who love Mystery Science Theater 3000's riffs on lousy movies.I can't believe such a cruddy movie is out on DVD,but I'm buying it!!"
"But remember this mama, we ain't no daisy pullin' bunch of
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 06/28/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"`We don't owe nobody nuthin',
and we don't make no deals,
we're swingin' chicks on motors,
and we're man-eaters on wheels!'
Ah yes, it's She Devils on Wheels (1968), crapmeister extraordinaire Herschell Gordon Lewis' ode to the biker flick, the twist here being, in case you haven't figured it out from the title of the feature, that instead of a movie about a group of male motorcycle enthusiasts, this one's all about the ladies, whose `guts as hard as the steel of their hogs' and `ride their men as viciously as they ride their motorcycles'. Produced and directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis (Blood Feast, The Wizard of Gore), the film features Christie Wagner (Cataclysm) and Betty Connell in her only silver screen appearance. Also appearing is Nancy Lee Noble (Jackson County Jail), Rodney Bedell (The Gruesome Twosome), and Pat Poston (Just for the Hell of It) among others...
As the movie begins we see an unassuming young woman leaving her house, telling her mother she'll be spending the night at a girlfriend's. She gets into a car, drives off, and pulls into a garage, closing the door behind her...shortly afterwards the same garage door opens and the unassuming young woman is now on a motorcycle, dressed in hot pants, go-go boots, and is sporting a rather cheap looking vest made of what appears to be felt material, with the words `Man-Eaters' printed across the back...and now we cut into four and a half minutes of production credits. You know, I've never felt that was a good sign, when a film spits out all the credits up front because it makes me think the makers of the movie think the feature is so lousy that few will sit until the end, so they'd better get the credits out of the way in the beginning while they still have an audience...anyway, the woman we saw in the beginning, named Karen (Wagner), is a member of an all female motorcycle gang called the Man-Eaters, led by a tough talking, cigar smokin', heavy metal mama named Queen (Connell). As Karen makes it to the clubhouse we meet another member of the gang, a rather heavy set blonde bruiser named Whitey...picture this, a two hundred and fifty pound butch woman with pigtails down to the middle of her back, chomping on a cigar, clad in two sizes too small Capri pants and gold Beatle boots who's in a state of constant arousal, given how much she talks about doing the `bedtime boogaloo'...excuse me while I go and cut my head off with a rusty hacksaw...and there's Honey Pot (Noble), a ditzy little number pledging to get into the gang...geezum crow these chicks are homely! The one woman's face looks like a well worn catcher's mitt...soon after Karen's arriving, the women participate in a race on an abandoned airstrip, the winner getting first dibs on the assortment of motley males in the gang's boy toy pool (given the women in the gang, I'd prefer a severe case of road rash). After a completely unexciting race we see the women engage in various activities including a faux gang fight with some hot rodders, ho hum motorcycle riding montages, Honey Pot's initiation, Queen calling out Karen for breaking the rules (none of the women are allowed to have boyfriends), greasy love fests, the inevitable terrorizing of a main street in a local town, hassles from the fuzz, a turf dispute, and so on...eventually the hot rodders, led by some greaseball named Joe Boy try to even the score for the beating they took earlier by kidnapping a member of the gang, and Queen and her motorcycle skaggs take their revenge.
Whenever you go into a Herschell Gordon Lewis film you're guaranteed a number of things like bargain basement production values, ridiculously rotten acting, moronic dialog, uninspiring characters, questionable direction, and sleaze, buckets of sleaze, but know this, his features usually made money...gobs of money. Why? Because on some level his films entertained, as a good number of people, whether they'll admit it or not, are enamored with that which they find trashy, tawdry, and vulgar. We can't help it as it's part of our collective nature...despite the obvious deficiencies within this film, I still found it entertaining. I thought it kind of odd that Lewis couldn't find one attractive female to appear in this film (when your realm is low budget shabby chic apparently you take what you can get). I think my favorite bit from the film involved the women battling it out with the hot rodders once the latter invaded their turf. I found myself wondering whom I should root for, as neither gang had much in terms of appeal. The fight wasn't really a fight, but just a whole lot of pushing, shoving, and phony baloney beat downs. Given the participants the men should have easily trounced the ladies, but then that would have hardly fit into the theme of the film, that of cycle riding hellions out for whatever they can get...the most unsettling aspects of the movie for me were the parts that featured the women expressing their more carnal desires, always in some crude manner. There's just something about excessively unattractive women talking about needing `their fires put out' that made my skin crawl. Imagine someone like Rosie O'Donnell going into graphic detail about her copulatory needs and you'll get my drift. That large, blonde woman was probably the worst of the bunch as her bawdy talk was enough to kill even the strongest libido. Seriously, had I been one of the guys on the `meat line', having wild, ravenous dogs bite me in my gonards would have been preferable to being chosen by her for a romp in the proverbial hay (generally she'd take two men from the group, as one wasn't enough to scratch her itch...shudder). An unintentionally humorous aspect to the film involved the motorcycle riding montages. Generally one would expect these to involve two things, lots of speed and the riders acting silly, doing things you wouldn't expect to see people do on motorcycles like riding while standing on the seat or something...that's not the case here. The montages here featured the women riding at reasonably moderate speeds, with a seeming eye towards general safety. I did learn one thing from this feature and that was Herschell Gordon Lewis had a real issue transitioning between sequences. His repertoire consisted of two methods, the fade out/fade in routine, and another bit involving showing a painting of a wild looking woman on a motorcycle, and then spinning the picture. The latter lost whatever tolerable appeal it may have possessed after being used about twenty or thirty times.
The picture quality, presented in fullscreen (1.33:1), looks very clean on this Something Weird Video DVD release, and the audio, presented in Dolby Digital mono comes through fairly well (there's some really groovy, 60s female garage rock), except the dialog is often difficult to hear (this was due to how it was originally recorded, and not from any issues in transferring the feature to DVD format). As far as extras, there's an original theatrical trailer, an audio commentary track by Herschell Gordon Lewis, an archival short subject titled `Biker Beach Party' (12:56), and a Herschell Gordon Lewis gallery of exploitation art, materials used in the promotion of his various features (it's a nice showing, but it needed some background music or something as it came off a little dry).
It's a gas, man!
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 04/24/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I went into "She-Devils on Wheels" knowing what to expect, but for the uninitiated an experience like this would likely cause permanent damage. If you aren't familiar with the zany world of Herschell Gordon Lewis filmmaking, let me fill in some of the gaps. Lewis started out making industrial training films in the 1950s before moving on to the wonderful world of the "nudie cutie" pictures--sort of the precursor to the hardcore adult cinema available today--that played in select theaters in urban areas. One day he and his partner David Friedman decided to try something new. They wondered what would happen if they made a movie no one had ever seen before, a movie filled with lots of blood and guts. The result was the 1963 gore opus "Blood Feast," a picture that made a boatload of money thanks to its gory content. The two men went on to make a few more sickening films before Friedman moved on to other projects. Lewis continued to lens the occasional gore film, but also branched out into other genres. One of these non-gore flicks was 1968's "She-Devils on Wheels." No matter what film he made, all Lewis productions share similarities: horrible acting, coma-inducing dialogue, cheap set pieces, and shoddy production values.
"She-Devils on Wheels" is pure schlock, a movie so painful to watch that even I, a true H.G. Lewis fan, had difficulty navigating my way to the closing credits. The movie introduces us to a group of female motorcycle thugs named, predictably, the Man-Eaters. Led by the sociopathic brunette Queen (Betty Connell), the gang spends most of its time hanging out with each other cracking really bad jokes, laughing like idiots, and racing their bikes on an abandoned road outside of town. They engage in bizarre rituals to solidify group unity, such as meeting up with a bunch of guys in a rundown house for evenings of carefree fun. But just because the girls like to mix it up with members of the opposite sex doesn't mean much--the women pick out which guys they want to spend the night with, and any member of the Man-Eaters who spends too much time with one gentleman will soon find herself exiled from the organization. Such is the problem faced by Karen (Christie Wagner), a rather fresh-faced Man-Eater who lives a decent life at home with Mom when she isn't out painting the town red with the gals. She seems like a cut above the rest of these goons, and she even has a guy on the outside pulling for her to leave the Man-Eaters for good.
Turning one's back on the crew isn't easy, however, especially when the rest of the gang notices that Karen keeps choosing the same guy at the nightly fiestas. To test her loyalty, they take this poor chap out to the raceway and drag him behind a bike. Karen acquiesces to such horrors with a few tears and even more doubts about her future in the Man-Eaters. All of this self-doubt temporarily takes a backseat to more immediate perils when an all-male gang moves in on our chicks' territory. After a down and dirty fight that one must see to believe, the men retaliate in particularly loathsome fashion by abducting someone very close to the Man-Eaters. Queen and her crew go on a rampage of bloody violence (well, mostly bloodless violence, but you get the picture) that includes roughing up a bartender and luring the king of the opposing gang into a situation that costs him his head, literally. Make sure and keep watching the movie after the credits start rolling, though. You'll see Queen and her bestest buddy Whitey (Pat Posten) stop by to fire off a rip roarin' limerick of truly mind-deadening proportions. There's more about the plot I could say, but why should I ruin the "experience" for you? "She-Devils on Wheels" is something you should watch for yourself, preferably after imbibing copious amounts of turpentine.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry as I remember the experience that is "She-Devils on Wheels." This movie really needed some classic Lewis gore to help it over the rough patches, and the rough patches are legion. The direction and camera work is woefully static as evidenced by the lengthy shots of the girls riding around town. They ride and ride and ride for what feels like an eternity, and even sadder is the realization that they aren't going faster than five miles an hour. That fight scene is horribly choreographed and horribly filmed as well. The movie's real limitations become apparent when listening to the dialogue. I don't know whether the audio was in such bad shape that restoration was impossible, but it's tough to understand half the lines spoken in this film. Not that the byzantine plot (snicker) is all that tough to follow, but not being able to follow the dialogue means you have to pay attention to the visuals, a daunting experience to say the least. Even though the bloated Whitey and the diminutive initiate Honey Pot (Nancy Lee Noble) occasionally do something amusing, their antics aren't enough to keep this one out of the garbage can for long.
I could go on and on about this movie's failings, but I don't want to. I can say that the commentary track with Lewis is definitely worth a listen. Heck, it's better than the movie! Herschell has a great sense of humor that is on ample display here. He talks about casting for the film, the girls' cheesy outfits, the perils of low budget filmmaking, and dozens of other interesting anecdotes about this forgotten "gem." Supposedly, "She-Devils" is the first biker film about a girl gang. Whether that justifies saving the movie from obscurity is a question best left for the future. I'll give the film three stars largely because of the colorful commentary, but I think I'll stick to rewatching his gore films in the future.