Time Warp Drive-In: Motorcycle Madness

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Tonight's August edition of the Time Warp Drive In, Summer avenue’s biggest summer event, kicks off with a wedding. Kim Stanford and Coley Smith from Tupelo, Mississippi will say their vows at 7 PM, with Mike McCarthy, the Time Warp Drive-In empresario, presiding.

After the nuptials, the evening of motorcycle movies begins with the genre’s biggest classic, Easy Rider. Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda’s transcontinental epic captured the zeitgeist of its era like few films have before or since. But often lost amidst the Baby Boomer nostalgia is the fact that Easy Rider is a fantastic, and hugely influential, movie. Not only did it make a movie star out of Jack Nicholson, but it also has the first, and still greatest, use of “The Weight” in a film.


The second film of the evening is 1953’s The Wild One starring Marlon Brando. Another hugely influential film, The Wild One was made at a time when Brando was one of the hottest properties in Hollywood. The same year he was playing the sensitive juvenile delinquent Johnny Strabler opposite Lee Marvin, he also played Marc Antony in Julius Caesar opposite James Mason and Sir John Gielgud. The film is the iconic template for the motorcycle movie, and nobody ever wore a Perfecto leather jacket better than Brando.


Made three years before Easy Rider, The Wild Angels was Peter Fonda’s first foray into motorcycle movies. Directed by Roger Corman, the film’s high point is a confrontation between biker gang leader Fonda and a judge, which has become one of the most sampled moments in movie history.


The evening closes out with the psychotronic exploitation drive in classic She Devils On Wheels:




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