They laid waste to the flesh and blood of America’s daughters!
Tuesday , June 8th 8pm
Arlo & Esme 42 E. 1st street (between 1st & 2nd ave)
Rebel Rousers (1970)
Shot in 1967, but shelved and not released until 1970 after Jack’s career took off with easy Rider. Rebel Rousers is not the greatest film ever made. It’s raunchy and silly features a cast of gringos playing Mexicans sporting accents verging on offensive, but the thing that saves this film and makes it worth a look is the cast. Cameron Mitchell, Bruce Dern, Diane Ladd, Jack Nicholson and Harry Dean Stanton playing a gang member who’s wacky getup screams used car salesman on acid.
Opening scene: A biker gang tears down the open road. They stop in a small town to party, when their leader J.J (Bruce Dern) runs into an old High school football buddy, Paul (Cameron Mitchell), who’s looking for his girlfriend, and had tracked her down at The Trading Post in town.
The girlfriend, a whisky drinking, cigarette smoking Karen (Diane Ladd) had left Paul because she thought he wouldn’t want to keep the baby she’s carrying. Karen and Paul had taken a drive down to the beach too, to try to work things out.
Back in town, the gang gets drunk and parties at the Bar. The party gets silly and the cops kick the gang out of town. Un-phased, they drive down to the beach to carry on the festivities.
“We’re having some type of a scene down there, wanna join?”
Here they encounter the not so happy couple again. They surround the car, and torment the pair. Randolph (Harry Dean Stanton) does a jig on the roof and it’s a good thing that Paul’s a friend of J.J’s cause he comes running.
He smoothes things over, has the gang fix the couple’s car, and invites Karen and Paul down to the beach where the party’s going string, Of course things get messy when Bunny (Jack Nicholson) wants to get chummy with Karen again. J.J tries to walk them off the beach, but the rest of the gang attacks Paul. Paul makes a run for it, leaving Karen behind (classy). Two of the gang follow him on bikes, and Bunny won’t lay off of Karen.
J.J “I’m against everything that’s going on here”
Karen: “You’re their hero…There’s a glow about you, but it’s not a halo. It’s a glowing yellow streak, running down your back”
J.J (on becoming an outlaw biker): “That’s a long story. I’m sure it has something to do with looking for something. You have to find it. It won’t find you.”
J.J loses to Bunny when the surf comes in and takes his bike down.
Paul, who’s made it to the precinct in town, tries to find help, but no one’s around, or cares. He’s ignored everywhere, until he runs into a little Mexican boy, who takes him to a birthday party for Miguel, a local fisherman, which turns out to be right on the beach as well. While Paul is on his way to meet the posse, Miguel’s daughter, Margaritte, walks down the beach with a basket of food for the party. The gang hassles her too. When the fishermen here this, they are more than happy to take on the gang with Paul.
J.J: “I’m the minister cause I got the Harley manual”
Bunny: “By all means, let Morris Moral be the minister”
Back at the beach, Bunny prepares for a proper wedding for him and his prize for the evening. It is to be a proper “AMA sanctioned affair”.
“We are now going to get it on”
Our text is our bible. The Harley Davidson service manual.
You will enjoy a thrilling new experience in Pleasure.
Designed to give you the ultimate in speed and comfort.
She is precision built and engineered to give you thousands of miles of care free riding.
Regular lubrication and maintenance will help you operate at peak performance,
And give you longer life and greater riding pleasure.
Have you got the ring?
I now pronounce you man and wife
J.J: “Weve done a lot of things man, but we’ve never killed anyone. You want that responsibility?”
Bunny will not be reasoned with and before he can kill the couple or the fishermen, J.J takes him down with his own knife.
The fishermen take Margaritte home. Paul hugs Karen. The gang huddles around the body of Bunny. J.J is alone.
Karen: “Can we help you?”
J.J: “No, that’s alright…I uh, I can make it myself. I think that’s kind of what it’s about anyway.”
Crashing ocean surf. Music. THE END