Uncle Jasper reviews: The Pink Angels (1971)

The Pink Angels (1971)

Starring John Alderman, Tom Basham, Robert Biheller, Jackson Bostwick, Karen Bouchard, Dan Haggerty, Joe Hansen, Bruce Kimball, George T. Marshall, Henry Olek

Directed By Larry G. Brown


I do not claim to be an expert on homosexual outlaw biker gang movies, but if Pink Angels is any indication, I can safely say that they are an acquired taste. Pink Angels is sometimes on uppers, sometimes on downers, but almost always stoned to the bone. It’s really difficult to put a finger on a film that paints its characters as twisted, stereotypical caricatures while at the same time elevating them as weird, but cool, counterculture icons. I can’t tell if this film was made to protest, embrace, document, or lampoon gay culture. All I know is that despite its sloppy mediocrity there is definitely some kind of bizarre, rogue force looming beneath the surface, trying desperately to say something worthwhile.

The film is very loosely strewn together by a main plot which attempts to follow the bikers as they make their way down the coast, freaking out squares, cops, and the military on their way to a drag-queen convention in Los Angeles. Nothing is that simple in the world of cinema vérité though, as the film careens off course about a dozen times, working all kinds of bizarre tangents, subtle (and not so subtle) innuendo, and pointless exploitation into the mix. If there’s one thing I can guarantee with Pink Angels, it’s that you will never know what it’s going to throw at you next. One moment we have the fellas squirting bottles of mustard and ketchup at each other during an impromptu food fight at a highway fast food restaurant, and at the next we have a gay man raped by a sex-crazed woman and left to fend for himself in his underwear on the side of a road. Whew!

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