I think where most modern attempts at recapturing the magic of classic exploitation film go wrong is in their insistence upon letting you know just how goddamn self-aware they are. There’s only so much “wink, wink – nudge, nudge” you can take when you’re trying to enjoy some mindless nudity, violence and all-out sleaze. Exploitation is a bulletproof formula that’s derailed the moment a director decides that letting everyone know they’re in on the joke becomes more important to them than making sure the audience has a good time. Thankfully, Frankenstein Created Bikers is all about having a good fucking time.
This might be the God-blessed best piece of trash cinema I’ve seen in a long time. From the grue-drenched practical effects to the fact that there’s a pair of tits on screen every five minutes or so, Frankenstein Created Bikers earns its Exploitation Club members card with bonus points. There are bikers, bigfoots, and badass bitches to spare in a storyline that weaves threads of a twisted revenge plot into a mad science horror splatterfest.
Our chief protagonist is Jett (Jett Bryant), the hard-drinkin’ hard-fuckin’ long-haired dirtbag leader of the notorious outlaw biker gang The Impalers. As we meet him, we learn that Jett and his crew are already dead, brought back to life by a serum that’s left them addicted and dependent upon the good graces of their part-time-employer, full-time-sex-fiend associate Klaus (Laurence R. Harvey, of Human Centipede 2 fame) and his mad-scientist partner Dr. Marco (Paul McComiskey). The doc has them hunting and bagging bigfoots (bigfeet?) so he can squeeze some special cryptid-juice out of them to help refine his serum, which may eventually grant him eternal life while allowing Klaus to then sell the formula to the highest bidder.
All of this is further complicated by the fact that Jett’s ex-girlfriend Val (Tristan Risk) is fresh out of prison and on the hunt for revenge against, well, the entire fucking world apparently. Val has a drop-dead gorgeous Tura Satana vibe going on and is so vehemently pissed off about goddamn everything that literally no one is safe from her wrath. And then there’s Jett’s OTHER ex-girlfriend, Dr. Marco’s daughter Edna (Madeline Brumby). Edna has had a bit of a rough go of things up to this point and is presently no more than a head in a box, kept alive by her father’s serum and hoping to one day find herself attached to a fully functional body.
I’ll spare you any further elucidation of the events that play out, but if any of this sounds like it might be your cup of tea I suggest you lay hands on a copy posthaste. Given the level of depravity expressed throughout, you won’t be seeing this title pop up streaming on Netflix any time soon and premium cable likely doesn’t have the balls to give it a go either. Trust me when I tell you that there’s a reason writer/director James Bickert had to go to Kickstarter to get the film’s release funded. While it’s not an XXX affair from an explicit sex standpoint, there’s enough raw content here to make it kryptonite to any corporate media exec.
If I have any criticism it would be in a gentle suggestion for a bit of editing, the film’s run time feels long at 125 minutes and there are scenes that drag a bit unnecessarily. Though there’s no actual depiction of it, it’s worth mentioning that there is a lot of casual discussion of rape that never really connects back to anything that might justify its use, other than to remind you that the characters talking about it are real pieces of shit. The dialogue can be a handful, hyperbole-laden idioms and rambling run-on sentences laced with Southern vernacular that are managed well by some of the cast and less well by others. But it’s all part of the fun, and it is a damn hoot to see what combo of swears, slurs and shit talk are going to erupt forth from the script at any moment.
The lack of pretention all the way around is welcome, and this feels much less like a forced attempt at retro-grindhouse and much more like a true fan of exploitation cinema picking up and carrying the torch.
The Blu-ray release includes a whole heap of extra features, but as I watched the film at a screening held by a friend I haven’t had a chance to check them out yet. For what it’s worth, there are still some signed copies of the release available here and they are cheaper than the going rate on Amazon, but who knows how long they’ll last after I snatch up a copy for myself.