Two On A Triumph

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Jocelyn Lane and Jeremy Slate in Hell’s Belles (1969). “THAT minuscule subdivision of our youth, the mobile mobsters who reportedly dote as much on mayhem as they do on roaring motorcycles, get ample opportunity to display inane, destructive madness in “Cycle Savages” and “Hell’s Belles,” which crashed into local houses yesterday. They explosively finish in a dead heat as the season’s most witless assaults on both credibility and the ears and eyes.

Is there a difference between these entries? Only in locale, basically. “Cycles Savages,” set in Los Angeles, has a gang led by an unshaven psychotic, played in unbelievably paranoiac style by Bruce Dern, dedicated to white slavery and to destroying a young artist who’s done some incriminating sketches of them. There’s a plethora of senseless beatings, torture, love making and robbery to say nothing of a gang rape before these crackpot cyclists are unseated or killed.

“Hell’s Belles,” operating in mountainous Arizona, involves Jeremy Slate as an improbable cowboy cycle champ in a one-man vendetta against an outlaw cycle pack who’ve stolen his prize bike. There are fewer beatings in this number, and perhaps the scenery is a mite prettier in color, but a fairly sane viewer gets the feeling, even as our hero varooms into the sunset on his retrieved bike, that only devout worshipers of violence and, say, Harley Davidsons, would give a fouled spark plug for either “Hell’s Belles” or “Cycle Savages.”NY Times.

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