Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bruce D. Clark|
|Produced by||David R. Dawdy|
|Edited by||Johanna Bryant|
|Distributed by||Favorite Films|
Naked Angels is a 1969 outlaw biker film, directed by Bruce D. Clark. Starring Michael Greene as Mother, Jennifer Gan as Marlene and Richard Rust as Fingers. Later documentary director Penelope Spheeris is a cast member in her first appearance as an actress. Actor Corey Fischer also appears in the cast.
The distributor of this film, called Favorite Films, started out in business in 1913 during the era of silent movies. They distributed 160 films in the USA. Naked Angels was the last film distributed by Favorite Films.
"Mad dogs from hell! Hunting down their prey with a quarter-ton of hot steel between their legs!"
An inside look at the lifestyles of outlaw bikers. Although the cast is made up of UCLA film students, they were advised by a former member of the Hell's Angels, and the film has a gritty real feeling. A returning forward observer back from Vietnam eats a lizard whole on camera as a dare. Financed by Roger Corman, and produced by film student David Dawdy, the film utilized Francis Ford Coppola's camera truck and technician. It was written in three weekends and shot in three weeks.
The story concerns a death feud between two rival biker gangs. The Angels are out to revenge themselves on the Las Vegas Hotdoggers, who severely beat their leader, Mother (Michael Greene).
As the story opens, Mother is just returning to the Angels and his old lady, Marlene (Jennifer Gan) who had become the property of Fingers (Richard Rust) the new head of the clan. When Mother reappears he quickly reassumes leadership of the gang as well as the rights to the strawberry blond, lascivious, foul-mouthed Marlene.
The Angels go looking for the Hotdoggers at their hangout, a bar in Las Vegas. Not finding their rivals, the Angels bust up the bar and terrorize the local citizenry. A lone Hotdogger betrays his gang and tells the Angels of a secret mine hangout in the desert where they can find his gang.
Later that evening, Mother and Marlene are riding his chopper around Vegas, when a showgirl in a car catches his eye. He splits with the showgirl and when he returns, Marlene is livid with rage. Setting out into the desert, the Angels and Mother argue about what to do and how to travel through the desert. Marlene opens her mouth and says what everyone in the gang is thinking. Mother gets angry and says that everyone in the gang can have Marlene. There are no takers, as even the gang members cannot go so low, so Mother takes off on his own.
The Angels and finally Mother meet again at the mine hideout with the Hotdoggers. A stick of dynamite brings the Hotdoggers out of the mine for a vicious brawl with tire chains, knives, fists and boots. The Hotdogger leader steals an Angel's bike but Mother rides him down and finishes him off while the Angels look on and cheer.
After taking revenge on all the Hotdoggers, Fingers and Mother fight it out at the end, but only one can be leader of the Angels.
The film released in color takes advantage of the neon lighting of Las Vegas as many of the filming sequences occur there. The viewer gets a true historical representation of the state of the city near the end of the 60's. The film has sequences where the footage alternates between moving action and still photography which gives it an "art film" feeling. Along with the electric fuzz guitar soundtrack, there are many "dream" or "hallucination" sequences at different points in the film giving it a surreal atmosphere. The camera locations on the motorcycle riding sequences give the viewer a point of view that is unusual in these type of moving action sequences.
The film's soundtrack was co-written by Jeff Simmons (eventually to become a member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention) and Randy Sterling. It was originally released in 1969 on Frank Zappa's "Straight Records" label. It has been reissued on CD and vinyl, sometimes in combination with Simmons' next album Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up from the same year.
- Naked Angels Theme 4:10
- Ride Into Vegas 1:16
- Vegas Boogie 3:05
- Vegas Pickup 4:05
- Cop Out 1:12
- First Desert Ride 1:45
- Rank 2:00
- Boinin' (Third Ride) 3:32
- Scots Breath 1:40
- Rat Grind 2:05
- Bar Dream 3:36
- Camper Scene 2:25
- Toccata for Truck 3:35
- End Theme 1:12
The film was scored by Jeff live, laying down the tracks while watching the scenes.