Riding their men as viciously as they ride their motorcycles!
Queen is the tough as leather leader of the Man-Eaters, an all girl gang of hopped up hog riders who like their bikes fast and their men horizontal. Among the motorcycle mommas are Whitey, the 300 pound plus Brunnhilde-in-training love machine, the naïve newcomer Honey Pot, and the pensive, torn between two lifestyles (and one man) Karen. After a long hard day of riding and racing, nothing is more satisfying to these gals than forming a stud line of available man meat, and letting the winner mount her trophy. When Joe-Boy and his chopper chums challenge Queen's team to a turf war, the men are sent packing with their handlebars between their legs. So they kidnap little Honey, wreak their wounded havoc on her, and return the used and physically abused body to the Man-Eaters. Queen vows revenge, and schemes to teach the boy Joseph the consequences of riding his crotch rocket into a piece of barb wire with his top (and guard) down.
She-Devils on Wheels was an unusual film for director Herschel Gordon Lewis. Best known for his bloodsoaked gore epics, She-Devils marked a major departure and was a surprising non-horror hit. And in some ways, it's hard to understand why. The film is not a warts-and-all expose on the then-popular/infamous biker gang culture. There is no nudity (everyone is fully clothed during the orgies) and there is only one main gore effect. But on the other hand, Lewis made one important, genius decision. He centered all the debauchery and violence within the saddlebags of the female riders. Audiences were used to seeing Jack swilling, jock itching bad asses beating the snot out of the population. What must have really revved their engines was the then novel notion of women being hot, horny hedonists, ready for fast lovin' and hard brawling. In an era where women were viewed as either sexpot go-go gals or proto-feminists on the rise, it was unusual to see tough talking tarts getting their kicks and pounding Peter to beat Paul. Lewis wisely hired real biker gals, knowing that most of Actor's Equity have a hard time staying put on a park bench, let alone a Harley. While occasionally forced in their performances, you can tell these ladies know their way around a banana seat. The combination of novelty and reality really pays off and forgives some of the dreadful scripting and melodramatic menopause involved. She-Devils is a demented delicacy where the girl's just want to fight, frug, and fornicate as part of their "fun."
Along with an extremely clean full screen print with exceptional color and clarity, She-Devils on Wheels features an unforgettable pre-punk rock grrrl anthem that blares like a clarion call for a Revlon rebellion. As with other Something Weird Video DVDs featuring Lewis' work, a feature-length commentary track with the director is also offered. And as usual, he is fascinating. Always engaging, quick with an anecdote or self-deprecating comment, he adds plenty of insight and explanations. He understands that, while it may have been 32 years since he made the film, many are approaching it for the first time and that it is his job to be as informative and charming as possible. Too bad that all of SWV's commentators can't be as tolerant and topical (we're looking at you, Harry Novak). Along with a trailer, the final added bonus is a featurette, Biker Beach Party, that is a strange amalgamation: part celebration, part sarcastic denouncement of the entire hog nation mentality. Filmed in a mock-documentary style, it reports to show an actual ocean side shindig filled to the brim with leather-clad cads and cadettes. But as with the similar in tone and temperament Mondo Mod and The Hippie Revolt, there is an air of anti-bike propaganda about it. While Queen and the girls may consider themselves the "gang that nobody likes," it's guaranteed that you will be smitten by She-Devils on Wheels, an exploitative marriage of Easy Rider to the ERA. Man-Eaters rule, okay.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Something Weird Video
• Audio Commentary from Director Herschel Gordon Lewis
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