With the Comedy Channel and BBI running out of obtainable and usable science fiction films for the group to riff on rapidly dwindling, the group at BBI would turn to movies of other genres.The reasons for this are probably varied and many. (Issues of 'proprietary ownership' of a film, legal issues surrounding the rights to acquire a specific film, whether a film is in 'public domain' or not, and most likely a limited budget on both Comedy Channel and BBI's part presumably were factors). Therefore, they would begin prospecting other categories. Including some very unsavory 'biker' movies.
So here, we're presented with the first of a few really repellent biker movies.
Let the experiment begin!
"Turn Down Your Lights (Where applicable)"
Experiment #202 ~ THE SIDE HACKERS (1969)
(a.k.a.:"Five the Hard Way")
Original Air Date: September 29, 1990
Studio: Crown International Pictures
Starring: Ross Hagen, Diane McBain, Michael Pataki
Directed By: Gus Trikonis
Theatrical Running Time: 82 Minutes
Tagline: "HARD RIDERS! Mounted on Burning Steel! ...with only their leathers between THEM and HELL!"
The movie was supposed to be about off-road motorcycle racing with a new slant. Each bike has a 'sidehack' (a platform where a 'passenger' stands and shifts his weight from one side to the other in the curves, helping provide balance and stability for the 'pilot', while the two man team manuvers an off-road motorcycle race track).
However, the movie focuses on 'cool' hacker Rommel (Ross Hagen
wearing one of those stupid puffy little racing caps with the one snap on the bill (think 'Jackson 5' or 'Toni maneuvers' fashions)). He and his fiancee' Rita (Diane McBain
) meet eccentric (yes, psychopathic) hipster 'J.C.' (Michael psychopathic
) and his girl Paisley (Claire Polan
) After witnessing her first sidehack race ever, Paisley finds Rommel alone late one night at the 'cycle shop. She comes on to him but Rommel rudely sends her away.
Later, J.C. returns to his motel room to find Paisley drunk and with her clothes ripped. Paisley tells a lie and claims that Rommel raped her.
Furious, J.C. tells 'Cooch' (Michael Graham
(his 'go-to' guy)) to have his crew get
Rommel. They beat the snot out of Rommel and then they rape and kill Rita. J.C. returns to the motel and is rebuked by Paisley. In a rage he strangles her to death.
Once Rommel recovers from his savage beating, he enlists his own crew and they set out to revenge both himself and Rita's murder.
After J.C. and Rommel's posse's have killed each other off, Rommel and J.C. go 'mano-a-mano' in a violent struggle. When Rommel gains the advantage in the fight, he elects to walk away (with the police arriving). J.C. picks up a gun off of one of the dead combatants and shoots Rommel in the back.
Joel has his hands full with laundry day, giving the Bots a bath and then having to empty the 'load pan bay'! (Tom and Crow were having 'sword fights' in it!(?)).
Joel presents 'Gretchen the Slinky' (given the right chemical bath and then exposed to ultraviolet light, some interesting
things could happen).
The Mads present 'The Slinky Train' (in which the top half of 'Dr F.'s' body is in the front car, and the bottom half is in the second car, connected by a coiled 'bio-tube'. "It allows you to be in two places at once!").
Joel accuses the Mads of stealing his ideas. The Mads respond by telling him "We're monitoring your mind, Joel. Besides, 'In space, no one can hear you...sue!
'. That's right, we're Evil! EVIL!!!".
Joel and the Bots present a musical salute to today's movie, a song titled "Sidehackin' ".
Joel and the Bots create terminology to be used in calling 'play-by-play' action for the new sport of sidehacking.
Joel and the Bots try to emulate Rommel (including wearing his stupid looking hat), but the conversation keeps coming back to mourning Rita. The SOL gets a visit from J.C. and Cooch via the Hexfield Viewscreen.
Joel and the Bots perform the musical number "Only Love Pads the Film" which brings Frank to tears. Joel reads a couple of fan letters. Frank WILL push the button to end the week's experiment. (( Frank imitating Cooch )"I will
. I will
push the button. I will push
. I will
. I will!
. I will push
. I will push the button
"). Dr. F., frustrated, finally pushes the button instead.
Items of Note:
~Two (2) musical numbers in this episode. (Mike Nelson's musical background is already beginning to shine through).
~Cambot actually makes a 'riff''. A 'Sportscenter' style overlay on-screen while the experiment is running (Score: Boredom:9 - Movie:1), tallying the sidehacking event.
~Bots are present on the bridge of the SOL (in their bathrobes) during the Invention Exchange.
~A curious Host 2 segment creating 'color' commentary for the sport. A rambling 'Stream -of- Consciousness' bit, with lots of pop culture references. (Very strange).
~The theatrical release title "Five the Hard Way" was meant to capitalize on the the title of a very popular (and more successful) film of the time "Five Easy Pieces".
~Apparently there was (is(?)) a true sport of sidehacking. The film's credits thank the 'Southern California Sidehack Association'.
~BBI did not watch the whole film when they selected it. While writing for this episode, they were mortified at the scene where Rommel is beaten and Rita is raped and murdered (a scene which thankfully they edited out). After that, BBI would always view a movie from start to finish before beginning to write for any episode.
Childhood history for this reviewer in this episode running from 'Martin and Lewis', 'Bob Crane', 'Punch and Judy', 'Beedlebaum' and 'Funny Face beverages' ('Choo-Choo Cherry'). Yet, nothing can overcome the repellant nature of the film. A good job on BBI's part, but....
2 "Butt-draggin', sidehackin' passengers" out of 5. (even the 'riffs' can't elevate the revolting nature of this film.Trully foul).
"Keep Trading the Discs (and Tapes)"
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