The Death Lords

"Grim"

The Death Lords Review


The promotional material for The Death Lords promises "raunchy renegades" and lots of other neat stuff that's supposedly the make-up of biker films -- drugs, women, and debauchery... and with 1970s trimmings nonetheless. Sounds great.

Unfortunately, the movie works better as a study of kitsch than anything else. Culture Shock Productions, which released the DVD, is coy on whether the movie was actually filmed in the 1970s or filmed with cheap stock and eerily accurate production values. But a movie can't survive on camp appeal alone, which is all The Death Lords has. And there are only so many late 1970s fashions and so much weirdo lighting a viewer can take before he or she gets antsy.

In following the boozy, drug-addled escapades of the title Oakland motorcycle gang, it becomes apparent that the movie is alternately regimented and rambling. The gang's acts (hazing a wannabe member, visiting a porn movie set) are so orchestrated and drawn out that any bawdy behavior is lost. The wooden acting dampens the movie's possible wild child spirit, giving it an intentionally formal feeling. I don't think that's what director/writer/star Neil Ayers had in mind.

For a better example of anarchy, check out Jackass: The Movie, which captured that kind of subversive spirit a lot better. If you want to stick with motorcycles, then rent Easy Rider, though be warned, it's hasn't aged very well, either.

The Death Lords' DVD includes three music videos, bios, and trailers.



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