It seems like an unbeatable package. The Losers is a 1970 movie, produced right in the thick of the Vietnam War. Dig this crazy premise: A biker club, The Devil's Advocates, are enlisted by the US government to infiltrate a neutral area in the Far East to rescue a diplomat. Directed by Jack Starrett, who gave us the all-time drive-in masterpiece and the only Satan-worshiping car chase movie ever made, Race With the Devil. How can it lose?

Plus, you have the always-reliable William Smith as the lead biker. Those were the days when you got believable action heroes. Tell me the truth, who is more credible as an onscreen badass, William Smith or Liam Neeson? Or Bob Odenkirk?

Then you have Bernie Hamilton as a hardnose, by-the-books Army Captain. Hamilton later played a hardnose, by-the-books Police Captain in Starsky and Hutch.

All the ingredients for a crowd-pleasing action adventure drive-in extravaganza. But why isn't The Losers as famous as other movies of its era?

Well, for one thing the pacing of The Losers is excruciating. The movie is well made, and the acting is above par for this sort of thing. The locations are believable and the photography is professional, but the movie drags and I mean it DRAGS. Long scenes go on and on and on. There is some fairly effective humor, and a few juicy fights, but it takes forever for The Losers to get rolling.

The gang finds an auto repair shop and they retrofit their bikes into killing machines, with mounted machine guns and armor plating. When they finally invade the camp where the wormy diplomat is held, there's about ten minutes of excellent action sequences. Then the movie degrades into more dry drama.

Sensitivity editors would have a field day with some of the dialogue in The Losers, which is offensive enough to make the woke brigade swallow their tongues and go into seizures.

The Losers isn't all bad, and I don't regret watching it. However, it is a huge missed opportunity and I am unsurprising the movie has been mostly forgotten.

Written by Mark Sieber

No comments

The author does not allow comments to this entry