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aka - Riders Of The Storm
United Kingdom/USA 1986
Directed by
Maurice Philips
100 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1 stars

The American Way

Dennis Hopper’s career had yet to recover with Blue Velvet, which would also be released in 1986, when he got involved in this Reagan-era satire. A group of seven Vietnam vets, led by Hopper, have taken over an old B-29 bomber, called "Uncle Slam," and hijack free-to-air television with their guerrilla broadcasts under the moniker "S & M TV". The plot concerns their decision to take down a right-wing female impersonator running for President as a woman, Willa Westinghouse (Nigel Pegram).

Clearly the intention with this film was to be anarchically absurd but there is nothing funny or even mildly entertaining about the resulting pastiche which from the get-go displays a lamentable lack of finesse, witlessly cribbing from much better films such as Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove (1964) despite dressing the result with a raft of catchy rock tunes from the likes of The Yardbirds and The Who. One can imagine that in its day Hopper's film might have impressed drug-addled post-adolescents but today only the desperate would be willing to subject themselves to it.




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