“MOTORCYCLE MANIACS on wheels – BREEZY RIDERS roading to HELL!” “Hippie Psychos on a mad murder spree!” “Wild beyond belief!” Those are just some of the taglines of 1969’s classic biker flick Satan’s Sadists. I made some popcorn and watched the movie to find out if those lurid descriptions were true.
As we promised you before, here’s the second article in a big series of undigging biker movies from the 60ies and 70ies. After having covered The Born Losers, here’s part two in a series of many to come amazing – and not so amazing – biker flicks. Today’s article is about Satan’s Sadists from 1969 and we want to start this very article with a quote from the movie itself. Here’s the biker gang’s leader Anchor talking to Charlie, whose wive has just been raped by the bikers:
Charlie: “I’ll get you, you little bastard. I promise you, I’ll get you if it’s the last thing I ever do.”
Anchor: “You’re right, cop. You’re right, I am a rotten bastard. I admit it. But I tell you something: Even though I got a lot of hate inside, I got some friends who ain’t got hate inside. They’re filled with nothing but love. Their only crime is growing their hair long, smoking a little grass and getting high, looking at the stars at night, writing poetry in the sand. And what do you do? You bust down their doors, man. Dumb-ass cop. You bust down their doors and you bust down their heads. You put ’em behind bars. And you know something funny? They forgive you.”
This is basically what the mindset of the movie is about. It’s about the whole “us versus them” mentality that those outlaw bikers had. But other than many other statements made, Anchor also reflects forgiveness as a part of their attitude other than just violence and being a menace to society. Centering around an outlaw motorcycle gang called the Satans, the movie tells this classic “violence and rape” story so many biker movies have, but with a little twist.
As told before, the gang’s leader goes by the name of Anchor, other members of the gang include other colorful personalities such as Firewater, Acid, Muscle, Willie, Romeo and Gina.
The movie starts with the gang encountering a young couple whom they attack. They beat up the boyfriend and rape the girl. After killing both of them, they throw their car over a cliff.
Meanwhile, Johnny Martin, a Vietnam veteran, is seen hitchhiking and is picked up by former police officer Chuck Baldwin and his wife Nora. Johnny was discharged from the Marine Corps where he was a police officer and is now on the way to Los Angeles. They stop at a diner in the middle of the desert to have lunch. Johnny there meets Tracy, who works as a waitress at the diner and is driving a red dune buggy. They both talk about getting away from this desert town and about escaping from their boring life.
With the Satans arriving at the diner, things quickly start getting wild and out of control. One of the members selects a song from the jukebox and Gina starts performing a go-go dance on one of the tables. The owner soon pulls the plug and tells the bikers that his diner is “a place to eat” and “not a place to dance”. With one of the bikers hitting on the former police officer’s wife, things then get out of control and Chuck pulls out his revolver and tells the bikers to “beat it”. After a fight, the bikers take the couple hostage, rape the police officer’s wife and then kill both. Johnny and Tracy in the meantime escape in Tracy’s dune buggy after knocking out two members of the Satans.
After noticing that Johnny and Tracy are gone, the bikers chase them deep into the isolated desert. Tracy’s dune buggy breaks down so they continue their getaway by foot trying to reach the next town. Searching the desert the bikers come across a trio of three female campers and start a wild LSD party with them. Getting jealous because Anchor makes out with the girls, Gina drives off and commits suicide by driving over a cliff.
The next morning, the gang splits up to look for Johnny and Tracy. Back at the camp the gang’s leader Anchor has obviously gone insane and murdered the three women and is now playing russian roulette with another member of the club. After another fight the biker gang definitely splits ways and the remaining members go search Johnny and Tracy on their own. After one of them gets crushed by a landslide he tells Johnny and Tracy that Anchor is no longer a problem for them since he’s probably dead by now.
As Johnny and Tracy start walking down the road to the next town, Anchor suddenly drives towards them on the last working motorcycle of the Satans. He raves about being Satan and having paid his dues. As he raises his gun, Johnny throws a switchblade at him and kills him. Johnny is also wounded but is still able to drive the motorcycle, so himself and Tracy leave towards the setting sun.
Read more about: Biker Flicks
Technical / Production
Satan’s Sadists was shot in only 8 days. To save money, inexpensive 16 mm film was used that was later blown up to 35 mm for theatrical release. The film was shot at the Spahn Movie Ranch in Simi Valley, CA at the same time that Charles Manson and his family were living there. This was later exploited in the film’s advertising with the line “Filmed in the exact location that the Tate hippie killers lived their wild experiences!”
If you’re into any unnecessary movie trivia, we saved the best for last: Satan’s Sadists is thought to be the first film ever to feature someone being killed by having their head shoved down a toilet.