Tom Laughlin’s 1967 film The Born Losers is not what it appears to be; good-guy defeats out-law biker gang and saves young rape victims. On the contrary, Born Losers is Laughlin’s take on the war in Viet-Nam and the effects it had on “normal” middle-America.
The motorcycle gang in the film is a symbol of military forces who take-over a town (representing Viet-Nam) and go on a brutal spree of violence and rape. What causes these seemingly normal men to act in such brutal manners? Are there goods guys and bad guys? No, just people caught up in a “cruel” world of hopelessness, acting out their most primal instincts. Laughlin makes sure not to fit his characters into “good” and “evil”, but incorporate a little of both in each person. Laughlin’s character fights fire with fire, and it seems to say that there are no-rules in war. Controversial to say the least. The movie bombed at the box-office when first released in 1967. After the amazing success of Billy Jack, it was re-released and showed a pretty-profit.
A strong supporting cast of “B” movie legends-Elizabeth James, Jerome Slate, Robert Tessier, Jack Starrett along with a “faded” Jane Russell, make Born Losers one of the more outstanding independent movies of the 1960s.
Born Losers is a Born Winner.