The Glory Stompers (1967)

”The Glory Stompers” is hardly a classic-even in the ”Biker” genre, but it’s a decent, entertaining little flick from AIP. Dennis Hopper stars as a member of the ”Black Souls” motorcycle gang, who beat up rival ”Glory Stompers” member Jody McCrea,leave him for dead, and kidnaps his girl, Chris Noel. He and his gang (who include ”Born Losers” alumni Robert Tessier, Edwin Cook and Paul Prokop) plan to sell Chris to a Mexican flesh peddler somewhere south of the border. However, McCrea(once he recovers) joins up with ex-Stomper Jock Mahoney and sets out to rescue her. Complicating matters is Hopper’s psycho ”Momma” (Saundra Gayle, a LONG way from ”The Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm”) who can’t wait to dispose of Chris. And so it goes.The Widescreen photography is very good. The acting is decent all around. Hopper, despite his limited vocabulary (he says ”man” in almost every sentence) is OK until the climax, when he screams, shakes, whimpers, whines, froths at the mouth and seems to be auditioning for a summer stock tour of ”Hamlet”. And, when all else fails, they toss in a ”Love-In” along with a brief fight between a couple of tough looking” Biker Chicks”. The soundtrack, which features, among others, ”The Arrows” who were a Biker Film staple by now, is good, if somewhat overdone.Mike Curb, former Lt Governor and Motorcycle Music specialist, (The Wild Angels” ”Devil’s Angels” etc) produced and wrote most of the music-even adding a song called ”Black Souls” for future ”America’s Top 40” DJ Casey Kasem, who is seen in a bit part as one of the ”Souls”. Fortunately, this one didn’t make it into the film’s final cut, though, in all probability, it was just intended to help fill up the quickie tie-in soundtrack album.However, the title song ”The Stompers Ride” did-though it was just a recycled version of Curb’s ”Wild Angels Theme”. In fact, much of the music in the AIP biker films was used more than once for their other exploitation titles. Nevertheless, the Sidewalk Recording from the movie is now a highly prized collectors item, which goes for big $$$ whenever it surfaces on EBAY. Ironic, considering that back in the early ”70’s, these and other Sidewalk/Tower exploitation soundtracks could be found in discount and drug stores for as little as (Gulp!) three for $1.00. MGM and Twentieth-Century-Fox have just released a nice DVD of this title. The print shows it’s age from time to time, but it’s in Anamorphic Widescreen with nice color and a sharp image.(the Widescreen process used was probably ”Panavision”, but here it’s called ”Colorscope”). and the sound quality is also very good. As a ”Limited Edition” DVD-R, there are no extras, but it’s still nice to have an ”Official” release at last. Incidentally, of AIP’S many Cycle Sagas, only two others were made in the ”Scope”process -”The Wild Angels” and it’s follow-up ”Devil’s Angels”.All of them should have been filmed this way, because, like this one, most of the others feature a lot of footage with the Bikers zooming up and down the highway. And that sort of thing was ideal for the format. Catch a ride with the Stompers and hang on!.