Motor Psycho (Russ Meyer / U.S., 1965):

Three punks on wheels maraud the desert, beating up dwellers and ravishing their women. One is a soldier back from overseas scrambled (Steve Oliver), another is a troubled youngster (F. Rufus Owens), the last (Thomas Scott) has his ear glued to a portable radio like Bresson's hooligans in Au Hasard Balthazar; their first victims are a pipe-smoking fisherman and his ignored, bikini-clad wife, concisely laying down the equation of engines, sand, and cleavage. The local veterinarian (Alex Rocco) comes home to find his beloved (Holle K. Winters) violated, Russ Meyer as the sheriff offers warm words ("Nothin' happened to her that a woman ain't built fer"), the doctor vows revenge. A combative couple crosses paths with the hoods, the geezer husband (a vehement bit by grade-Z auteur Coleman Francis) is killed yet the shotgun blast merely grazes his Cajun wife (Haji, another beautiful comic performance); Rocco proves his medicinal skills by placing a tiny band-aid on the side of her face, she recalls a sordid past ("You wanted a bedtime story! What didja expect, Fanny Hill?") and joins the avenger. In this male pendant of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Meyer undercuts the leather-teddy mythos and achieves a collection of candid pictures. One astonishing sample has Oliver governing the rocky dunes from atop a mountain -- when his mind dissipates back to military days fighting "commies," he descends in the midst of a dynamite battle singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Another passage tears out all the stops for a wild phallic interlude involving knives and rattlesnakes, with the money-shot reconfigured using poisoned blood ("Suck it! Suck it more! Now spit it out!"). With Joseph Cellini, Sharon Lee, Arshalouis Aivazian, and Steve Masters. In black and white.

--- Fernando F. Croce

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