Chrome and Hot Leather/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Chrome and Hot Leather

Chrome and Hot Leather begins with the film's protagonists--four Vietnam veterans training new recruits somewhere in California. Mitch (Tony Young) tells his friends he's going home to marry his local sweetheart.

Enter the long shot road scene of roaring bikes with T.J. (William Smith) leading the pack. A small black sedan drives behind the crew, which begins to hassle them as they attempt to pass. Casey (Michael Haynes) becomes angry when the car causes him to crash and pursues them on his own. He smashes the windshield with a chain and sends the car reeling down a mountainside ultimately killing both young women. Once Mitch receives the news that his soon-to-be wife has been killed, the four retired veterans find themselves at her funeral. Due to a misleading information of the responsible biker gang, and the absence of the crime's only witness, Mitch insists that the sheriff include him in the search.

Mitch and fellow soldiers embark on a search for the gang known as "The Devils" (actually it's the Wizards with a devil's face on their patch). They have been warned by the sheriff that "these bikers are violent and they don't respect authority nor do they like outsiders." As a result, the four start their own bike gang as cover. They strike a deal for four new Kawasakis at a local dealership and then...aaaah, then the montage of learning to ride the bikes. From barely starting the bikes in the morning, the gang quickly graduates to jumping rows of cars by the afternoon!


Once their cover is in place, the men separate to mingle with other bikers secretly searching for the "Devils." Mitch finally catches up with the gang in Piru, California and quickly joins the fold. Although, he asks questions about the car accident too soon and is beaten. His partners show up just in time to rescue him. They immediately fall back to the military base to stock up on dynamite, hand grenades, climbing gear, k-rations, and an assortment of weapons. Once they get to the canyon where the gang is hold up, they set up their command post and go Vietnam all over their ass! Keep in mind, they don't want to kill anyone so it's mostly scare tactics. After a skirmish, the four Green Berets have successfully apprehended the outlaw gang and march them out of the desert.

OK. As far as biker flicks go, this one is definitely on the low priority list. While the portrayal of bikers is somewhat traditional to the genre the entire film is pitched as an "establishment, (anti)anti-authoritarian" symbol. The violence is light and the tension is a bit contrived. Other than this, you'll see Marvin Gaye in his only starring film role (which is no surprise once you've seen him act). The good news is...this film kept William Smith working, so we could enjoy him in so many other films. Also, if you watch this with friends, have everyone throw $5 into a hat. The first person to spot a young Eric Estrada (in his second bit part ever) gets to keep the cash! It's nearly impossible. Oh, and don't forget Dan Haggerty!!!

As with any biker flick, watch it! However, if you are just starting to investigate this genre try to go with something heavier.

Reviewed by Texploited

  • Grindhouse Database Newsletter
  • Exploitation books
  • Kung fu movies
  • Giallo BluRay