The Vintagent Classics: The films that inspired us. 


Run Time: 1:21:00
Producer: Plateau Productions
Director: Larry G. Brown
Writer: Margaret McPherson
Key Cast: John Alderman, Tom Basham, Henry Olek


The Pink Angels is an oddball exploitation film written by a woman (with no other credits to her name), and is the only film in the American Biker Flick genre (1966-1972) to focus on a non binary motorcycle gang. A campy romp full of one liners on sexuality, mixed with a dark undercurrent that hits heavy on the anti-establishment, anti-Vietnam politics of the time, culminating in a shocking final scene. see summary for details.


The Pink Angels frolic up the California coastline, on their way to a “ladies Cotillion (drag queen contest) in L.A. Meanwhile, quick cuts jump to a nameless, maniacal military general who’s hell-bent on locating and capturing all “long hairs” on a top secret map. Targeting biker gangs specifically, ‘The General’ much like Uncle Victor in Harold and Maude, is made to seem foolish. Stuck in a brutal, bloody past which the hippy generation has moved beyond.

In the final scenes, the Pink Angels dressed entirely in drag, meet a rival gang who don’t recognize “the broads” as their sworn enemies, and instead, ask them out. They load the ladies onto the backs of their bikes and head to a party, but the military is waiting, and everyone’s hauled in for questioning.  The General probes the “gals” for incriminating dirt on the bikers, but the Pink Angels refuse to bad mouth the gang even though they are sworn rivals. In an act of biker comradery, They voluntarily reveal that they are not girls at all…but bikers themselves…”cross dressing, biker faggots!”

One final jump cut shows a shocking end. The Pink Angels hanging from a tree. Lynched not for being bikers, but for cross dressing. An end even too brutal for The General to inflict on the bikers he was mercilessly hunting, while God Bless America plays and the credits roll.

Followers of gay cinema of the 20th century will recognize this end as all too familiar. scenes of queer characters meeting tragic and violent ends was used for decades following the Hays code to depict gay characters as deviant, thus making their violent death a moral warning. Watch ‘The Celluloid Closet‘ for a great primer on this subject.


Read more at Cine Meccanica

Buy the film at The Video Beat




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