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STUDIO: Dark Sky Films
RUNNING TIME: 95 Minutes
• Audio commentary with William Smith and Paul Koslo
• Photo gallery
• Radio spots
• Theatrical trailers
“‘70s biker movie meets ‘70s war movie with some crazy Road Warrior-esque vehicles thrown in.”
William Smith, Bernie Hamilton, Adam Roarke, Houston Savage and Paul Koslo
A CIA operative has been captured by the Chinese army and the United States needs him back but they don’t want to expend any effort in getting him. What better alternative than to recruit a bunch of ex-military bikers to take on the entire Chinese force? The Devil’s Advocates are the gang recruited to do the job, and contrary to their name they spend absolutely no time advocating the Devil. They could at least throw some Satanic books in hotel room dressers.
Being that they’re a biker gang, the Devil’s Advocates don’t play by the rules or listen to their commanding officers. Instead they spend most of their time getting high and hiring hookers. When forced to be on task, the group devotes themselves to souping up their tiny Yamaha bikes into vehicles of mass destruction. After preparing their vehicles, the group rides straight into the heart of the Chinese army’s base for a dramatic showdown full of explosions and motorcycle jumps. Perhaps the U.S. army should just outfit motocross racers with deathbikes and send them overseas the next time a country has to be occupied.
The tiger uppercut is capable of damaging even the mightiest of beer guts.
The Losers is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound. The feature extra is a commentary track by actors William Smith and Paul Koslo. The commentary is enjoyable as the two seem to be friends and have a lot of fun remembering their experiences making a movie almost 40 years ago. William Smith’s voice is so deep and gravely that it makes Mickey Rourke sound like a little girl.
The rest of the special features are rounded out with the standard photo gallery, radio spots and trailers. It’s interesting to see trailers for small B-movies like these, which seem designed for the drive-in crowd and know not the meaning of the word subtlety. There’s not much more that could be included on the disc. It’s not like you could create a documentary with numerous film historians waxing poetic about the impact that The Losers had on cinema. This is a B-movie for a niche audience, who will likely be thrilled that the film was even given a DVD release.
The Great Escape II – Red Reckoning
The Losers is a combination of genres that mix about as well as oil and water. Rather than blending together into one cohesive movie, both halves of The Losers feel like two totally unrelated movies that are bookended into each other. The first hour plus of the film is a traditional 1970s biker and drug culture film. The gang lounges around in opium dens and brothels while funky grooves play in the background. The first half of the film even includes some musical montages, including one Carpenters sounding song that gives the film its namesake. It all feels completely out of place given the premise of the movie.
The second half of the film is a more traditional war picture, albeit with crazy vehicles. The lone action set piece of the film is the final assault on the Chinese army base and features plenty of explosions and stunts. The low budget nature of the action makes the film more entertaining than it was intended to be, as obviously plastic dummies hurdle through the air and buildings explode before characters even shoot them.
The film’s conclusion tries to wax philosophical about the destructive nature of war and how it makes losers out of us all, but it’s pretty heady material and seems rather half hearted given the film’s total B-movie nature until that point. The Losers is a mishmash of filmmaking, but the obvious enthusiasm the crew had for the film and its fast pace make it an enjoyable movie, albeit a silly and confusing one.