The problem with making movies in the "grindhouse" style is that true grindhouse movies, almost by definition, were not seen by very many people. The target audience for a loving homage to the genre is therefore limited. Quentin Tarantino might adore the shlocky, violent capers of the 1970s, but how many of the rest of us have even seen them, much less love them enough to enjoy a re-creation of them?
Hell Ride, which Tarantino executive produced and Larry Bishop wrote and directed, is a salute to the ridiculous biker movies that Bishop frequently acted in back in the late '60s and early '70s. With titles like The Savage Seven and Chrome and Hot Leather, these were pure grindhouse cheese, and Hell Ride is either a parody of them or an adoring tribute. The line is always fine when it comes to a Tarantino project -- does he really like these movies, or does he only like them ironically? -- and here it's nearly invisible.
Bishop stars as Pistolero, the leader of a motorcycle gang called the Victors. Fellow members include Comanche (Eric Balfour) and The Gent (Michael Madsen); a comrade named St. Louie has just been murdered by a rival gang, the 666ers, led by Billy Wings (Vinnie Jones) and The Deuce (David Carradine). The Victors want revenge for this, but the often incomprehensible plot has them searching for a buried treasure, too, planted by a woman named Cherokee Kisum before she was killed back in 1976. Adding to the general mayhem is the reappearance of Eddie Zero (Dennis Hopper), a first-generation Victor who was presumed dead but has now returned to offer guidance to his successors.