Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

The Werewolves on Wheels (1971)



Notes: Rainbow Films, 79 minutes.
Adam: Stephen Oliver
Helen: D.J. Anderson
One: Severn Darden
Tarot, Pill, Movie, Scarf, Mouse: Deuce Berry, Billy Gray, Barry McGuire…

Written: David M. Kaufman and Michel Levesque
Produced: Paul Lewis and Stuart Fleming
Directed: Michel Levesque

Summary: A motorcycle gang, the Devil’s Advocates, harasses the driver of a green truck, catching up with him at a gas station and beating him senseless. The gang leader, Adam, is skeptical of Tarot’s card-reading abilities, but Helen listens to Tarot make vague pronouncments about the cards, and that she’ll die struck by lightning (as he shows the Devil and Tower cards). The gang rides to a Satanic temple where despite the monks’ dedication to the Devil, they proceed in calm and orderly fashion, vs. the gang members, who mockingly call on Lucifer. The monks bring the thugs bread and wine. “I am called One.” The Satanic leader takes a thread of Helen’s hair: “The hair of many is the hair of one.” While the gang sleeps, One performs rituals in rhyme, slaying a cat as an “act of wanton cruelty.” He writes the devil symbol in blood and draws a large circle with an opening for the bride of Satan. He asks the demonic powers to sanctify “this circumference of blood.” The other monks enter, and we hear gibberish. Helen wakes up and leaves Adam’s side; soon she is naked, performing a dance with a snake and a skull. “You are one with him,” chant the monks. The gang members wake up and rescue her, seemingly, but the monks are able to mark their faces with soot.

Around a campfire later, Helen is still lapsing into her dance and freaking out. Others generally mock the Satanism they’ve seen. Helen leaves a vampire mark on the neck of Adam, and that night there are bloody slashings of Shirley and another cyclist. The bodies are discovered in the morning, and Adam is stoic: “I guess all we can do is bury them.” He tells Tarot that they no doubt broke their necks and coyotes chewed on them. No, “somebody’s controlling the vibes.” Later at a junkyard, Tarot meditates until arguing with Adam: “We’re in trouble, man.” “God, Devil, it’s a bunch of hogwash.” The gang burns wrecked cars for a campfire, and Adam is momentarily annoyed with Helen. But he claims to be afraid of nothing.

That night, another gang member, Movie, is attacked and his body thrown on the fire. The next morning, during some contention over beer, the guard is blamed for negligence. “Something spiritual” happened. The gang decides they should “get those monks.” But they are soon lost in the desert, and Adam and Tarot fight. We finally see Adam transform into a werewolf and the others defend themselves with sticks. Helen also transforms, and while Adam kills another cyclist, Tarot fends off Helen. Soon the others are helping Tarot with torches, and Helen is burned up. Adam flees on his bike, pursued by the remaining gang. He attempts a jump and crashes, burning and dying. Tarot and the gang go to the temple but raised sticks avail them not. They fall obedient to the monks and see Helen, charred but dressed as a bride of Satan, and they receive evil communion.

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