Wednesday, December 17, 2014

80's Cheese 2


We’ve established that low budget 80’s cheesy films catered to the twenty year olds by selling them the impossible dream from the past that they were still masters of the universe and females were not in fact taking over.  It had little to do with nudity per se, although that certainly didn’t hurt box office or VHS sales.  It was more about fantasy.  But just in case that one didn’t work, there was the fear mongering coupled with fantasy solutions.  I’m of course not saying that this was consciously what film makers did.  It could have been little more than the survivors of the Darwin hothouse of Hollywood rising to the top to keep making films.  But the end result, consciously or not, was a broad outline a certain set of movies adhered to.  Jack Tillman The Survivalist certainly was one of those.  Fear the dreaded motorcycle gang!!!!  Now, that all sounds kind of implausible to us now, and the Bad Biker Terrorists genre looks silly on celluloid today, but back in the day it was the Darkie Gangs From The Hood equivalent.  Unless you are kind of soft in the head, you get all your experiences with minority gangs from Hollywood and steer as clear from the real thing as possible.  You have no idea what is hype and what is real, so the best course of action is to just be extra paranoid and assume the worse.  In the future, who is to say our ghetto fears weren’t seen as poorly in retrospect?


If you think about it, motorcycle gangs might have been a propaganda vehicle for the authorities since the 50’s, but that didn’t make them any less of a worry to Mr. and Mrs. Square Middle Class.  You now feel all secure and relaxed in your suburban castle, knowing that evil gangsters stay in their ghetto and if one breaks free he sticks out like a sore thumb for the local constabulary.  By and large White Boys travel to the ghetto for their drugs for this very reason, and by and large suburbanites prefer this arrangement.  But imagine if those gangs had no ghetto they stayed in safely.  Imagine they would travel to your burg on a whim, unannounced and in such force that the local cops were powerless.  That is what the motorcycle gangs did and why they were feared.  Because you weren’t safe in your castle.  Whether this was actual fact or just profiteering from the fear mongers is immaterial.  The perception was there.  So for the longest time biker gangs made good nemesis’ in movies.  And of course, any movie hero who vanquished them sent the same fantasy message to the audience as today’s Special Forces dudes dispatching Towel Heads with ease.  It didn’t matter if the storyline or tactics were improbable.  They worked at the time.  Just because movies appear to be more sophisticated today doesn’t mean the profiteering and manipulation are not ongoing.  Just consider today’s “survivalists” and their strategies and how close they resemble their 80’s cheesy film hero’s to see how far we haven’t come.

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  1. So much for progress -same fear, different actors.

    By the way, the local motorcycle gang respects me. They wave as they drive by. I'm that big crazy guy who they think it's a good idea to be on the good side of.

    I wave back. What the heck.

    1. Crazy, as in "warriors, come out and plaaaaay"? :)

    2. They were having a party at their clubhouse down the road. They were starting to take liberties with the strippers. The lady who managed the strippers is a friend of my wife's. (long story in itself) Anyway, she threatened that if they didn't calm down she'd have Sixbears come over and kick their ass. They calmed right down.

      I didn't find out about it until later. Had no idea why they were being extra friendly the next few weeks.