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The Sidehackers (a.k.a., Five the Hard Way) (1969).

June 2, 2009

The Scoop:
This film blows the cover off the new sport of sidehacking — guys racing motorcycles with homemade sidecars welded on to them. Obviously, it never quite caught on. And with films like this promoting it, it’s no wonder.

What vague plot there is concerns a mostly-shirtless racer with the improbable name of Rommel (played by Ross Hagen) who seeks revenge against rival rider J.C. (Michael Pataki) for killing his girlfriend (Diane McBain). The beginning features an extended clichéd montage of the lovers romping through a meadow — and the laughs just keep coming from there.

Weird and violent, with plenty of bad direction by Gus Trikonis (who later found a home directing several episodes of “Baywatch”) and bad camera work by cinematographer Jon Hall (who wouldn’t work on another film for 20 years). There were a slew of bad biker films flooding the drive-ins in that period, but this was among the worst.

Best Line:
“That’s the nice thing about little girls — they can grow up to be women.”

Side Note:
Rumor has it that Goldie Hawn (who was married to Trikonis at the time) was an uncredited extra in this film, but not even the awesome power of the internet can confirm whether this is true. Keep an eye peeled while you watch it and judge for yourself.

Companion Viewing:
“The Wild Angels” (1966).

Daddy’O’s Drive-In Dirt.
The Screengrab.

Take a Look:
Some bits and pieces:

You can watch the whole thing on the YouTube installment plan, starting here:

Some real life sidehackers. Don’t try this at home, kids!

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