Last night at ART VELO- we had a little fun and played some out of print movies on the projector. Two movies only on VHS, about bikes, and hard to find information on.
The first was called “Beasts of Burden” and it documents San Francisco bike messenger culture, circa 1992. I must say that messengers today have much better style than they did then. These guys looked half hessian/half Mad Max. Leather jackets and hockey pads. No fixed gear bikes in this one, just mountain bikes and cruisers with monster baskets on the front. There was a snippet from Erik Zo, who started making bags and selling them to couriers. His bags became very sought after, and from what he says, changed the way messengers carried their parcels.
At just around 30 minutes long, it was an interesting look at messengers from all angles. From the SFPD, to people on the street, to the messengers themselves. In the early 90’s, it seemed like messengering would never go away. There was a much larger community even within San Fransisco. Who knew that the internet and fax machine would be so devastating to the industry?
A pretty good movie all around, It would be great to do a “Where are they now” type thing a la Heavy Metal Parking Lot. I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.
The second movie that played. Ahhhh. The second movie.
In a nutshell, it was based in a big wig advertising firm in San Francisco. And in the opening sequence you see the womanizing hunky lead riding to work in his white suit, being all 1976 and stuff. On his way to work he foils a purse snatcher, and skitches up the hill on a cable car that his coworker is riding on. He flips her some lip, just to let you know that he knows how awesome he is, and beats her to the office. His coworker is promoting a bike race from San Francisco to Malibu. 400 miles. She doesn’t want him to race for the company, but he wants to. So the boss makes them race together. There are a pair guys that are always getting into trouble, one of whom is portrayed as though he might be slightly retarded. The good guy wins in the end. And no it isn’t the dude in the white suit.
Throughout the movie it seemed as though each scene could turn into a really messed up slasher flick, or a really bad porn. The dubbing was horrible, and the voices didn’t match the mouths. If you are a fan of horrible movies, this might be right up your alley. To put it into perspective, you have Quicksilver and BMX Bandits, both released to dvd. Rad is apparently getting released to dvd at some point. All with horrible acting. But Ten Speed…. nope. Out of print. Only available on VHS. And when you rent it from Scarecrow Video, they don’t require a deposit, as they do with many out of print movies. You can tell right off that it’s not going to be very good.
I will say that I can watch just about anything that has to do with bicycles. This one was hard. I’m glad I sat through watching the Night rider take it all the way home, but man. It was a little painful. A couple people left halfway through.
I’d give it a 1 out of 5 stars.
Well, if you missed the double feature, stay tuned for more this winter. We’ll get some more going. No promises on the quality of the films, but hey, it’s about bikes.