Chromed, customised motorcycles are the raidon d’etre of biker Scorpio and his true-to-life technicolor gang of greaser dandies, whose posturing and partying are masterfully cut with images both iconic and iconoclastic (Marlon Brando, Bela Lugosi, comic books, cigarettes, skulls, saints and Jesus Christ) over an uninterrupted half-hour loop of 1963 pop hits from Elvis Presley‘s (You’re The) Devil In Disguise to Bobby Vinton‘s Blue Velvet.
Kenneth Anger’s orgiastic “underground” study of leather bike boys was banned as obscene in places as far apart as California and Belgium.
Most controversial – to the extent of prompting legal action – is the witty but deliberately provocative juxtaposition of The Crystals‘ He’s a Rebel with found footage from a Sunday school version of The Life of Christ intercut, putting forward the heretical, if not sacrilegious, notion of the Disciples as a strutting, gay-tinged youth gang out to overthrow the established order.
David Lynch was watching, as was a young Martin Scorcese and future generations of MTV auteurs.
Tasteless, self-indulgent and juvenile at times, the brilliantly-edited film has some fascination even for the uninitiated.