A band of schizo bikers meets a van of wasted hippies in a weird ghost town, and their mutual anarchy evolves into a free-form orgy. This biker movie glows with raw, primitive energy, rustic location shooting, a progressive rock score, and a group of the most unscrubbed characters you're ever likely to see. This is a fascinating '70s look at hippy culture vs. biker culture. The two groups seem originally destined for compatibility, with their goal-less philosophy and wandering, nomadic lifestyle, but the disparity between the pacifism of the hips and the impulsive, war-like misery of the alcoholic bikers soon erupts into all-out war, symbolized by the rape/murder of a hippy chick. The stoned losers roll between angry despair and reckless bravado, ending in a mutual impasse that reinforces their elemental hopelessness.
This film powerfully discloses the disintegration of a culture that feeds on its own spiritual rootlessness. The verite camera style and the earthy, realistic dialogue, along with generous doses of nudity and violence, make this a startling, disturbing and ultimately haunting experience.
Jonathan Demme wrote this inventive satire of biker movies. The standard road fare culminates in a gang fight in a ghost town. ANGELS HARD AS THEY COME features Busey's debut and an early Scott Glenn role.