The Tormentors/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< The Tormentors

Southern California explodes in the summer of hate! ....Kind of. The Tormentors begins with a bungled bank robbery by a pseudo-biker, neo-Nazi gang (the Fourth Reich) led by the infamous B. Rockwell Kemp (Bruce Kimball as Bruce Kemp). After escaping with a young, blond hostage, the gang delivers her to an empty field, rape her, and strangle her.

The girl's fiance, Ballard, is now hell-bent on revenge. Lt. Connors (Anthony Eisley) warns him that Kemp is not to be harmed in the hopes that he can lead the police to a larger network of Neo-Nazi supporters. Despite this warning, her fiance poses as a Nazi to join the gang. After identifying the gang at a Love-In, Ballard signs on.

The target chosen for Ballard to prove himself is a local "Jesus-figure" known as the Messiah. The gang instructs him to kill the Messiah to frame the murder on the police to bring the hippies in league with Fourth Reich. He foils the attempt and suspicion grows as to his loyalty. Ballard eventually falls for one the Nazi's girls, Eve (Chris Noel). Eventually she finds a photo of his deceased fiance and Ballard's true identity is discovered.

The final scenes play out in several chases including a "brownshirts" vs. Jesus throwdown; a shootout that ends with a bazooka; and an impromptu firing squad to execute a captured detective.

The Tormentors is not really a biker flick, but kind of a Nazi flick. Filmed in 1971, The Tormentors never had a theatrical release. According to G. Noel Gross, "The Tormentors (1971, 78 minutes) sat in a garage along side musty National Geographics and rusted paint cans until TransWorld Entertainment decided to put it on video in 1986." After viewing, it is easy to see why. This extremely low-budget thriller touches on many popular themes of the day...who doesn't love stories about hippie Jesus, bikers, and Nazis? Nevertheless, the movie contains no real punch. Perhaps the brightest spot for this film is its writer, James Gordon White, who had already some of the best films from the biker genre including The Glory Stompers (1968). Near the end of his career, White would go on to write The Thing With Two Heads (1972). Maybe this was a trans-formative experience for White? Unfortunately, it doesn't have the same effect on the viewer.

Reviewed by Texploited

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