Savage Dawn (1985)

George Kennedy, Richard Lynch, Karen Black, Claudia Udy,
Savage Dawn is a movie starring George Kennedy, Richard Lynch, and Karen Black. A vicious biker gang takes over a small town in Arizona. A Vietnam War vet passing through town and a few locals with nothing to lose go to war with the...
  • 5.2 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Bill Milling, Max Bloom, Writer:
  • Simon Nuchtern, Director:
  • Gregory Earls, Producer:

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6 / 10

I remember falling in love with that silver-gray Suzuki.

I saw SAVAGE DAWN -- for the first, and, sadly, last time -- when I was 14 years old (I'm 32 now); my cousin and I rented it on tape from Southern Star (a cool, now-defunct video store that featured movie rentals and, in the back, a couple of pool tables, a pinball machine, a couple of arcade games, a jukebox, and some tough-looking, pool-playing locals (who were not unlike the bikers in the film) -- and it was a place that turned a blind eye when a horny, gore-obsessed teenager wanted to rent an R-rated picture). SAVAGE DAWN was cheaply made (which was one of the things I liked about), featured lots of guys on motorcycles (another thing I was crazy about) and one bike in particular -- a cool-looking, silver-gray Suzuki GSP1000. I remember a fantastically gory scene -- maybe it wasn't visually gross, but in my mind it was -- where a guy is (taken off his motorcycle, I believe, and) impaled on the teeth of a huge hay-rake. I recall a couple of seedy scenes that really warmed my pubescent loins: (1) where two slutty-looking gals approach a guardhouse (to a trashed-out, post-apocalyptic fenced-in compound) and commence to entertain the guards with very vulgar, yet sexy, forms of distraction; and (2) where the wayward (maybe alcoholic) priest (was this Henriksen?) succumbs to the beautiful, naked upturned breasts of a young temptress. Sadly, I loved it all!

10 / 10

A cool movie about motorcycle gangs.

Savage Dawn, I think is an awesome movie, a great cast like Lance Henriksen, William Forsythe, George Kennedy, Karen Black, Richard Lynch, Mickey Jones,and a small appearance by the late Sam Kinison make this 1985 movie really rock.

The film starts out with Stryker,riding his motorcycle on his way to see his friend Tick Rand at the small town of Agua Dulce, Texas. They talk for awhile. Later they are at a bar which has a contest where they have a fight. A motorcycle gang ride in,it is the "Savages", led by Pigiron, the Savages start trouble and they turn the town into their own playground. Later,some of the people fight back. Stryker doesn't want to fight,Tick does help the people. Stryker does show up to help out.

This film is a very awesome action flick.

4 / 10

Who threw out the welcome mat.

Ben Stryker an ex-green beret stops off at a little town called Agua Dolee to visit an old friend Tick Rand. Soon after riding into town on his Suzuki and settling in. A motorcycle gang known as 'The Savages' who's led by tyrant Pigiron invade and finally take over the place. Stryker doesn't want to get involved, but that changes when he friends become the actual targets.

Is there anything good to say about this scuzzy item? Tough call, as the only fundamental reason to watch this low-budget car wreck is for the tremendous b-cast the crew managed to get hold off for this project. While I don't think it's a complete botch job, it's not terribly good either. Now what a cast! Lance Henriksen (being the main character, he strangely doesn't have top billing, but the final one), Karen Black, George Kennedy, Richard Lynch, Bill Forsythe, Mickey Jones and Leo Gordon. Now what went wrong with this scummy low-budget bungle. The shallowness of the material is too one-dimensional that it heavily borrows ideas from better movies (namely Mad Max) and comes up with a complete mess of ideas that just don't gel and could have been better thought out. The clichés that are used can be manipulated into a good viewing, despite being predictable, but "Savage Dawn" seems to let it skimpily rush all by without letting the viewer soak it all up. The cast are mostly wasted in nothing roles. A bleached-blonde Henriksen is capably solid and even with his commending presence that provides an enigmatic glow to his character. He doesn't get up to hell of a lot and sometimes goes missing in action. Too much sideline action, but when he did kick some bikers' ass, the good times flowed. Karen Black's hissing performance is a very odd one and is all about the screaming and cursing. Although she does get into one memorable catfight with Claudia Udy's flirtatious vixen character Katie. A wheelchair bound George Kennedy roams around aimlessly until the final assault and Richard Lynch looks embarrassed as a wayward priest / town mayor in a very redundant role. An on edge Bill Forsythe simply chews it up as the head honcho of the notorious biker pack.

The junky story (written by William Milling and Max Bloom) has that cheesy comic book getup and very much is influenced by the western genre. Just look at the villains for that. How they came up with their names is mystery. Maybe they drew them out of a hat. It's pretty second rate material that more often moves onto one lacklustre scene after another. Unfunny comical elements are chucked in and as well a bit of sleaze. Tacky exploitation that doesn't get gritty enough and the deaths are quite laughable. A clumsy script is filled convoluted details and unbearable trite. Simon Nuchtern's spotty direction was by the numbers and tepidly laid out. One or two intense scenes can't makeup for its tortoise-like pacing and many cack-handed stunts. The cardboard sets had down 'n dirty look, but lack that organic sense. The gravel-like cinematography by Gerald Feil was better handled when the main focus wasn't on the town, but on the desolate backdrop (like the beginning and ending climax of the film) with some neat camera touches. Pino Donaggio's clunky music choices are drowned out by its own incompetence.

"Savage Dawn" is a forgettable quickie midnight movie that's a definite misfire for most part. There are better and more convincing exercises of the same ilk out there.

2 / 10

Savage Yawn!

Talk about a bore-snore. This 3rd rate biker film was putting me to sleep as soon as the opening credits came on the screen. The shame is that the cast included many fine actors, among them-George Kennedy, Karen Black, Leo Gordon, Richard Lynch, Lance Henriksen and William Forsythe.

A take off of the Western classic, High Noon, this is basically the story of a former U.S. army green beret (Henriksen) trying to get someone to help him rid a one-horse town of a gang of creepy bikers.

Everyone tries, but the script is on grade-school level. Sad to see academy award winner Kennedy in such a comedown from his out-standing performance in Cool Hand Luke.

If you have trouble sleeping at night, this would be a perfect movie video to rent..........you'll be sleeping in no time!

3 / 10

Foolishness, bad acting, and zero plot ....

George Kennedy is in a wheelchair, and builds rocket grenades in his barn. Lance Henriksen is the bleach blonde hero, but vanishes for long periods of the film. Karen Black mumbles her lines throughout. Richard Lynch plays a priest with impure thoughts and lusts after biker chicks. William Forsythe is the gang leader who steals a tank, to add to the ridiculous mayhem. The movie basically has no plot, just a series of explosions between poorly choreographed fist fights. Despite the intriguing cast, "Savage Dawn" is one to avoid, even for fans of the actors. It is on a trifecta DVD with "Drug Traffikers", and "Caged Fury", which I have not yet viewed, but they will have to go some to be worse than "Savage Dawn". ....... - MERK