Riders of the Storm | Chicago Reader

Riders of the Storm

A group of seven scuzzy Vietnam vets, including Dennis Hopper and Michael J. Pollard, have taken over an old B-29 bomber, dubbed it “Uncle Slam,” and jammed the nation's airwaves with their own anarchic brand of dissidence, “S and M TV.” The principal target of their irreverence is Willa Westinghouse (Nigel Pegram), a right-wing female impersonator running for president as a woman—fooling the entire American public with his impersonation, but not the viewer of this inept and offensively misogynistic movie, who should be able to spot the disguise in about four seconds. With a pigheaded script (by Scott Roberts) and direction (Maurice Phillips—who gets everyone in sight to overact), this 1986 throwaway production, originally known as The American Way—a would-be SF satire that is so inattentive to the American yahoo subjects it tries to tackle, such as TV evangelists and Pentagon pontificators, that it inadvertently builds up sympathy for them—might be taken as camp if you're stoned enough not to see or hear more than a fraction of what's in front of you. I found it torture from beginning to end.

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