Sundance Film Festival
Dennis Hopper plays a member of a biker gang in "Hell Ride."
HELL RIDE — * — Larry Bishop, Dennis Hopper, Michael Madsen; rated R (violence, sex, nudity, profanity, vulgarity, drugs); Tower Theatre

In "Hell Ride," a character describes a manuscript she has just finished reading.

"It's existential, but sexy," she exclaims. "It's sex-istential!"

We could use a similar formula to describe the movie. It could randomly be called "moron-strous," or "crap-ible" — take your pick.

Quentin Tarantino executive-produced this piece of junk, which stars Larry Bishop ("Kill Bill: Vol. 2" and the son of the late Joey Bishop — honestly). Bishop also writes and directs the movie.

It's a weird setup because Bishop blatantly steals from and pays homage to Tarantino. It would be like Madonna hiring Gwen Stefani to sing at her birthday party.

The plot, which is often incomprehensible, is about a war between two motorcycle gangs. The Victors, led by Pistolero (Bishop), are the "good" guys; the 666ers, headed by Billy Wings (Vinnie Jones), are the baddies.

The two gangs are after a key that will open a safety deposit box that is buried in the Tucson desert. In between there is lots of graphic violence and enough oiled-up female nudity for a soft-core flick. But, strangely enough, the movie is never exciting or sexy.

The slavish Tarantino imitation becomes more obvious and annoying as the movie plays out. There is the musical score, with its echoing surf guitar. There is the washed-out look of the film, with its overexposed, grainy stock. We also get numerous flashbacks, which merely cloud up the already murky story.

Worst of all are characters that babble on endlessly about nothing and speak in alliteration and metaphors. When Tarantino does that kind of thing, it usually has an air of heightened reality. Here, it simply makes you want to slap the people on screen.

Others in the cast include Dennis Hopper, David Carradine and Michael Madsen, who at least seems to have some fun playing a biker dubbed the Gent.

Unfortunately, he's the only one who is enjoying "Hell Ride." As a tribute to B movies, this earns an F.

"Hell Ride" is rated R for strong violence, sexual content including graphic nudity and dialogue, language and drug use. Running time: 83 minutes.