The Hellcats (1967) (part 6 of 6)
In his office, Mr. Adrian says it’s time to wrap things up (thank god!). He hands a thug his apartment key and tells him, “Dissolve our, uh, partnership.” The other thug asks about Monte and Sheila, and he’s told, “There’s plenty of room in the harbor.” Finally, Adrian tells them to have Good Boy watch the Hellcats, which he calls “Sheila’s bunch.” So is she really the leader, or something?
Mr. Adrian moves on to Linda, saying, “How’d you like to go to Tahiti?” while shaking her head around. It’s obvious Slatzer intended this as his big scene; too bad his delivery kills the entire monologue.
At the police station, Moongoose has signed a “full statement” because it’s “just time to pay back the takers.” Boy, that sure was an interesting subplot. Also, the music from the last scene weirdly goes through this one too, and keeps going into the next one.
That next scene would be back in Mr. Adrian’s office, where a thug brings a box over. Linda asks to talk to him alone, and Mr. Adrian orders the thug out. After a weak attempt to get him to untie her, we move to a badly overlit close-up where Linda gets her Oscar Moment:
|Linda: I don’t like being roughed up, tied up, pushed around. You want action? That’s okay by me. You pay, I’ll play.|
In the back room, Sheila discovers a conveniently placed drill, which even more conveniently has a tiny circular saw attached. Of course, she still needs to get it on the floor and plug it in, a process that involves quite a bit of writhing around on her part. Apparently, once he’s free Monte runs like a demon, as the next second we see him entering Mr. Adrian’s office and knocking him to the floor with a weird wrestling move.
A thug tries to intervene, but Monte knocks him sideways in a manner that would make Adam West proud. Mr. Adrian stops the festivities by pulling a gun on Monte, and here we get the film’s indisputable comedic highlight. There’s a big close-up of the gun, and it very obviously has no bullets in it [!!]. Despite this, Monte is cowed.
Sheila runs outside, and we get to watch every thrilling second of her racing towards a pay phone, while the music desperately tries to convince us that something exciting is going on. In the Moonfire Inn, Six Pack wrestles the phone away from Good Boy, and there’s a shot of Sheila filling him in, but there’s no sound behind this shot at all. Six Pack tells Hiney he’s got his wish, then yells, “Let’s rumble!” After the mess they made of the last fight, I’m dreading an official rumble with this bunch.
Suddenly, Good Boy pulls a gun and holds them all at bay. Six Pack asks, “What’s the, what’s the action? Drop the steel!” Hiney figures out “old lump here is a cruddy spy!” Brilliant, Watson! Candy Cave happens to be standing on a table right next to Good Boy, and takes advantage of his apparent lack of peripheral vision by slipping off her chain-belt and whipping it around his wrist. How this stops him from shooting I don’t know, but suddenly the Hellcats all rush him and beat him to the floor. One of them even leaves a banana peel on his head. We waste some more time seeing them all get on their bikes and peel out.
Suddenly we enter the Twilight Zone, as we cut to Mr. Adrian’s bedroom, where Hilde is dancing to Polynesian music in a Vegas showgirl gown. She hops on the bed and begins putting her stockings on, when suddenly a thug comes through the door. Apparently she’s a real pushover, as he’s able to strangle her with one hand. Why Mr. Adrian wanted his little toy killed isn’t clear, but I’m sure glad they threw this scene in. Not getting any kind of closure on her would have killed the whole movie. As we’re well used to by now, the camera lingers on the scene for far too long, and then we actually watch the thug turn off the radio and throw it on the bed next to her.
Some time-wasting shots of all the Hellcats on the road follow, including one where the camera zooms out, then apparently the operator realizes he went too far, and does a couple little zoom-ins.
Back at Mr. Adrian’s office, he’s still holding back Monte and Sheila with that empty gun. He gets the word from his other thug that they can get moving, and some music shamelessly ripped off from Peter Gunn plays. Outside, Sheila is still standing by that phone booth, and she watches as Monte and Linda are forced into Adrian’s car. We now spend an overly long time watching the car drive around before mercifully going back to the Hellcats, who are joined by two guys in a dune buggy that was parked on the side of the road. I have no explanation.
At the Moonfire Inn, the cops find Good Boy and call an ambulance. That was exciting.
The Hellcats head past the warehouse and Sheila joins them. Boy, they’ll have quite the posse if this keeps up.
Monte and Linda are marched down a dock to a bunch of crates. Monte gets pushed inside one and Mr. Adrian knocks him out with a club, and apparently a slap from the thug is all that’s needed to knock out Linda. She’s stuffed in the crate, too. Cut to the Hellcats on the way, then Mr. Adrian shouts to a guy on the boat to get it started. The guy totally blows his line and says he’s working on the “injection” when he means “ignition”. Second take? What’s that?
The other thug arrives at the dock and Mr. Adrian is told that, for some reason, it’ll be five more minutes before they can leave. He says to the thug, “You sure took your sweet time!” So I guess this guy shouldn’t be expecting any good references when he applies for his next thug position.
The Hellcats finally arrive at the docks, and one of them drives his bike down the dock a little and then leaves it there, right in everyone’s way. They all run over for a rumble, and there’s not too much suspense about any of it, seeing as it’s twenty against four.
Hiney and another guy team up against Mr. Adrian, who has never demonstrated any real physical prowess, so that seems like a bit much. One of the thugs throws a biker into the water, but then four women gang up on him. Strangely, all four of them have big smiles on their faces like they’re having a grand old time. Trumpet Guy throws the driver into the water, then falls in himself, blowing his trumpet when he comes up.
Monte is let out of the crate, so at least this movie didn’t make the same mistake as 3000 Miles to Graceland, in having its hero unconscious for the entire climax. The remaining thug shoots Snake and gets away from the fracas, and Monte heads after him.
The thug makes it to the car, but for no reason at all, it doesn’t start. Monte catches up, randomly jumping over the hood of the car before dragging the guy out and beating him up. This is the thug that shot Chapman, by the way, which is why he gets this extended comeuppance. But I frankly doubt many viewers will remember that far back at this point.
As cop sirens sound, Monte gets a winded look on his face now that this, er, horrible ordeal is over. A pan over to a nearby sign reveals that Mr. Adrian almost got away on a disposal barge. I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean.
One thing that bugs me about all this is why the Hellcats rescued Monte and Linda in the first place, especially since it meant taking out Mr. Adrian, their main source of income. Yeah, there was that whole revenge for Betty thing, but it seems like if anyone was responsible for that, it was the cop that chased her down. So what’s the deal?
In Linda’s apartment, Monte talks to someone on the phone about how he has to get back. He lets Linda know that Snake didn’t make it, but “Moongoose came out with the whole story,” which somehow means the Hellcats might all just get off with a slap on the wrist. For some reason, both of them hope this is the case.
On the street, Linda gets in her car, apparently headed up to see her parents. Monte says he’s going back to… somewhere tomorrow, and they wish each other good luck, calling each other “momma” and “poppa” one last time. Monte says he’s keeping the bike, and that’s it between them. So at least Monte and Linda didn’t end up together, which is the kind of thing that happens way too often in crap movies like this.
As Linda drives off, we hear the opening strains of “Mass Confusion”, which suddenly switches to the Hellcats theme as Monte drives off on the bike.
The closing credits are almost exactly the same as the opening credits, so I’ll refrain from any more comments and just say, remember how I said the shaving scene in Eegah made me want to take a shower? Well, this entire movie is like that.
By the way, did we ever find out if you hunt them like you hunt people? I never did get closure on that plot point.