Valley of the Cycle Sluts

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Tough ex-cop Wade Olsen (Jason Williams – probably better known as the titular “Flesh” of Flesh Gordon) is kidnapped by an all-girl gang of bikers known as the Sisters Of Love. They want revenge (Olsen has either busted or killed each of their men) so they stake him out in Death Valley and get ready to execute him. Since they each want to be the one to pull the trigger, the Sisters devise a unique way of resolving the dispute – they’ll each perform a striptease for Olsen, and the one who can get him hard first can do the honours.

With a synopsis like this and a title like Valley of The Cycle Sluts, you’d be forgiven for expecting nothing more than porn – but this is something much much stranger. There is soft porn aplenty – a good percentage of the film is given over to the striptease routines – but there’s equal time given to the back-stories of each of the men that Olsen put down or put away. These flashbacks aren’t standard porn-with-plot fare either – they’re violent, un-jokey, and there’s a weird amount of effort put into stunts, costumes, weapons, and pyrotechnics.

This strange devotion to the biker-gang backstory in what would otherwise seem to be a lightweight (if weirdly unsexy – we’ll get to that in a bit) biker-themed soft porn movie suddenly made a lot more sense when I did a little digging. You see, Valley (or to give it its full title, Valley of The Cycle Sluts: Enter The Danger Zone) is actually the fourth installment of a series of movies featuring Wade Olsen, which start with 1987′ The Danger Zone. These movies seem to have been passion projects for Jason Williams (he co-wrote and starred in all of them) and chronicle the adventures of Wade Olsen (a sort of poor-man’s Dirty Harry) in his fight against a gang of drug-dealing, kidnapping bikers led by a man called Reaper. I haven’t seen these (and information is thin on the ground) but on the basis of the flashbacks in Valley, they look like prime low-budget “video nasty” material, heavy on the ultra-violence and gratuitous boobs – and probably good fun.

Here, however, it’s the gratuitous boobs that are kind of the problem. The thing is, there are an awful lot of “Sisters Of Love” and after the third or fourth rendition, one amateurish striptease routine looks a lot like another and it all gets pretty dull. In addition, these striptease routines are all framed by scenes of the women saying how much they hate Olsen and look forward to killing him which rather wrecks the mood – unless that’s your (very, very specific) fetish. In fact, the main attraction of the striptease scenes rapidly becomes the spectacularly weird early-90s stripper-costumes the women have on under their biker gear – there’s a green bustier that appears to be made of skinned Muppets that deserves a special mention – you’ll know it when you see it.

Probably the strangest touch comes with the character of “Ol’ Zeke” (Barne Williams Subkoski – a veteran of previous Danger Zone movies) whose entire role is to hide out in the scrub and spy on the proceedings through binoculars, while commenting on the physical attributes of each of the girls. Zeke seems like he belongs in a completely different movie – possibly a light-hearted sex-comedy like the original Flesh Gordon. Between this, the gritty (if dodgy) flashbacks, and the off-putting stripteases, Valley Of The Cycle Sluts is totally unable to fix on a single tone and stick with it.

If you’re a fan of bad movies, you’ll enjoy this – the actors mostly seem like they’re improvising (badly), the plot makes not the tiniest bit of sense, and the whole thing seems to be cobbled together from disparate (and fundamentally incompatible) pieces. Or you could conceivably be a completist fan of the Danger Zone franchise, or morbidly curious about what happened to Jason Williams in later life. Otherwise, not recommended.

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