Scorpio Rising

Released:  1964

Cast:  Bruce Byron

SUMMARY:  This short film does not have a recognizable plot or any dialogue.  Instead, it focuses on a group of motorcycle riders in the 1950s as they get dressed for a party, and the party itself.  Though there is no dialogue, only a soundtrack of 1960s pop music, various issues are hinted at/addressed, such as Catholicism, Nazism, homosexuality and hero worship (particularly of James Dean and Marlon Brando).

MY TAKE:  Like most short films, I didn’t understand this one.  However, I found it a lot more enjoyable than some of the others I’ve seen, because it had some awesome music.  It actually came off a little bit like Grease, only with motorcycles instead of cars:  everybody’s trying really hard to look cool and fit in — with the other rebels (ironic I know).  I don’t really know what the point is, but I had two different theories as I watched the film:  1. It’s hinting that there are underlying homosexual issues/tendencies in biking; 2. It’s comparing the trend of motorcycle riding (and dressing that way, etc. — obviously motorcycles are more than a trend), and all trends, to both Jesus and Hitler and their followings.  The second theory seems off-base until you see the film, which splits images of a religious film, showing the disciples following Jesus, with images of the bikers going to a party.  Bizarrely, it appears to be a party for neo-Nazis, or at least people who don’t mind the Nazi flag.  This seems a little odd for a movie that supposed to take place in the 50s (or even the 60s, when it was made), as the people appearing in the movie would have lived through WWII, and would probably not have been too fond of Hitler.  According to the book (1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die), this movie made it possible for later movies to include current pop songs in their films, as well as hinting at homosexuality.  I don’t know about that, but if it’s true, especially in terms of pop music, I’m glad.  The only song that I didn’t enjoy was “Blue Velvet”, because I’ve seen (and reviewed) the movie of the same name.  If you’ve seen it, you’ll understand why the song just seems sort of creepy now.

RATING:  Don’t know what it was about, but the music was good.



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