BOXOFFICE had the opportunity to speak with Michael Madsen, Dennis Hopper, Larry Bishop and Eric Balfour about Hell Ride.

Riding Shotgun

on October 30, 2008 by Marco Cerritos

To promote their latest endeavor, Hell Ride, the artistic talent behind the film recently sat down to talk about filmmaking and some of the obstacles of working on a biker movie.

The biker genre has been a longtime passion for director Larry Bishop (also starring in the film) who got his first break at the age of 19 making low-budget biker movies nobody seemed to care about. That is until several years later when he was startled to find a fan in the form of maverick director Quentin Tarantino, who later came on board to produce Hell Ride. “It was one of those things where I feel I must’ve done something good in another lifetime for this to have worked out so perfect. I went under contract for American International and I made about two pictures a year for about five years so I made ten movies. Most of them were the motorcycle movies. But as I was making them I thought somewhere down the line somebody will think these are cool. But like I’ve always said it could’ve been some schmuck that thought they were cool and wouldn’t have amounted to anything. It just so happened to have been Quentin Tarantino. Could it have been any more perfect that Quentin Tarantino is the only person that really liked these things?”


Dennis Hopper and Eric Balfour also joined the cast as bad-ass bikers pitted against a renegade group of outlaws that cause mayhem and murder wherever they go. Hopper is a huge fan of the genre with his iconic contribution of Easy Rider and he attributes Tarantino’s choice of music to Hell Ride ’s success, “I thought the music that Quentin put to it was sensational."

Balfour also jumped at the chance to be in the film considering that he felt connected to the biker culture since childhood. “I felt I had an understanding of what these guys were like even though I didn’t hang out with bikers. My family was this very left-of-center, almost outlaw kind of family. I grew up with these guys indirectly.”

Rounding out the main cast of bikers is character actor Michael Madsen who has recently branched out into producing his own features. He feels being closer to the material attributes more control over the final product even if things go wrong. “I like to really get involved in the whole process and in the coming years I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that every picture I make I’m involved on some level of the creative process as far as producing is concerned. Because I know what the f---’s going on. I’ve made 72 f---ing pictures and I kind of know what’s going on subconsciously on a set within the confines of a scene. And if you’re not allowed to do what you do based on what you know you kind of feel like your nuts have been cut off. There’s no worse feeling that I can think of than being on a set of a movie that halfway through it you know that you’re working on a piece of s---. It’s going to suck and you have to finish it because you’re under contract. But if you can have a lot more involvement in it even if it is going wrong at least you’re part of the blame for it and you don’t feel like a victim. But ten times out of ten if I’m involved as a producer I’m going to make it better.”

Hell Ride is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Listen to our interviews with the creative team behind Hell Ride below:

Michael Madsen
Dennis Hopper
Larry Bishop
Eric Balfour

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