The Glory Stompers

Lanza understands the genius of the thing, which is modeled from Roy Lichtenstein’s comic portraiture. The blonde whose biker lies bleeding looks at the road behind her from the vantage point of a rival’s hog, and her sad face exactly fits the close-up from a camera car trailing the gang.

The two gangs, known as Glory Stompers and Black Souls, respectively, are engaged in a trivial war over the blonde (Chris Noel), by dint of the incidental lust conceived by Chino (Dennis Hopper), leader of the Souls, at a chance meeting.

“I get a bit tired of words,” says a character in Harold Pinter’s The Collection, “don’t you?” The humor of The Glory Stompers resides in the simple unmasking of its characters’ primary motives. They have no verbal camouflage.

There is a bacchanal, at which yet another gang (Henchmen) appears. California’s roadside verdure is the setting, but there is superb photography of the desert sand dunes as well.

A completely unrecognizable Jock Mahoney befriends the poor bloodied Stomper (Jody McCrea). Casey Kasem of the Souls mouths “I love you” at a brave opponent. Always and throughout, Lanza finds that close-up or medium shot which fixes the image of these comic-book warriors and their amours in a real simulacrum of emotion.