The Girl on a Motorcycle‘s Mind-Blowing Ridiculousness Defies Understanding and Description

After the very sad passing of Jack Cardiff, one of my dearest professors/good friends/fellow lover of bad movies turned me onto a movie that the great cinematographer also directed.  This movie is called The Girl on a Motorcycle, and it stars Marianne Faithfull as (you guessed it!) a girl on a motorcycle.  Alain Delon also stars in it as the lover the Girl has left her husband for, and there’s lots of psychedelics because it’s the 60s and that’s just what happened.  Judging by what I’ve found online in terms of clips, I cannot tell if this movie is a profoundly bad movie that’s made even more magical by being so dated as a product of the late 60s, or if The Girl on the Motorcycle has always been the transcendentally bad experience it looks to be.  Whatever the case, there’s little I can say about The Girl on a Motorcycle other than the fact that these clips make it look TOTALLY AMAZING.

To start, there’s the trailer:

Absolutely incredible.  In a mere 50 seconds, my mind has been blown multiple times by the unbridled lunacy of this affair.  The music is spectacularly kitschy, the sex looks like the antithesis of erotic, Marianne Faithfull’s face are priceless, and that narration sends me into an unprecedented fit of giggles from the sheer camp of it all.  

And trust me when I tell you that it’s not just a bad trailer.  These are the opening credits:

Whoah.  Before seeing this, I never realized that a freakin’ credit sequence could be such a dazzling train wreck, but they apparently can.  Learning is fun, yay!  It of course doesn’t hurt to finally see where the total campsterpiece that is Batman Forever took inspiration for its title sequence.  Ladies and gentlemen, if title sequences are any indication for what cinematically lies ahead, I’m gonna hazard a guess and say that this bodes very well for the rest of the movie.

And if you take into account the ending, well, hot damn.  The ending does feature some Marianne Faithfull boob, so it’s probably NSFW, but it also features unbridled hilarity to the bajillionth degree, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t watch it immediately. Also, as it’s the ending, consider this your spoiler warning for all further discussion:

Ruh-roh, Girl on a motorcyle!  You just died while making embarrassingly ridiculous orgasm faces while riding your motorcycle and causing a fabulously over the top, multi-car accident.  I really can’t put into words how incredibly perfect that ending is.  It’s absolutely terrible, but also absolutely perfect.  

Having seen the ending, though, all signs of logic point to the fact that I shouldn’t waste time or money to see the 86 minutes that lead up to this literal wreck of an ending; however, you must remember that I’ve a terrible sense of direction and tend to do much better with visual landmarks as opposed to street names, so you’d damn well better believe I’m as giddy as a vegan hipster at a restaurant called Pretentious Tofu for The  Girl on a Motorcycle‘s May 19th DVD release.  It looks like an 88 minute ride through the glorious utopia of dated-psychedelic-camp punctuated by the single greatest unintentionally hilarious punchline film perhaps has ever seen.  In short, it looks like my new favorite movie.

I knew I already had plenty of reasons to love Jack Cardiff, and he’s now just given me another.

6 Responses

  1. that was awesome! the zipper scene: a good way to chip a tooth!!! thanks!


    • it’s also a great way to swear you off of sex for life. i haven’t seen anything as unsexy as that since the seizure sex in showgirls!


  2. I have the previous dvd version, Ben, and it is exactly as bad as you’d imagine. We have to watch it together. I’m excited to see that it’s being rereleased–hopefully with extra materials? After all, this is a film that needs the Criterion treatment…

    How the hell did Jack Cardiff get to a point where he made this film? I’m sure it was dated even at the time. The film is almost avant garde in its repetition–it has no plot, but the ski resort scene has some great camp moments. Then there is the bookstore seduction scene. If memory serves, most of the film involves flashbacks as she travels to meet her lover. Watch for the customs scene too…

    And, yes, I’ve written about this. One day, I’ll dig the paper up, polish it off and submit it somewhere. I even presented on this masterpiece at the Screen conference.

    I am so pleased to turn you onto it! Dated slang reference intentional.


    • I honestly cannot believe that this movie was made at all, let alone by Jack Cardiff. Clearly he has his own distinct vision as a director that is nothing like what one would expect from the man that worked with Powell and Pressburger. That said, I really am quite giddy to watch it. And then there’s that ending…wow, just wow.


  3. […] so a Barbie for nerds makes sense, but I’d rather pretend that this is actually an homage to Marianne Faithfull in The Girl on a Motorcycle.  Whatever […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: