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I Visited an Outlaw Motorcycle Club’s HQ to Hang With Some Vampires

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

A few things came to mind when I though about what I might encounter during a visit to the Bushwick headquarters of the outlaw motorcycle gang, Forbidden Ones. And none of them involved peace and harmony. For one, there’s the image of the old-timey cast iron cannon one member allegedly sold to an undercover NYPD officer a few years back (definitely the most hilarious of the items that led to a slew of criminal weapons trafficking charges brought against a number of the club’s members). And then there was the unmistakable visage of Tatu Jesus, an FO with a preference for blood-red contact lenses, heavy chains, and black leather.

It’s hard to explain until you see him, but Tatu looks exactly like a vampire biker. Naturally. Which makes sense, seeing that I was invited here by was Eric Rivas, the director of Vamp Bikers Trilogy. The Brooklyn-born-and-bred filmmaker was wrapping up part three, starring Michael Alig as a Club Kid zombie alongside “authentic, real outlaw bikers.” (The second installment, Vamp Bikers Dos, screens tonight, March 1, at 8:45 p.m., as part of Anthology Film Archives’ New Filmmakers series.) 

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Easy Rider Panel Discussion

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Unless you’re a cinema scholar or super fan of Easy Rider, the classic 1969 film starring Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda as outlaw hippies riding choppers across the SoCal landscape, you might have no idea there’s something of a scandal beyond the sets of all those chill-as-hell biker scenes. According to some accounts, black civil rights activist Cliff “Soney” Vaughs contributed to developing the film and helped build those famous choppers. But even in light of Soney’s claims, some people involved in the making of the film are still reluctant to acknowledge the possibility of a whitewashing. A panel discussion (part of the 3rd annual Motorcycle Film Festival) featuring Soney, the associate producer, and sound engineer Larry Marcus, will provide a forum for the “lost film crew” to tell their side of the story.

Click here for more deets about the festival.

 

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Motorcycle Film Festival Is Not Just For ‘Gnarly, Bearded Harley Guys’

Jack Drury (Photo:

Jack Drury (Photo via Motorcycle Film Festival)

The annual Motorcycle Film Festival, if you’ve ever imagined there could be such a thing, might defy most of or even all of the expectations you have in your head. Firstly, it’s not held at some Harley Davidson dealership outside of Hoboken. So far, the fest has had a home in Greenpoint and Williamsburg and this year, the fest’s third year, it’ll be happening in Gowanus (mostly) at Littlefield. Secondly, it was founded by a woman, Corinna Mantlo and a guy, Jack Drury. But guess which one of them has been riding motorcycles longer? Here’s a hint: she runs a badass all-female motorcycle club called the Miss-Fires. And finally, this fest is about so much more than just motorcycle films.

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Motorgrrl Peals Out of Williamsburg So Apartment Complex Can Go Up

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Image courtesy of Motorgrrl

In yet another example of unique Williamsburg institutions being displaced by the standard apartment building de jour, Motorgrrl has officially moved to Greenpoint. The motorcycle garage and storage facility, which has an interest in empowering female riders, began transitioning into its new digs at 42 Dobbins Street in December. Meanwhile, a permit was filed Monday with the Department of Buildings to demolish Motorgrrl’s former location.

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