Freedom R.I.P. (1976) from Tuna

Freedom RIP centers on a Detroit biker club.

The bikers are having a wedding on an abandoned farm. The police roust them, and most leave, but a young couple has sneaked off to a barn for sex. When a cop finds them, he pistol whips the guy, and then rapes the girl. She is taken to the hospital, and the cop tells her father it was done by bikers. The two of them recruit a big game hunter, and the three of them determine to kill all of the bikers.

Since the Detroit biker club was played by a Detroit biker club, Freedom RIP stands as probably the most authentic biker film ever made. Highlight scenes include the whole club being arrested, and passing a joint from cell to cell, and some of the most realistic gunshot wounds ever filmed. The film was actually released as Northville Cemetery Massacre against the wishes of the people who spent five years shooting it. Since it was filmed in 16 mm over such a long period, there are continuity problems, and the photography could be better. In addition, most of the cast consisted either of local actors or real bikers, so there was no danger of any best actor nominations. In fact, the co-directors had to loop the lead character's dialogue, and got a then-unknown Nick Nolte to do the job.

That said, it has plusses. Michael Nesmith (of Monkees fame) did the music. More important, it did exactly what it was trying to do. The intent of the filmmakers was to show the counter-culture just after Vietnam, and to show it accurately, and that it does.  It authentically portrays a bike club and the redneck reaction to them.

It is a truly forgotten movie that deserves a cult following.




  • Digitally Remastered
  • Directors Cut
  • Commentary by Director Thomas Dyke
  • Commentary by Director William Dear
  • Scorpions MC, Detroit Audio Commentary of Behind the Scenes
  • Photo Gallery of the Making of the Picture
  • International Theater Posters, Lobby Cards and VHS Coverwraps



Jan Sisk shows breasts.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a C+, a film that, like it or hate it, is one of a kind and therefore of great interest to film buffs with a taste for the obscure. (Scoop's note: Based solely on Tuna's comments, you could just as easily argue for an F.)

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