Original theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jack Starrett|
|Produced by||Joe Solomon|
|Written by||Alan Caillou|
|Music by||Stu Phillips|
|Edited by||Richard K. Brockway|
|Distributed by||Fanfare Films Inc.|
The plot involves a gang of Hells Angels-type bikers called "The Devil's Advocates" involved in the Vietnam War. They are sent to the Cambodian jungle on Yamaha bikes in order to rescue an American diplomat/CIA Agent, Chet Davis.
The biker gang is led by Link Thomas, a Vietnam veteran and the brother of an Army Major who has recruited them. His gang consists of Duke, also a Vietnam veteran, Limpy, Speed, and another Vietnam veteran, Dirty Denny. They are under the orders of Army Captain Jackson.
The gang modifies their motorcycles in a garage run by Diem-Nuc. They weld armour plating with submachine guns on the handlebars. Limpy drives a three-wheeler modified from a Harley-Davidson frame with a Volkswagen rear end, that is armed with heavy .50 calibre machine guns and a multiple rocket launcher from a helicopter. In order to open fire on enemy soldiers in trees or towers the gang do wheelies whilst firing their weapons.
On 19 November 1965, Sonny Barger the "Maximum Leader" of the Hells Angels motorcycle club sent a telegram to President Johnson offering the Angels as "gorilla fighters" (sic) in the Vietnam War. Though the President turned them down, the idea became a Vietnam War movie made in the Philippines using sets and crew from Too Late the Hero.
William Smith stated that the original ending had the rescued diplomat die whilst the Hells Angels lived, but Jack Starrett and Smith rewrote Alan Caillou's screenplay. Smith also stated that the earring he wore in the film was given to him by the Hells Angels during another motorcycle film he made.
Paul Koslo was taught to ride by the film's stuntman Gary McLarty.
Originally titled Nam's Angels, the title was changed before release to the more generic The Losers with composer Stu Phillips writing a song incorporating the title.
"The Devil's Advocates" gang also appears in the film Werewolves on Wheels.
In popular culture
- Flynn, Charles; McCarthy, Todd, eds. (1975). Kings of the Bs : working within the Hollywood system : an anthology of film history and criticism. E. P. Dutton. p. 139.
- "Sonny Barger". www.nolimitsonline.com.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-15. Retrieved 2008-12-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Devine, Jeremy M. & Schatz, William. Vietnam at 24 Frames a Second, McFarland, 1995, p. 60.