“Intrepidos Punks”: Have a look at Francisco Guerrero’s “Mad Max”-ian Mexploitation biker flick

By on February 27, 2016

The enduring image of marauding, leather-clad diesel punk biker psychos tearing across a post-apocalyptic landscape has certainly changed quite a bit since George Miller’s Australian import Mad Max arrived in U.S. theaters in April 1979 — cf. Mad Max: Fury Road, Miller’s triumphant return to the Mad Max franchise and currently an Academy Award Best Picture nominee — but today we’re looking back at a Grade-Z entry from the early 80s that came from just across the Mexican border: Intrépidos Punks.

This tribute clip, by the way, should be considered NSFW for semi-raunchy toplessness.

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 1

Mexican director Francisco Guerrero’s first Mexploitation flick was never likely to be nominated for anything by anyone, although there are cult film cinéastes and cinephiles out there on the interwebs who think it’s pretty fucking awesome and worth checking out simply because Intrépidos Punks is of the earliest examples of punksploitation in a feature film.

Unlike the Mad Max films, Intrépidos Punks — apparently released briefly in South Africa, and a few English-speaking countries, under the title Fearless Bitches — doesn’t actually take place in a post-nuclear wasteland savaged by the lack of oil and petrol.

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 4

Instead, the setting here is a town in rural Mexico, in the present day of the early 80s. There’s a bleakness here which probably has less to do with a dystopian post-nuke setting, and more to do with the de-saturated color filmstock, making it seem like it’s also taking place in a post-apocalyptic and horrid locale.

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 6

The way certain perilous parts of Mexico have been portrayed in the media over the last several decades — a decline in tourism usually blamed on the street violence associated with the deadly drug cartels — this one could actually have been filmed in our present day of 2016 and we probably wouldn’t have known any different, given that it seems like civilization in Mexico is always painted with a broad brush and made to seem like it’s always on the verge of collapse, with the highways are controlled by outlaw drug-dealing biker gangs.

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 9

At the center of Intrépidos Punks is a ruthless biker gang led by a silicone-implanted blonde stripper named Fiera (the actress who plays the role was billed as “Princesa Lea”) who, using a grenade launcher, lords over the torn landscape with a gang of middle-aged sleazeballs, comprised of both women and men decked out in punk regalia: the gals have teased-out big hair and almost-as-big shoulder pads, and chain mail bikinis, while the mostly out-of-shape looking dudes are comically glammed out in lipstick with full beards and mustaches, some of them sporting fluorescent day-glo mohawks, and some of them wearing Luchadore masks.

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 22

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 23

It’s really the gang’s physical appearance that connects this one to anything Mad Max-ian, because mostly what we’ve go here is a typical biker flick, where a hard partying gang of drug dealin’ psychos are seen terrorizing hapless citizens in the towns, robbing, raping and pillaging, and then riding off in customized choppers and three-wheel trikes (one has the logo from the 70s band Yes on the back), fleeing on the back roads as they head back to their mountain hideout, taunting the paunchy Mexican cops and even members of the Mexican Mafia, both powerless to stop them or get them off the streets.

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 15

Guerrero’s film — working from a script penned by Roberto Marroquín and Ulises Pérez Aguirre, and starring Juan Valentín, Juan Gallardo, Ana Luisa Peluffo and the aforementioned Princesa Lea — opens with a parade of nuns who are shown walking down a street and into a bank, which they rob.

Later, we see them removing their habits to reveal what the punked out female members of the gang were wearing underneath: metal bikini tops barely concealing big boobs, leather thongs, sequins and chains, mesh and lace.

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 8

The gang needs the bank’s cash in order to buy more drugs (always!) and a briefcase full of handguns from dude wearing an eyepatch, both of which will help them free fellow imprisoned male members of the gang, in particular the gang’s real leader, named Tarzán (played by the real lucha libre star, who dresses like the pulp comic hero The Phantom).

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 13

The prison break goes pretty much as planned — using gratuitous sex as a distraction in a plot that includes kidnapping the wives of the prison officials — but we cut over to see that the warden is too busy (his guards too) because right then they happen to be having an orgy with a bunch of hookers.

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 10

Meanwhile, Fiera (aka Beast, and looking like she’s raided Wendy O. Willams’ wardrobe closet), flies into a rage and gives some of the dudes permission to rape the wives, an over-the-top scene even for exploitation fare like this. In a scene that seems like it could have come from any number of Troma films, he ends up chopping off one of the wives’ hands and mails it to the prison showing that she means business.

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 21

Eventually, she breaks her man Tarzán and his men out of the prison (arriving with a picnic basket filled with guns) and now they’re reunited and it feels so good. The gang is back together again and now they can focus on carnage, destroying competing drug cartels and take over the region’s cocaine trade.

Back at the hideout and for the remainder of the film, we see that the same kinds of things we see in pretty much come to expect from a raunchy biker flick — weird-looking dudes drinking beer in the middle of a field while semi-naked biker chicks cavort around, gladiator-like violence and Satanic rituals, wild orgy parties around bonfires and swapping sex partners, dune buggies ripping across the sand, a great Russian Roulette scene (with Tarzán and Fiera and an unlucky girl), blackmail, the gangraping of captured co-eds and the killing innocent motorists, forced gasoline guzzling and setting people on fire at gas stations, a home invasion armed robbery…

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 11

And to top it all off, going even more over-the-top, the band Three Souls in My Mind appear as fellow biker gang members who set up and play during a rape scene, which certainly gave Guerrero the chance to make sure the “punk” rock was edited right into the story, a song we get to hear again and again, a dozen or so times, singing “With their leather outfits, the color of the night and their punk hairdos, causing murder and mayhem.”

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 17

Eventually, we arrive at the end after a couple of tubby mustachioed federales (both of them Mexican redneck assholes with zilch charisma), who’ve been tracking down the gang for the inevitable final cops vs. biker gang confrontation, but Intrépidos Punks is really all about the journey, not the destination. It’s all about the “sex and drugs and violence and lots of rock n’ rooooooooll.”

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 14

Guerrero followed up this one years later (in 1987, we think) with a sequel La Venganza de Los Punks (Revenge of the Punks), which apparently features one guy with a rattlesnake stuck in his ass.

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 16

It’s unlikely that the producers of Mad Max: Fury Road will take home the Oscar for Best Picture at this Sunday’s Oscars ceremony — cross your fingers, but the movie was also nominated for Costume Design, Visual FX, Makeup/Hair, Cinematography, Editing, Sound Mixing and Editing, Production Design, and for Best Director, and it’s quite possible it will take home awards in more than a few of those technical categories — but we know for certain that the enduring image of psycho biker gangs will probably never die.

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 7

For sure there are many more Mad Max films making their way into theaters due to this recent one’s splashy box office success, and while we wait for those, we can always amuse ourselves with more of these similar biker flicks, like Intrépidos Punks.

INTREPIDOS PUNKS 2

About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.