Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Carlos Puga spent three months’ hanging with The Hell’s Satans moped gang in Richmond, Virginia.
Wha? A moped gang?
Puga cranked out and edited together enough files to make his wild, and apparently satirical, jab at the process of documentary film-making and “motorcycle gang” life entitled Satan Since 2003.
The term “moped” now applies to low-displacement bicycles with motors, but pedals were fitted to lots of early motorcycles. Better transmissions with wider ranges, better clutches and better engine performance made pedals obsolete on most motorcycles by the late 1900’s, but the pedals on mopeds remained on moped models into the 1990s. The earliest mopeds were bicycles with tiny front wheel mounted motors like the VéloSoleX which used s simple roller to drive the wheel. The Whizzer and the Cyclemaster had powered rear wheels and chain drives.
And who knew that from those humble beginnings would spring turf battles among rival gangs of “Moped Toughs?”
“You can get 125 miles per gallon,” says the leader of the Hell’s Satans. “But the faster you go, the worse the gas mileage gets.”
Satan Since 2003 purports to be an inside glimpse of a hard-ass moped gang willing to fire up Molotov cocktails and torch any tiny bike that gets in their way to protect their hardscrabble turf.
Puga, an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker responsible for this tongue-in-cheek masterwork, once worked as a field producer for MTV’s documentary series “True Life.” His “moped mockumentary” and homage to the 1970s moped is a hoot.
“The point of the film was to use real footage of the gang and within that be able to infuse a believable fictional plot line by using small amounts of ‘faked’ footage and scenes,” Puga said.
To do that, Puga created an ersatz turf war among moped gangs – that don’t actually exist – and then portrays the Hell’s Satans as outrageous, business-unfriendly ruffians.
The club’s 1%-er like motto?
Live fast, ride slow…
As for Puga’s take on his creation, he once said he hopes people who watch Satan Since 2003 “learn to trust a little less in things that are fed to us as ‘real’ and figure out that once something has been filmed, edited and presented, it has inherently been manipulated in some way.”
Mad Bastard Scooter Rally 2011
Marauding Hell’s Satans ruling the road and getting exceptional gas mileage
Have no fear, citizen, we’ve got your back.