In 2012 independent film director Eric Rivas won Coney Island Film Festival for Lost In Coney Island, a remake of the the 1979 film The Warriors, using actual bikers from New York as actors. The work with the bikers eventually lead him to making the 2013 film Vamp Bikers and 2015’s Vamp Bikers Dos that starred rap legend Melle Mel. Rivas had no idea the niche-genre films would connect him with some of Hip Hop’s creators.
This year’s small screen film Vampire Bikers Tres will once again feature Melle Mel and Afrika Bambaataa may also join the set. In promotion for the movie there are music videos from Grandmaster Caz, Grandwizard Theodore, Grand Puba and Melle Mel. The soundtrack will feature work from early 80s Hip Hop pioneer Man Parrish, Son of Sam and new age lyricist Chris Rivers. The film will also feature Angel Salazer from the iconic film Scarface and Lillo Brancato who plays teenage Calogero in the movie A Bronx Tale.
For Rivas this is the culmination of over 10 years of work and a return to his roots as a lover of Hip Hop and native of Brooklyn, New York. After making the first film, the proud Puerto Rican director received an email from an organization applauding his work on the Vamp Biker films and inviting him up to a meeting.
“I’m listening to this guy and all I can think is one of my friends is playing a trick on me. I go to the website he tells me to go to and it’s Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa and all these people. So two days later I get a call from this lady and she says, ‘oh that was an intern and he wasn’t supposed to be doing that, but we’re interested in your work, would you like to come up and meet Melle Mel?” said Rivas of the impromptu meeting, who would end up recruiting Melle Mel to star in the second installment of Vamp Bikers.
The involvement of the infamous Hip Hop cast in the film has inspired the director to work on the soundtrack, raving about the work of Chris Rivers, son of rap legend Big Pun.
“When I hear Chris Rivers, I see a reemergence of the Hip Hop I knew and the new generation. This energy he has is incredible,” said Rivas, reflecting on the connection Hip Hop has in the film. “I feel like the guys who invented Hip Hop are connecting with the new Hip Hop muscle. He’s [Rivers] like the inheritor of raw talent. He blew my mind.”
Rivas asked Rivers an unusual request of writing out his lyrics on a piece of paper for him to use, and recorded Rivers recording his verse that will be used in the film.
The director admits working on this film has been an unforgettable experience and aims to release it this summer, hoping to also add the Beastie Boys to the soundtrack as well.