'Man, I was what you call ragged... I knew I was gonna hell in a breadbasket' intones the hero in the great opening moments of The Loveless, and as he zips up and bikes out, it's clear that this is one of the most original American independents in years: a bike movie which celebrates the '50s through '80s eyes. Where earlier bike films like The Wild One were forced to concentrate on plot, The Loveless deliberately slips its story into the background in order to linger over all the latent erotic material of the period that other films could only hint at in their posters. Zips and sunglasses and leather form the basis of a cool and stylish dream of sexual self-destruction, matched by a Robert Gordon score which exaggerates the sexual aspects of '50s music. At times the perversely slow beat of each scene can irritate, but that's a reasonable price for the film's super-saturated atmosphere.