Racing down a highway at a break-neck speed, Johnny, a wild teenager with plenty of dangerous attitude, plays a deadly game of "chicken" with a police officer. The policeman is killed, but the cops are unable to make any charges stick to the rebellious punk. Tough-as-nails gang leader, Johnny, is unfazed by the incident, and manages to keep a protective eye on his friend Dave. Meanwhile, beach parties, drag races and booze all mix for a formula that spells big trouble for Johnny and his band of troublemakers. When Johnny gets ideas about Dave's girlfriend, it results in a furious race down a winding highway on a collision course with tragedy.Jack Nicholson's portrayal of Johnny Varron in The Wild Ride (inspired by Marlon Brando's The Wild One) came early in his career, but still showed the kind of presence and power that would eventually make him a superstar. In time, Nicholson would hold the honor as the most Academy Award nominated actor in film history. B-movie producer and director Roger Corman gave Nicholson his first major acting opportunities, releasing such beat generation flicks as The Wild Ride (through his Filmgroup company) and cult classics The Terror, Little Shop Of Horrors and The Raven. Co-stars Robert Bean (Creature From The Haunted Sea) and Georgianna Carter (Night Of The Blood Beast) were also regulars from Corman's repertoire company.