The flat, open roads and temperate qualities of Florida are two obvious reasons why bikers find our state attractive year-round, and not just during Daytona’s obligatory week-long festivities in the spring. There’s a lot to lurk in motorcycle counterculture, which is frequently associated with Sons of Anarchy-type bravado and drama. But the biker culture Discovery Channel is focusing on for their new documentary mini-series Warlocks Rising is specifically the motorcycle club, the Warlocks, who have their mother chapter based right here in Orlando. If you’ve never picked up on their presence, this series will undoubtedly be an eye-opener, as the Warlocks are tied to local crime, frequently prompting violent retaliation between warring clubs feuding over territories, and their reach spans not just the state but also includes hundreds of members nationwide, in addition to rumors of international chapters. Following a strict dogma and comprising a tight-knit and loyal brotherhood, the Warlocks operate on their own level, and it’s not one that common outsiders get to peek into regularly, which is why this particular documentary series should probably be required viewing for Floridians. Because, the more you know, right?
The first episode premieres tonight: Friday, July 5 at 9 p.m. EST on Discovery Channel and takes you inside their homes, behind the fences of their parties and into the sticky business that is their livelihood.
The main members from Orlando are Contender (reportedly the mother chapter boss who has survived “bombings, rival wars, ATF infiltration and take downs”) and Nasty (a 20-year veteran of the club and self-described enforcer), but the documentary also extends its coverage to Clearwater, Tampa, St. Pete and Cocoa Beach, pulling in a range of characters by equally mannish monikers like Shotgun and Slob, which almost makes it funny when you get to the more straightforwardly-called characters like, um, Troy. It’s a fascinating investigation that’s never been presented quite like this, although the History Channel did give us a small taste in an episode of Gangland you can watch now here above.