Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It's Stunts! It's Rock! It's Magic!

STUNT ROCK is one of the strangest, craziest and most fun movies I've seen in awhile. Only in the 1970's could a film like this exist. What's interesting is that Australian director Brian Trenchard-Smith, who went on to make the wild THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME ripoff TURKEY SHOOT and the hard-to-believe-it-really-exists LEPRECHAUN IN SPACE, went to the trouble to include a plot in STUNT ROCK, even though it really doesn't need one.

Daredevils and stuntmen were very popular during the late `70s and early `80s. On television, shows like THE DUKES OF HAZZARD, THE FALL GUY and THAT'S INCREDIBLE were supreme. Burt Reynolds had a huge hit playing a stuntman in HOOPER, which was directed by stunt veteran Hal Needham. And guys like Dar Robinson and Evel Knievel were folk heroes, constantly risking life and limb for the sake of doing something dangerous and crazy that no one had ever done before.

From the looks of it, Grant Page was the Australian equivalent of Dar Robinson, who held the record for the longest freefall into an airbag doing a helicopter stunt in HOOPER. Before Page became the stunt coordinator on MAD MAX, he went to Los Angeles to make STUNT ROCK, a viscerally exciting mixture of stunt footage and theatrical rock-and-roll. Page plays Grant Page, a stuntman from Down Under who goes to L.A. to work on the (fictional) TV series UNDERCOVER GIRL starring Dutch actress Monique van de Ven. While in California, he meets up with his cousin, a member of the rock band Sorcery.

Sorcery is similar to dozens of hard rock bands of the period, except for one thing: they performed magic on stage. Two of the band's members didn't play music at all; rather, in their guises as a wizened but good wizard and a demonic warlock, they performed highly theatrical magic tricks during the songs. Dangerous-looking ones too, judging from the amount of fire they used.

STUNT ROCK mostly bounces back and forth between Sorcery on stage and Page on his "stage", performing several different stunts, such as freefalls, fire gags and car crashes. And when he runs out of stunts, Trenchard-Smith turns to film clips from movies like GONE IN 60 SECONDS and MAD DOG MORGAN.

If you still doubt the massive awesomosity of STUNT ROCK, hold on to your chair and watch this kickass trailer:

2 comments:

Will said...

Man, I was stuck running around the house going, "Help me! Sacrafice! Help me! Sacrafice!" for days after I first saw STUNT ROCK. Sorcery rocks and parties hard. They tried to feed Chinese noodles to that dog!?! Those crazy kooks.

Uncle Larry said...

I wonder what the outtakes for Stunt Rock were like? How many times did they have to extinguish Merlin's beard?