Sunday, April 25, 2010

STUNT ROCK



Original Title: Stunt Rock
Year: 1978
Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Writer: Paul-Michel Mielche Jr., Brian Trenchard-Smith
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078335/
Genre: Action


Synopsis:
Australian stuntman Grant Page goes to Los Angeles to work on a television series. He uses his spare time to lend his expertise to rock band Sorcery, whose act features duels between the King of the Wizards and the Prince of Darkness, with his cousin playing the Prince.


OK, I'm not always a fan of saying there's not much to say about this movie...

but...

Stunt Rock was certainly not what I expected. Instead of a standard action flick, what we get is sort of a Grant Page highlight show. Trenchard-Smith creates a very barebones story with Grant Page coming to Los Angeles to work as a stuntman on a new television show, meeting a lady there who is writing a story about people making sacrifices for their profession.... or something. Enter Mr. Page who throughout the film tells whatsherface about being a stuntman and being confident and having no fear. Then we see a highlight of a stunt he has done in another film while he talks about it a little.

The other major elements of the show was stage performances by this kindasomewhatmaybe ridiculous late-70s hair metal band Sorcery that simultaneously sucks rocks while a wizard and a devil (who is Grant Page's cousin in the movie) have MAGIC BATTLES on stage.


Um, yeah. This shit is hilariously bizarre. In Not Quite Hollywood, there was a funny story that Trenchard-Smith and a few others told about being told they had to find a band in a couple days, and Sorcery was a band that you find when given only a couple days. Their music is pretty atrocious and repetitive, and as someone in the documentary said, their magic may certainly have been better than their music. Try as I might though, I cannot ever look at a magic show and think "cool", at least not in the same thought of a metal band being "cool."

It's such an odd combo, and the trifecta here with Page being related to the devil guy who plays with fire is just a humorous stretch. So funny.

Like I said, I don't really like saying there's not much to say about the film, but it is what it is. Page performs a few stunts that seem to be showcased in the film for the first time, including  a human bow and arrow type stunt over a gigantic cliff where he just flings himself through the air via a loooooong rope.

Grant Page is a fuckin madman. At least he was anyway, although he is still alive. You'll see him here climbing between speeding cars, crashing through a van windshield while on fire, falling off a cliff in a ball of fire, scaling the side of a hospital while his ass is hanging out. He's also fearless, or so it would seem. It's all quite awe inspiring, particularly for a fan of action cinema who may have a bit more knowledge into what stuntmen deal with in their profession.

This was actually the more interesting plot element of this film, even though it was handled a bit awkwardly: a director on the set of the television show and a manager of the lead actress that obviously take the work that Page does for granted. The director wants more more more... Page's stunts will do for him. The manager believes the stunts need to be left to stuntmen and the risk need not be taken by a star. This is probably true in reality, but the way this particular character is handled in the film is as if he looks down on the stuntmen, like they are expendable in a way.

It's all a bit heavy-handed but it comes from a good place. Take away Sorcery and the pointless tiny plot, and you have Trenchard-Smith's homage to the stunt by way of Grant Page. By showing stunt after stunt, sometimes with an almost-impressive spit screen with reverse angle, he drives the point home.

This would have been a great movie to show at Actionfest, as the weekend was definitely dedicated to stuntmen first.

This isn't a great movie. It felt like an episode of a sitcom when they just flashback and talk about shit that already happened. The story is throwaway, and Sorcery's stage act gets a bit repetitive. But seeing Grant Page do his insane shit was entertaining. You can see most of these stunts of his in other films though. It all just feels patched together and contains a plot probably just because it had to or something.

I'd recommend this for Trenchard completists, or someone wanting to see the amazing band Sorcery at the height of their magical career.

Magic... haha... get it?

Score: 4.75 / 10

2 comments:

Dolewhite said...

"The other major elements of the show was stage performances by this kindasomewhatmaybe ridiculous late-70s hair metal band Sorcery that simultaneously sucks rocks while a wizard and a devil (who is Grant Page's cousin in the movie) have MAGIC BATTLES on stage."

Based off of this alone, I refuse to believe that this film is any less than a 9 out of 10! Magic battles between wizards and devils?! I have those same battles in my dreams every night!

pickleloaf said...

i feel like this might play better to a bigger crowd. while entertaining at first, even the magic stage show got a little boring for just me eventually