Stunt Rock (1978)

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Yet another write-up brought to you by TCM. It’s another cult movie, but this time it’s not related to the horror genre. You are now free to feel shocked.

Australian stuntman Grant Page goes to L.A. to do some work on a television show. While he’s there he meets up with his cousin, Curtis Hyde, a member of the band Sorcery.

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These guys.

While Grant is there he lends his expertise to the band, helps one of his coworkers (Monique van de Ven), and gets injured, attracting the attention of newspaper reporter, Margaret Gerard, who is writing a story about people who get a little too into their work. She’s nice enough to pick him up once he breaks out of the hospital.

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Dear God, please don’t let a stray wind pass through….

And….well, that’s pretty much it. There’s really not a lot to say plot-wise about this movie. Despite what that awesome looking poster may suggest, Grant doesn’t go all ‘Rock Star’ on us at any time, and none of the musicians pull off any fiery stunts or fall to their death after a hang gliding accident.

Stunt Rock certainly isn’t your typical movie fare. It’s labeled as an action flick, but it’s more like a combination of a Grant Page highlight show and extended Sorcery concert snippets. The bare bones story pretty much just involves Page talking to the reporter about being a stunt man, and having no fear.

The acting is, um…. well, it’s there anyway. I’m sure they all tried their darnedest, but I sincerely hope none of them quit their day jobs after this came out. When one of the lines in the film involves one of the band members telling the others that Page will never be an actor, you know it’s not going to be good.

On the other hand, the stunts they show aren’t too shabby. They’re pretty fun to watch, particularly for fans of action movies, who may have a bit more of an appreciation for what your typical stuntmen has to deal with. You even get to see how a couple of them are filmed and then how that footage is reworked into the movie.

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He seems to be on fire A LOT in this movie.

Page also performs a couple of stunts that tie directly into the plot of the movie…

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This is how he tries to get a date. Telling a girl to go out with you or you’ll plummet to your death is a great motivator….for a manipulative jackass.

…But most of them involve flashback scenes where he talks about other movies he’s worked on. And you’ll pretty much know whenever there’s a flashback, because the movie will go all split-screen on your ass.

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Oka, I like this one. Not gonna lie.

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It’s a neat visual, but it’s a bit overused.

Most of the rest of the scenes are essentially Sorcery music videos. You see, Page’s “cousin” Hyde isn’t a musician in the band. Instead he plays the part of The Prince of Darkness…

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It’s the best picture of him I could get and it has scan lines. Damn TV capture.

…locked in eternal combat with The King of the Wizards (Paul Haynes). The two duel while the band plays.

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See. I’m not lying. It’s true. It’s in the opening credits… Also, I want that hat. Guess I’ll have to make a trip to Disney.

And these scenes take up a good chunk of the film. There’s 3 or 4 of them and each one plays for the length of an entire song. You don’t see much of the actual band in these scenes. They’re comprised mostly of the two dueling cast members (accompanied by lots of fire) with very little time given to the band in comparison. And lets not forget that the band is called Sorcery, so their act would not be complete without a couple magic tricks thrown in for good measure.

Admittedly, it’s all pretty cheesy, but it’s still kind of interesting to watch. It’s like a televised magic show with live rock music. It’s hilariously bizarre and something you need to see to really get.


Brought to you by Euro TV, in Technicolor.

Sadly, the magic is better than the music, and the magic isn’t even that good. It’s hard to look at a magic show and think “cool” the same way you look (or looked) at a metal band as being “cool”. No matter how much fire you throw into the mix, in the end you still know they’re doing an impalement trick.

This is not a great movie, but it is entertaining in it’s own way. It’s the kind of thing you put on at a party just for the sake of having something on in the background, because you know no one’s going to really watch it. It’s like they cut and pasted three different full length movies together, cut in little pieces of the one that had the most plot, and tried to cram them all into one coherent film. It shouldn’t be done and it doesn’t work. But seeing Page burst into flame and get shot off a clif with a reeeeealy long rope is admittingly entertaining as hell.

If you like action movies you may enjoy this for the stunt work. And if you like very early music videos or magic shows then you may get some small amount of enjoyment out of this. If however, you’re looking for something with a little more (Who am I kidding? A lot more) depth, then I suggest you look elsewhere. You won’t find that here. If you’re interested, give it a rental, cause it is most definitely not worth the price the DVD is going for on Amazon.

Also, that “120 Decibels” thing is a lie. I had to crank up the volume to hear most of this thing.

Stunt Rock is listed, but currently unavailable, to rent on Amazon.

It is also available on DVD.

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Michi

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