DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

 
STUNT ROCK (director/writer: Brian Trenchard-Smith; screenwriter: Paul-Michel Mielche Jr.; cinematographer: Bob Carras; editors: Curt Burch/Susan Emanule/Wendy Friend; music: Richard Smokey Taylor; cast: Grant Page (Himself), Monique van de Ven (Herself), Margaret Gerard (Margaret), Paul Haynes (Paul, aka the King of the Wizards), Curtis Hyde (Curtis, aka the Prince of Darkness), Greg Magie (Greg), Smokey Huff (Smokey), Richie King (Richie), Doug Loch (Doug), Perry Morris (Perry), Don Blackburn (The Agent), Ron Raley (The TV Director), Chris Chalen (The Escapologist), Barbara Paskin (TV Reporter), Phil Hartman (Prop Man); Runtime: 86; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Martin Fink; Code Red DVD; 1980-Australia/Holland)

"A losing combo of bad rock and bad filmmaking."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A losing combo of bad rock and bad filmmaking, in what has been called by some a "stuntsploitation" flick. Co-writer (with Paul-Michel Mielche Jr.) and director, the  Brit filmmaker Brian Trenchard-Smith ("Arctic Blast"/"Dragon Flies"/"BMX Bandits"), never gets a handle on this mess. He keep things loud and noisy telling about the work experience of the film's real-life daredevil star, the Australian stuntman Grant Page. The rock characters speak as if on 'angel dust,' sounding off in a fake hipster-like underground LA lingo. The cheaply made film took fifteen days to shoot. To get over it relies on stylistic concert filming techniques (split screens, etc.) and padding from film or TV clips of Page's previous stunts, such as during the filming of Mad Dog Morgan when Grant's left in flames over a fire gag that doesn't work. The plotless pic, that I found lacking in story and acting, nevertheless could possibly be found entertaining by cult fans looking for a different kind of film experience.

Courageous Australian stuntman Grant Page is atop a dangerously high promontory of Sydney Harbor, as he demonstrates "the thrilling death glide" for an Australian news crew prior to heading to Hollywood to work on the cop TV series called "Undercover Girl." While in Tinseltown, Grant hooks up with his fictional cousin, who plays the Prince of Darkness (Curtis Hyde) in a wizard-themed rock band called Sorcery. They're all nerds who dig doing magic tricks and feature a performer dressed as Merlin and a keyboard player who always wears a hood. The lame Kiss-like act features magical duels between the King of the Wizards (Paul Haynes) and the Prince of Darkness, channeling a good vs. evil message.

The goofy flick blends together rock, magic and stunts, ingredients that are hard to mesh together. Grant plays himself, as a nice dude who helps the rock act develop pyrotechnic magic tricks for their performances while he also finds time for the star of the cop show, Monique Van De Ven, who shows him some love. But Grant becomes romantically interested, in a cautious way, in gossip magazine reporter Margret (Margret Gerard), and she's invited to trail along with him as he shows her how he operates at work and lays on her his own stuntman exploits as he tries honestly answering why he's in such a dangerous occupation that he so dearly loves.

REVIEWED ON 10/20/2011       GRADE: C

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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