The Ozploitation Files: Stunt Rock (1978)

This movie is more awesome than driving a car that transforms into a jet-fighter made of bullets into an explosion made out of boobs. And at all the same time, at the center of that explosion of boobs, there is…a heart.

Welcome to Stunt Rock! And what a warm welcome we have ready for us. Grant Page (real Stunt Rocker) is a stuntman called over from Sydney to Hollywood to help out with some stunts in a movie. He also joins up with his cousin, who is a musician in the fantastic heavy metal band “Sorcery” (real band, incidentally). Grant does a lot of high-dives, explosions, and fire for the sake of this movie, which makes of the bulk of the actual film, which is intercut with some real concert done by Sorcery. We get a great look at some brilliant onstage performance of a concept album of sorts—the performance incorporates a storyline featuring an ancient duel between the King of the Wizards and the Prince of Darkness, which utilize some amazing stage magic and misdirection, along with music that’s actually incredibly fun. In between, we get some homage to the stuntmen of ages bygone, and we meet up with a pack of great, entertaining stage magicians and music men, who show their moves. We get some humor, too, with a sleazy agent who manages Monique, an actress on the film Grant is working on. So, all in all, we get our promised rock, and we get our promised stunts. But we also get a wonderful and almost mystical display of philosophy and fly-on-the-wall humanism.

Stunt Rock is one of the very few movies that have gone and touched me on a spiritual scale, and one of the few movies that I feel I could watch again and again. And yes, those are certainly cliché terms we have soaring through the aethyr there, but frankly, I’m speaking from the bottom of my heart when I talk about this movie. Yes, I will talk on and on and on about Manos: The Hands of Fate and The Abomination and how much I love those films, and I will rant on and on about how one should make a point of exposing themselves to trash horror, but then I go out and step out into the real world and I see something that will literally change my life forever. Demon Lover Diary is a great archetypical example of that sort of film. You’ve gotta look in the right spots, and sometimes maybe you have to step outside one’s comfort zone. Trust me, I wasn’t looking forward to watching and reviewing Stunt Rock, and I literally just wanted to get this done and over with so I could put in my two cents for the whole Ozploitation thing. (Not that that’s something I want to finish soon. No, I have to say that Australia is showing me a good selection of very fine films. It’s something to be savored.) I knew the title. I remembered Heavy Metal Massacre. And yet when it comes to movies, when you’re not looking for something great, there are those golden times when you push the ignition and shoved forward at a zillion miles a second and find the Shangri-La of cinema.

Films like Stunt Rock show me just what it means to be a cinema geek, and how blessed we are to be human, to be able to reach into our souls and bring something warm and loving to our other humans. But even holier than that is the experience that comes with being the geek itself. Anyone who tracks down the fantastic sections of the land of film will know what I’m talking about—we run into wonders that gives us thought and give us pleasure. That’s the true joy of taking the yoke of society into our hands and placing it around ourselves; that’s what being human is all about.

Stunt Rock not only makes me feel wonderful in its message, and not only does it make me want to create, but it makes me want to become an adventurer more than ever. The movie does a well-played job of showing some of the more boring parts of being a stuntman; getting the rigs set up, doing the math required to keep you alive; and perhaps even the banality of living on the edge all the time. But it also shows that if one really puts themselves out on a limb and does something that will, without true preparation, kill them, there is really adventure everywhere. It’s like Indiana Jones, every day, 24/7.

And of course, the journey into this extreme and dangerous world is, in a sense, softened by the commonplace universal language of music; and music that people can love. Sorcery’s shows are, like I’ve said, truly awesome to watch, and the movie does a great job of making you feel like you are amongst the crowd. It’s hard not to dig both great theatre and killer music. So, we are presented with two super-cool ideas which overwhelm us with magical glee and experience and pleasure and terror. And what is more, this is no dream. This feels real.

This is the type of movie that I can see feasibly not appealing to everyone. It does feel like an ego trip at times (though for whom we are unsure). And it is an art film. Those seeking trash and those seeking cheap thrills will be sorely disappointed. And yet…you can see what it’s done to me. That’s one example to listen to, one herald. Go out and live life on a thread. Stunt Rock is one of the adventures of the century. Of the millennium. Of eternity.

 

 

 

About Adam Bezecny

Adam Mudman Bezecny was born Adamov Patricia Beszenski in Soviet Estonia in 1951. He first stumbled upon his first z-grade horror movie, "I Eat Your Skin", when it toured in Estonian drive-ins after its release in 1964, when he was just thirteen. Since then, he has gone on to descending into the depths of crappy, spooky madness, with such films as "Ogroff", "The Abomination", and "Manos: The Hands of Fate", among thousands of others. Crowned Prince Regent of Weirdos in 1994, he is currently a bachelor living in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
This entry was posted in features, Ozploitation, Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://www.sorcerymusic.com Perry Morris

    Adam.
    Perry Morris from the band Sorcery here.
    I was just sent your review of the film “STUNTROCK” by a SORCERY band fan.
    I just wanted to take a minute and say “Thanks for the review of the film and our music”.
    I’m happy you enjoyed it.
    BTW…Did you know…
    The film Stuntrock played on the “Turner Classic Movies” channel back on
    Oct 14th (or 15th) of this yr.(2011)
    It’s been playing in L.A. at the “Beverly Theatre” and in Austin TX at the “Alamo Draft House” over the past few years now.
    If you have any questions I can help you with about the band, the music from that movie, or other films we have done music and / or appeared in, you can contact me from our website or my email address;
    perry@sorcerymusic.com
    We are also on the web, including YOUTUBE and Myspace and Facebook sites.
    NOTE: There are other bands using the same name. We are from L.A.Cal. USA band.
    (*We are Not from Ill,Sweden, Argintina or South America)
    We are also found at “wikipedia” (search SORCERY Band USA)
    Take Care;
    Perry Morris
    Sorcery Drummer

  • Brian Trenchard-Smith

    I am speechless. Someone finally caught the Adventurer message. Thank you.

  • http://www.sorcerymusic.com Perry Morris

    Again the film “STUNTROCK” at TMC, “Back by popular demand” on
    Turner Movie Classic / Mar.30.2012
    It’s a late night 2am showing on the TMC schedule. Check local listings for showing at Turner Movie Classics.
    Cheers Mates!