Director: Sandy Harbutt, Released 1974
Cast: Ken Shorter, Sandy Harbutt, Deryck Barnes, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Roger Ward
I donâ€™t know much about biker flicks. Nor have I sought out any â€œbikersploitationâ€ like Hell Ride, The Wild Angels, Hellâ€™s Belles, Cycle Savages, Hellâ€™s Angels 69, the classic Peter Fonda film Easy Rider and the original Marlon Brando classic, The Wild One. In theory they could be pretty nasty and fun; gang fights, cool choppers/bikes, biker chick tits and general greasy, unwashed, unshaven, badass fun. That theory is proven by the Severin release of the Australian production, Stone. Writer/Director/Actor Sandy Harbutt did a outstanding job on all counts. Itâ€™s a simple story with an inside look at a â€œ1%erâ€ biker gang complete with all of the lawless trappings and a surprisingly super violent ending.
During a political rally, Toad, a member of an Outlaw motorcycle gang called the â€œGrave Diggersâ€ accidentally sees an assassin shoot a politician. Before Toad can sneak away undetected, the assassin notices him and tries to kill him but he rides out with the rest of the gang who doesnâ€™t know what he saw. Members of the gang start to end up dead and the the Grave Diggers believe it to be a rival gang and want revenge. Undercover police officer, Stone, goes to meet with their leader, Undertaker, and convinces him, and the rest of the Outlaws, to let him ride with them until the biker murderer is caught.
To be in the gang Stone has to be initiated and follow their rules like â€œno touching our old ladiesâ€ (I think they call them â€œmaâ€™sâ€). Once he gets his denim jacket, he begins to ride and hang with the fellas and soon realizes that they are just people living a different lifestyle and are really no different from regular people. You know, aside from the bar fights, smoking dope and overall rabble rousing. Most of the Outlaws, especially Undertaker, build a friendship with Stone until they find out who has been killing off their â€œbrothersâ€. The gang wants to exact their bloody revenge (stomping the fucker to death) but Stone is still a cop and wants to do the right thing and turn the killer over to the authorities.
The characters were classic. With names like â€œDr. Deathâ€, â€œHooksâ€, â€œSepticâ€, â€œCapt. Midnightâ€ and â€œStinkfingerâ€, you have to love love them all . Hugh Keays-Byrne was by far my favorite as the mean spirited, pig (cop) hating asshole with almost child-like dedication to the Diggers and Undertaker, â€œToadâ€. With all of the testosterone flying around letâ€™s not forget all of the dirty biker babe flesh slithering around nearly every scene. In one scene you get to see them in all of their naked, slutty glory as nearly the whole gang skinny dips and frolics (bikers frolic?) in the ocean. Just be careful of the intermittent floppy penises (peni?) in that scene.
The 2-Disk Special Edition from Severin Films is spectacular. The filmâ€™s widescreen transfer is almost perfect and the sound is nearly flawless. I am always amazed at the quality they can get from such obscure movies. Disk 1 contains the feature and the theatrical trailer but disk 2 is where all of the goodies are. Aside from a cool film make-up test and a directorâ€™s slide show, there is a phenomenal â€œmaking ofâ€ documentary called Stone Forever with interviews of the cast and crew as well as tons of footage from the Stone 25th anniversary celebration attended by over 35,000 bikers! If you are a fan of the biker lifestyle or just exploitation cinema in general, pick this up today and maybe my old lady will flash you her tits.
by Greg B.