Saturday, January 16, 2016

International 70s Trash: Stone (1974)

Does this kind of thing ever work out?  Today's Film is Stone, a 1974 Australian Film about a Cop infiltrating a Biker Gang.  So yeah, bad things happen.  The Story involves a Biker witnessing an assassination and subsequently being targeted by the killer.  You have to admire the balls on a guy who not only will kill a Head of State, but then target an entire Biker Gang afterwards!  He's hardcore!  In the aftermath, the Bikers won't accept Police help- why trust a pig, after all?-, so the Law tries a new strategy- infiltration.  Weirdly, this one does play with the Story a bit differently as he doesn't hide as part of the group.  The Film is all about getting to know the Gang too, so...definitely a bit different than you expect.  Is it good though?  To find out, read on...
At an outdoor Campaign Event, a Politician is shot to death.  As luck would have it, a bunch of Bikers- the Gravediggers- also showed up...for some reason.  One of them wandered around while on Acid on saw the shooter.
Afterwards, the man starts to kill the whole Gang!  I guess he just assumed that the tripped-out guy told everyone, so...kill em all.

On the plus side, Bikers run a neat Funeral Procession.
The Police try to help out, but the Gang (led by the Film's Director) refuses.  It is personal!

By the way, the bloke with the eye-patch is The ORIGINAL Undertaker!
Our Hero- Stone- shows up to save them from an attack, earning their respect.  Even though they know he's a Cop, they reluctantly let him go with them until the killer is caught.
This dude is not playing around either.  He just tried to get 3 Bikers with a crossbow!
Stone has some obvious issues fitting in with this group, but does find a certain level of camaraderie with them.  They may be Satan-worshipping Bikers, but they do live by a code (of sorts).
A set-up is eventually made and the killer strikes again!  Can they stop him?
Yes, but only after the witness (who never actually told anyone what happened!) is killed in the process.
Stone has a falling out with the Bikers over them wanting to kill the guy for taking out four of their own.  He leaves after this...only for them to show up at his house later and beat the crap out of him!

As he seemingly-lay dying, he insists that his girlfriend not call the Cops.  Weird's over?  Alright.  The End.
Stone cold crazy...and a bit different.  The Story is pretty simple, but they make it work.  The thing that stands out is how it focuses on the Gang and how they operate.  They are weird and violent, but they have their whole code thing.  A bulk of the Film is dedicated to showing this, which is interesting.  Of note, most of the Cast would later appear in a far more famous Australian Film with vehicles a year later- Mad Max.  Yes, even the Villain is from this Film.  Yes, the same Villain that would return in Fury Road about forty-years later too!  Weird.  The pacing is a bit odd and it doesn't quite sell you like a Film of this kind normally does.  If you like more of a Character Study than an Action Film, check this one out.  It has some really good moments, even if it can be slow at times.  Overall, I recommend it, just conditionally.  Take it away, Hippies...
Next up, a weird Buddy Comedy from the 80s that is not too remembered.  If anything, people remember its Star playing the Character years earlier on a Talk Show!  Stay tuned...

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