Tuesday, 27 May 2008

STONE (1973)

A failure on its initial release, the film has developed a cult status over the years, although I'm damned if I can see why. It opens quite nicely with a sequence where a guy revs up his bike, rides off and a few moments later is beheaded by a wire stretched across the road. There is a big impressive funeral with a motorbike hearse and the burial itself is quite cute with the body being lowered down a manhole in the middle of the cemetery. After that, though, the bikes don't even need engines c'os it's down hill all the way. Any tolerance that one might be prepared to give the movie flies out the window the moment our eponymous hero, played by Ken Shorter, appears. Where did they find this guy??? He is obviously having a bad hair day and looks ready to burst into tears at any moment, this being the only expression he can manage. Ken went on to have a totally undistinguished career in Australia and later an even less distinguished on in England where he can still be seen on rare occasions playing small roles in such drama shows as HOLBY CITY. The whole thing seems to have been a vanity project for director Sandy Harbutt (his wife Helen Morse appears in the film and Harbutt himself plays Undertaker, the gang leader) as according to IMDB he has done zilch since - which is understandable. The trouble with this whole genre is that the characters never seem to be able to string words together to make coherent sentences which tends to make them a bit on the uninteresting side and as far the posturing weirdness...well if you haven't got the budget to get Dennis Hopper, Bruce Dern - forget it. Go watch Brando and Marvin in THE WILD ONE. Rating *

4 comments:

Terry Frost said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy Stone. Maybe my fondness for it is partly based on teenaged nostalgia and the fact that at the time there were so few movies based in my hometown of Sydney that seeing one was rare. It's far from perfect, but apart from Ken Shorter's soporific titular character, I like a lot of the actors in it. Rebecca Gilling was hot, Vincent Gil was charismatic as Dr Death, Hugh Keays-Byrne as Toad brought some chops to the role. Maybe it's a wine that doesn't travel well and also my enthusiasm for it is part of the endless quest to own movies I first saw in my misspent youth.

Weaverman said...

I did actually recognise Hugh Keays-Byrne from THE MAN FROM HONG KONG where he must have made some impression on me. Not liking a film has nothing to do with whether I'm glad to see it (and in some cases even enjoy it!) It was a curiosity and I love those. It did have moments of imagination but I just found Ken Shorter too big of a...well, he ain't the actor you'd choose to portray anything approaching brain activity, is he.

Cerpts said...

Oh, you just KNOW i'm dying to see THIS!!!

Terry Frost said...

Email me, cerpts, and we'll see what we can do. ;-)