Stunt Rock


“Death Wish at 120 Decibels.”

Do you like psychedelic heavy metal mullet rock? Do you like ridiculous, death-defying stunts performed by crazy Australians? Do you like wizards? Then you’ll probably love Stunt Rock, one of the most bizarrely entertaining, impossible-to-categorize ‘70s exploitation flicks ever made! This quasi-documentary, fully-nutso “stunt-sploitation” flick from Australia follows the adventures of real-life badass Aussie stuntman Grant Page, who travels to Los Angeles to do stunt work on an American TV series. Once in the States, Grant reunites with his cousin Curtis Hyde, who just so happens to perform with Sorcery, an unintentionally hilarious heavy metal band whose genius gimmick involves a stupefying stage show featuring The Prince of Darkness locked in cosmic, pyrotechnic-heavy combat with Merlin the Magician. It seems that Sorcery’s stoned audiences just can’t get enough of the band’s unique mixture of Kiss rock riffs, cheesy Doug Henning magic tricks and mystical, Tolkien-inspired lyrics involving dragons and ultimate evil. (Believe it or not, Sorcery was actually a real-life rock band … thank you, 1970s!). While the band plays out its hilariously bewildering Hobbit Rock Opera on stage, we’re treated to suicide-courting stunts performed by Grant Page in the “real world” (ostensibly for the American TV series he’s been hired to “stunt” for), and his totally reckless, totally macho behavior enflames the lady parts of a sexy newspaper reporter and a sexy TV actress, who just can’t help loving this wild dude with an obvious death wish. Proving he has no fear of anything whatsoever, Grant treats the ladies (and the audience) to a virtual tsunami of insane behavior, which means we get to see Grant set on fire, attacked by jungle cats, blown up with dynamite, thrown over cliffs, etc., all while Sorcery keeps rocking out like Middle Earth is going to swallow them whole. It’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ve never seen anything quite like Stunt Rock. Shazam! (Dir. by Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1978, Australia, 86 mins., Rated PG) Digital