Stone (Severin 2-DVD Set/NTSC Region
D Sound: D
Extras: B Film: D
Note that we have
previously reviewed the film as a PAL DVD import set; that link can be found
after this review below.
Shane Harbutt’s Stone (1974) is a ‘70s biker flick that
“triggered Australia’s exploitation explosion,” and it definitely delivers
what’s promised. When you break it down to its most bare elements, it’s
just like every other biker exploitation flick from the era – it’s got sex,
drugs, violence, and the film’s score is even credited as “Rock and Roll by
The film tells the
story of The Grave Diggers biker gang, portrayed by many of Sydney’s Hell’s
Angels, pissed off that their members keep getting picked off one by one by
rival biking gangs. They’re joined by a character named Stone, a cop that
gets unwillingly dragged into the biker lifestyle. They make him one of
them, but what’s the point – the film’s already put its audience to
sleep. Ozploitation just doesn’t seem to have the same kick that American
or European exploitation films had. The film was banned in several
countries due to its graphic violence, and you’ll get that at times. If
gore is what you’re looking for, there are better bloodier films out there.
The features on the
disc are worth a look though – most notably the “Stone Forever” making of
documentary, as well as another making of doc. However, if not a true fan
of the film, these features definitely don’t make this disc worth the buy.
Australian cinema has
its strong points. Exploitation cinema is not one of them. For
quality Australian flicks, check out something by Peter Weir. For quality
exploitation flicks, check out some Italian cinema from the ‘70s.
This isn’t worth a viewing, unless you’re really, really bored.
For an alternate review
from our PAL DVD Set coverage, try this link:
- Jordan Paley