Stunt Rock (1978 aka Sorcery aka Crash/Region Four/4/PAL Import/Madman DVD Set)
Picture: C Sound: C Extras: C+ Film: C+
PLEASE NOTE: This DVD set can only be operated
on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region Four/4 PAL
format software and can be ordered from our friends at Madman Entertainment at
the website address provided at the end of the review. Cover copyright © 1978 Intertamar N.V. All
crosses stunt work, documentary filmmaking, compilations, the split screen
style originated in the film of Woodstock and
Rock music in his wild, hilarious, wacky 1978 film Stunt Rock. The
Oz-Ploitation director of such fascinating and fun films like Dead-End Drive In, Turkey Shoot and The Man
From Hong Kong
(all reviewed elsewhere on this site) got to make this film in Los Angeles and
goes all out to deliver.
Managing to hold the
story barely together, we get stunts outdoors, on buildings and even in the
concerts. Stuntman Grant Page (whose
work includes the first Mad Max) is the overall star, but is joined by (usually
playing actual characters) the members of the band Sorcery who are already
playing characters by default and performing most of the songs, hot on-the-rise
Paul Verhoeven film star Monique van de Ven (Cathy Tippel), Margaret Gerard and
the first appearance of no less than future comedy star Phil Hartman.
With all that, you know
this is going to be a hoot, but despite the odd ways it has aged, it is a fun
film anyone who likes fun films should catch at least once. It definitely was jumping on the Rockumentary
cycle and also a subcycle that had narrative films with real Rock music acts
that The Beatles and other acts that followed pioneered.
Oh, and all the stunts
are very impressive for their age, especially in our digital age.
The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image combined old
black and white block style 1.33 X 1 film from the past briefly with new stunt
work by a great group of professionals shot in 16mm film and full widescreen
2.35 X 1 scope shots that are shot in real anamorphic Todd-AO 35mm film for a
very unique film. Not merely a pastiche,
Smith is going all out to capture every moment in every way he can, with the
Todd-AO saved for the scripted moments and concert footage. This is as varied as a documentary and he
even notes that the Ektachrome used is a little grainier than he would have
lied and its color quality is no match for the 35mm footage. The 16mm is down a generation (in defense of
his work) because it is the optical printing from the time. Expect softness and variance throughout.
The Dolby Digital 2.0
Mono is compressed and they note on the audio commentary that a 4-track stereo
version was mixed, but it is not here, not noted in the credits or could be
found anywhere else. Still, that would
have existed on 35mm prints with 4 magnetic tracks and if that mix could be
found, needs to be soon so it can be restored.
Extras include the Original
Cannes Promo Reel. Original Theatrical Trailer, another solid Audio Commentary
led by Trenchard-Smith with actors Page and Gerard, Audio Interview with
Sorcery band member Perry Morris and Trenchard-Smith’s short film The
above, you can order this PAL DVD import set exclusively from Madman at: