Stunt Rock (1978)

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Released 3-Dec-2008

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1978
Running Time 91:29 (Case: 86)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (63:51) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Brian Trenchard-Smith
Studio
Distributor
Trenchard Production
Madman Entertainment
Starring Grant Page
Monique van de Ven
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Smokey Huff


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Stunt Rock. The title says it all really, although there should probably be the word "and" in the middle.

    The film plays out like a movie version of the "clip shows" that TV viewers have frustrated TV viewers over the years. In this case, rather than disjointed clips of their favourite TV show, the viewer is presented with legendary Australian stuntman Grant Page's favourite stunts juxtaposed with concert clips from the ridiculous prog rock band Sorcery, whose on stage magic tricks (including the "old knives through the box" trick and numerous "disappearing man" tricks) and pyrotechnics are infinitely more noteworthy than their clunky rock numbers.

    The stunts are a a mixture of those from other films (such as the legendary cliff jump from Mad Dog Morgan), some recorded specifically for this film, and stock footage of a few live exhibitions (including a spectacular, human catapult over The Gap). Most feature Grant Page performing or choreographing the stunts, others are completely unrelated (including several minutes of footage from the original Gone in Sixty Seconds' epic car chase, introduced with the throw off comment "Have you seen Gone in Sixty Seconds?!").

    A loose plot is weaved around the whole affair. Aussie stuntman Grant Page leaves for LA, amidst a mountain of hero worship, to be the lead stuntman on a new Hollywood TV show. In Los Angeles he hangs around with his musician cousin's band and is hero worshipped by a hot young news reporter (Margaret Gerard) and the feisty young star of the TV show (Monique van de Ven, who is probably best known for leading in Paul Verhoeven's early films). OK, maybe calling it a plot is a bit generous.

    Stunt Rock reeks of the 1970s and cheap exploitation, but exudes a positive attitude rather than the grim menace of its contemporaries. Anyone that thinks this sounds like a good thing would do well to check it out for their next retro fix, but don't expect it to stand up to repeat viewings. Fans of bone-crunching pre-CGI stunts will get a kick out of it too. Anyone really serious about stunt work will probably put it on high-rotation. If none of this sounds like your cup of tea, Stunt Rock is most assuredly not for you.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The film is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The video looks very good considering its age, low-budget production and the amount of stock footage in there.

    The image is clear, though a little soft throughout. Some of the stock footage looks noticeable softer and grainier than the main feature, which should come as little surprise. There is excellent shadow detail in the video, particularly during the numerous concert scenes.

    The colours are rich and bold throughout the film, and appear to have been impressively preserved.

    There are no noticeable compression artefacts in the video. Film artefacts have been kept to a minimum, with only the odd fleck of dust or reel change marker evident.

    No subtitles are present for the feature.

    This is a RSDL disc. The layer break occurs at 63:51 but was not noticeable on my equipment.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    A single English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 Kbps) audio track is present for the film.

    The audio sounds decent given the limitations of the source material. The audio sounds mono (which would likely be true to the source material), but is cleanly mixed and well levelled. The dialogue is clear and easy to understand, but is frequently in wonky sync to the video (looking very much to have been cheaply overdubbed).

    As cheesy as Sorcery's music is, it fits the material well and is presented well on the disc.

    The subwoofer gets a bit of a workout from the bottom end of the soundtrack. There is no surround use.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Audio commentary with director Brian Trenchard-Smith and Perry Morris

    A nostalgic and reasonably interesting commentary, but one with a little much dead air.

The Stuntmen film (48:47)

    Another Brian Trenchard-Smith stuntman feature (though a feature-length documentary rather than feature) from the late 1970s, presented full frame and surprisingly well restored. This one is introduces the viewer to a range of stunts, the stuntmen who do them and how they are done. Fascinating stuff

Perry Morris Interview (22:18)

    Brian Trenchard-Smith and his wife interview Perry Morris from Sorcery. An interesting, but overlong discussion.

Cannes Promo Reel (18:45)

    A promo reel that was taken to the Cannes film festival to flog the film to distributors around the globe before its completion.

Theatrical Trailer (2:36)

    A "Rock" focussed trailer for the film.

Madman Trailers

    Trailers for the completely unrelated Ushpizin, Ride The Whirlwind, Asterix: Mission Cleopatra and In the Shadow of the Moon follow an anti-piracy trailer.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

There is a Region 1 release out soon that appears to be identical to the Region 4 release.

Summary

    An entertaining retro-fix for ozploitation fans, but not something that will cross to a more mainstream audience.

    The video and audio are top notch, for older material. The extras are highly worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Friday, March 13, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
Display Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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Stunt Rock (1978) - Hollywood Press