While working on a TV show in Los Angeles, famed Australian stuntman Grant Page helps an up-and-coming fantasy-themed rock band develop special effects and dangerous stunts for their act.
Editing: Beth Bergeron Robert Leighton
Cast: Grant Page, Monique van de Ven, Margaret Gerard, Paul Haynes, Curtis Hyde, Greg Magie, Smokey Huff, Richie King, Perry Morris, Doug Loch
Directors: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Writers: Paul-Michel Mielche, Brian Trenchard Smith
Cinematography: Helmen Ilmer, Robert Primes
ALL NEW – 16-PAGE COMIC BOOK ADAPTATION BY DARK OZ (LIMITED TO 3,000 COPIES)
ALL NEW – THE ULTIMATE RUSH: A CONVERSATION WITH BRIAN AND MARGARET TRENCHARD-SMITH
EXTENDED INTERVIEWS FROM NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD WITH DIRECTOR BRIAN-TRENCHARD-SMITH AND ACTOR/STUNTMAN GRANT PAGE
2008 AUDIO COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR BRIAN TRENCHARD-SMITH AND CAST MEMBERS GRANT PAGE AND MARGARET TRENCHARD-SMITH
2008 AUDIO COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR BRIAN TRENCHARD-SMITH, PRODUCER MARTY FINK AND ACTOR RICHARD BLACKBURN
Like many people who watched Not Quite Hollywood, I’m continually looking to tick off the movies shown in that documentary about Ozploitation films that I haven’t seen before. Stunt Rock fell directly into that category, and it’s a spectacle of a film that’s bound to be unlike anything you’ve seen before. There’s little to no plot here, but there’s plenty of stunts and rock music, so the title does sell you exactly what you’re getting when you press play.
Australian stunt man Grant Page plays himself in a film that has him more-or-less, giving an Aussie stunt history to the audience. The means to this are Monique van de Ven, also playing herself, but as an intrigued third-party journalist, and then the many members of the band Sorcery, who are all playing themselves but are best mates with this film’s version of Page.
Diving into the special features with Grant Page and director Brian Trenchard-Smith, it’s explained that Stunt Rock was meant to be this launching point for not only Smith in Hollywood but also a device to push Sorcery, a band that hadn’t managed to hit the mainstream rock audience. Neither of these things happened, but the film did leave a group of hardcore Stunt Rock lovers with posters of Page and Sorcery on their walls for years to come.
2009 INTRODUCTION TO THE FILM• 2009 INTERVIEWS – BRIAN TRENCHARD-SMITH, SMOKEY HUFFS AND MARTY FINK
2009 AUDIO INTERVIEW WITH SORCERY DRUMMER PERRY MORRIS
BRIAN TRENCHARD-SMITH’S ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE APPEARANCES
CANNES PROMO REEL
ALL NEW – BRIAN TRENCHARD-SMITH TRAILER REEL
HD THEATRICAL TRAILER
TRAILERS FROM HELL WITH COMMENTARY BY BRIAN TRENCHARD SMITH
You have to like stunts and rock to appreciate Stunt Rock, and maybe that’s where the film failed to grab a more mainstream audience. You can treat Stunt Like like a mockumentary, and perhaps it makes more sense that way, as you’re able to sit it next to This Is Spinal Tap and explain the genre to friends, but Stunt Rock, at least to me, doesn’t fit into that mockumentary genre. It’s a love letter to stunt work, primarily in Australia. You’d get a big kick out of Stunt Rock if you liked learning about the crazy world of the ’70-the ’80s in Australian cinema while watching Not Quite Hollywood. There are even extended interviews from that film, included on the Blu-ray release here. Which is maybe the first I’ve seen that, or at least the first time I’ve paid enough attention to notice it.
This latest release from Umbrella Entertainment even comes with a 16-page comic book adaptation (although this is limited to 3000 copies) and more than enough behind the scenes interviews and commentaries to keep not only fans of Stunt Rock occupied for hours but also those who love Sorcery.
Although film-grain affects some of Page’s stunts from other film features in Stunt Rock, the film looks great, especially any concert footage, thanks to the dark setting and pyro usage. The sound does leave a lot to be desired. The 2.0 DTS-HD mix leaves a tiny blend that feels like a dub over the actors and doesn’t offer the whole stereo audio experience the music of Sorcery deserves. According to a quick Google search, the film was released in 4.0 Stereo previously, so I’m not sure why Umbrella didn’t use that here.
I completely zoned out to the attempts of any narrative in Stunt Rock, but Grant Page is very likable, and it’s disappointing to know his career never took off as a leading man. From the inclusion of some of Page’s most famous film stunts to the crazed on-stage antics of Sorcery, it’s impossible to look away from Stunt Rock, and there’s no other film quite like it.