Stunt Rock

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Stunt Rock
stunt rock DVD Cover
Stunt Rock DVD Cover
Directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith
Produced by Martin Fink
Screenplay by Paul-Michel Mielche Jr.
Brian Trenchard-Smith
Starring Grant Page
Monique van de Ven
Margaret Gerard
Music by Sorcery Band (Los Angeles Cal)
Cinematography Helmen Ilmer
Bob Carras
Edited by Beth Bergeron
Robert H. Money
Distributed by Corona Film
Ambassador Film Distributors
Film Ventures International
Code Red DVD
Release date
  • August 2, 1980 (1980-08-02) (Portugal)
Running time
86 minutes
Country Australia
Netherlands
Language English
Budget $450,000[1]
Box office AU$54,000 (Australia)[2]

Stunt Rock is a 1978 Australian action film directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith and starring Grant Page.

Plot summary[edit]

Australian stuntman Grant Page accepts a job on an American television series and travels to Los Angeles, where he reunites with his cousin, Sorcery band member Curtis Hyde. Hyde performs with a heavy metal band called Sorcery, playing the part of The Prince of Darkness who is locked in cosmic combat with Merlin the Magician (Paul Haynes). While the band plays out the story with its signature brand of theatrical but muscular hard rock, Page's first stunt for the cameras goes awry and he is hospitalized, but defies his doctors by escaping out a fifth story window to get back to the set. Such reckless behavior attracts the attention of newspaper reporter (Margaret Gerard) who is writing an article about the career obsessed, as well as a TV star (Dutch star Monique van de Ven) who both gravitate towards the stuntman's professional fearlessness. Together they attend Sorcery concerts, enjoy Hollywood parties with the band and explore the nature of extreme living.

Cast[edit]

  • Grant Page as himself
  • Monique van de Ven
  • Margaret Gerard
  • Sorcery Band (Los Angeles Ca.) Soundtrack EMI Records 1978
  • Band Members: Richard Taylor, Perry Morris, Richie King, Greg Magie

Production[edit]

Trenchard-Smith says he was in the shower in December 1977 when the concept of the film came to him. "Famous stuntman meets famous rock group. Much stunt, much rock. The kids will go bananas"[3] He wrote a six-page outline in half an hour, motivated in part by a desire to launch Grant Page as an international star. He sent the outline to a European distributor who had bought Trenchard-Smith's previous film, Deathcheaters and who agreed to finance provided the film could be made in six months.

Trenchard-Smith hurriedly went to America to look for a band. Foreigner was interested but were on a tour and would not be back in time. Trenchard-Smith luckily found the Los Angeles-based band Sorcery. Sorcery was signed to do the picture in Dec. 1977, and signed with EMI Records in January 1978. The soundtrack album was recorded at the Warner Bros. Burbank CA. studios in March 1978. It was produced by Jimmy Haskell, and released on EMI records in the summer of 1978.

The director says he also had to rewrite the script to incorporate a Dutch actress for the Dutch market, and the making of the movie was intensely political and happened in far too quick period of time. "It was a film that went from six page treatment to stereo answer print in 4 1/2 months. That is no way to make a feature and, when you see the film, you will answer why."[1]

The movie includes footage from other films in which Grant Page appeared such as Mad Dog Morgan (1976).

Margaret Gerard was married to Trenchard-Smith.

Reception[edit]

In 1980 Trenchard-Smith said in an interview that the film had "sold very well, even though it is probably the worst film I have made. Such is life. All I can say to other filmmaker is never let yourself be pressured into making a deal rather than a film, which is what happened to me.[1] However his opinion seemed to soften and in 2010 he said the film "holds a special place for me".[4]

Stunt Rock disappeared from theaters shortly after its release, and was not seen by the general public for nearly 15 years. In 1997, a DVD of the film was released and distributed via the World Wide Web. As sales of that DVD increased, clips of the film began appearing on the web, including "You-Tube" sites, up-loaded primarily by Sorcery (Band) fans. As time passed, more people began to discover the film for the first time. That created the interest that motivated the "Code-Red" company to re-issued the film on DVD in 2009. The 2/disc DVD includes interviews with the films Producer Martin Fink, Director Brian Trenchard-Smith, Richard Blackburn,(who plays Monique's agent"), and who directed of the great film "Lemora" : A Child’s Tale of the upernatural (1973) plus interviews with SORCERY band members Richard Taylor(Guitarist) and Perry Morris(drummer). In 2006 Trenchard Smith tracked down a reel that was buried in someone's garage. The film has been restored and has been shown in a number of theaters around the world since then. Stunt Rock is also available on DVD.

Trivia[edit]

  • The director of the fictional TV series, "Undercover Girl" in "Stunt Rock" is played by Ron Raley, whose student film at UCLA was photographed by none other than Jim Morrison of The Doors fame when Morrison, Raley and Blackburn were at UCLA film school together.
  • A very early appearance by Phil Hartman as the assistant director passes in a flash.
  • When Stunt Rock completed filming in the spring 1978, Trenchard-Smith, took the film to the Cannes Film Festival to secure worldwide distribution rights for the film's release. For the American and Canadian distribution, Trenchard-Smith landed a major company, Allied Artists. Three months prior to the film's release date, Allied filed for bankruptcy in a New York court. In 1981 Film Ventures International, owned by Edward L. Montoro, acquired the distribution rights to Stunt Rock and took over the picture's distribution process.
  • In 1982 Film Ventures International also re-released Stunt Rock under the title Sorcery. The Los Angeles-based band Sorcery, which had a co-starring role in the picture, had headlined over groups like Van Halen and the renaming of the film was meant to capitalize on the band's notoriety. Stunt Rock debuted on Turner Classic Movies October 13, 2011 and has played a number of times on TCM since then. The film continues to play in theaters all over the world on a regular basis.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Richard Brennan, 'Brian Trenchard-Smith', Cinema Papers, Dec-Jan 1979-80 p 602
  2. ^ Australian Films at the Box Office - Report to Film Victoria accessed 5 Oct 2012
  3. ^ Brian Trenchard-Smith on Stunt Rock at Trailers From Hell
  4. ^ "My Interview with Brian Trenchard Smith", Soldier of Cinema, 26 December 2010 accessed 8 February 2013

External links[edit]