Directed by Craig R. Baxley a year after he made Dark Angel with Dolph Lundgren, 1991's Stone Cold stars one time pro football star Brian ‘The Boz' Bosworth in his first starring role. It's maybe not a movie for the thinking man or woman, those cineastes who want deep meaning alongside beautiful art direction, but if you dig the late sixties/early seventies biker trash cycle that hit hard at drive-in's around the country, you'll likely get a kick out of this nineties attempt to bring it back.
Bosworth plays a tough, lone wolf style cop named Joe Huff who winds up having to go undercover under the alias of John Stone (Get it? Stone Cold!) so that he can infiltrate a biker gang. He's not really keen on this idea but the F.B.I. have got some dirt on him and if he doesn't give them what they want, they're in the position where they can wind up making life very difficult for him. This gang, called The Brotherhood, have earned their reputation as the baddest of the bad. The deal drugs, they rough up their ladies and they kill anyone who gets in their way. They're lead by a guy called Chains (Lance Henriksen) and he's a mean sonuvabitch if ever there was one but he's impressed with Stone's abilities in the ass-kicking department.
As Stone gets deeper into the gang's inner circle and meets people like Ice (William Forsythe) and Roach (Arabella Holzbog), things get complicated. The law is closing in, the mob gets involved and The National Guard have to take out this threat to society in a big, big way. There's only one thing left for these men of steel to do, and that's wage a full scale takeover of the Mississippi State Capitol building!
Stone Cold may be dumber than a bag of rocks and Brian Bosworth might have all the acting charisma of a corn flake but hot damn if this movie isn't a fantastic slice of brainless action moviemaking done right. Everyone in this film is so over the top and macho that you'll grow hair on your chest just by watching it and if wanton violence is your thing, well step right up. Shirtless buffoons pound the snot out of one another every few minutes and yeah, that ending? Baxley pulls out the heavy artillery, literally.
Performance wise, if Bosworth looks the beefy, oiled up part then so be it. He's not a good actor but he beats people up real good. He's fine. He's amusing enough. There's good supporting players here though. William Forsyth plays his part full throttle and chews through more scenery than any one man should be able to. God bless him for it. Arabella Holzbog as Chains' main biker chick squeeze is a full on fox and she handles herself well here too. A great performance? No, not really, but fun to watch for sure and plenty sexy to boot. The real scene stealer, however, is Henriksen. He looks pretty nutso with his shaggy goatee and often hides behind some dark circular shades and a leather bandana but the man gives one hundred and ten percent here. He acts circles around everyone else in the movie, which maybe doesn't seem so hard when you think about it, but really, Lance is just a complete blast to watch in this film and he plays the bad guy perfectly.
Stuff blows up. Guys and gals ride around on chrome covered choppers decked out in leather. Dudes get shot. People punch each other a lot. At one point Bosworth jumps onto a moving car. Sleazy strippers. Mullets. Cornball hard rock tracks on the soundtrack. Poorly delivered one-liners. Dangly tough guy earrings. Lance Henriksen taking everyone out with a machine gun. Bad dudes riding motorcyles inside of buildings. Oh, and amazing motorcycle versus helicopter explosion death that you will never, ever forget. Yeah… this one has it all.The Blu-ray:
Stone Cold arrives on Blu-ray in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer from Olive Films framed at 1.85.1 widescreen and for the most part, it looks very good. There's a little bit of print damage here and there but nothing so serious as to really distract at all. Colors are reproduced very nicely and black levels look nice and deep. Skin tones are natural looking and detail is pretty strong throughout the movie. Sharpness and contrast are good, there are no noticeable issues with any compression artifacts and the picture seems completely devoid of digital trickery like noise reduction or edge enhancement. Grain is present throughout as it should be while depth in the image remains impressive for pretty much the entire movie. Stone Cold looks really good on Blu-ray.Sound:
The only option on the disc is a DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo track in English, there are no alternate language options or subtitles/closed captioning options offered here. Clarity of the audio is quite good. The score sounds nice and has pretty decent range to it and the dialogue is easy to understand and follow. There are no problems with any hiss or distortion of note and the levels are properly balanced throughout. The sound effects have decent punch behind them and the rumble of those motorcycle engines has good weight behind it.Extras:
Extras are limited to static menus chapter selection and… that's it.Final Thoughts:
Stone Cold is so awesome it deserves an amazing special edition. It didn't get it and probably never will. It did, however, get a very nice looking and sounding Blu-ray upgrade from Olive Films. No extras, and that's a shame, but at least fans of the film can rest easy that the audio and video are up to snuff. This one is just way too fun. Highly recommended for B-movie/action film junkies.