Stunt Rock is a strange film. It seems to be passing itself off as a mockumentary, but in reality it is more of a highlights reel of a bunch of high level stunts intertwined with some cliched late 70s wannabe stadium rock mashed together in the edit room without rhyme or reason. The acting is awful, and the storyline is non-existent, for all of these reasons and many, many more Stunt Rock should be an abject failure, but somehow it manages to hold itself together as a particularly interesting insight into the world of stunt people. And terrible glam rock.
Director Brian Trenchard-Smith is best known for either BMX Bandits, Turkey Shoot or Leprechaun 3 depending on where your tastes lie. He featured in Not Quite Hollywood and is named checked by Tarantino as one of the many directors he stole ideas from. Trenchard-Smith may not know how to direct dialogue scenes, but he sure knows how to direct stunts and luckily Stunt Rock is filled with them. Stunts from all over the place, archival stunts, stunts from other films Trenchard-Smith has directed, stunts from films he hasn’t. Stunt Rock is the definition of a montage, a bunch of stuff thrown together that somehow manages to work, just don’t expect it to make sense.
If you are at all interested in a synopsis, here it is. Our stunt-person hero Grant Price (actual stunt-person hero played by Grant Price) travels from Australia to Los Angeles to work on a Hollywood film where he meets up with his cousin who is in cheesy 70 hard rock band Sorcery. That is it. There are a series of stunt scenes, there are a series of hard rock concert scenes, and those scenes are combined, sans narrative, to make a feature length runtime in the edit room (well in the five edit rooms Trenchard-Smith had pumping out get this out in time).
Umbrella have lavishly put together this package, it comes with a limited edition comic, slip cover and is full of special features and several commentaries in which you will learn just how worried the producers were at working with such a light script, who was intended to play the role of the band, what directing gig Trenchard-Smith turned down to finish Stunt Rock, and most importantly how to make a baby cry in the Philippines. The commentaries are quite entertaining actually. We also have some interviews, and as many extras as Umbrella could scrape together, making this quite the decent piece of Ozploitation memorabilia. The editor on the film went on to cut This Is Spinal Tap, so there you go. Tidbits galore.
I don’t think you’ll find anyone who claims Stunt Rock is good, but it is entertaining, outrageous and confusing but if you just let yourself go you’ll have a good time. If you are into cheesy 70s power glam rock then you’ll be even more captivated, but we all know you are going to watch it for the stunts, of which there are many. Stunt. Rock. It does what it says on the cover.