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— W.C.U.N — Pittsburgh!!

STONE COLD (1991) Dir. Craig R. Baxley. Written by Walter Doniger. Starring: Brian Bosworth, Lance Henricksen, William Forsythe, and Sam McMurray.

Craig R. Baxley directed three movies between 1988 and 1991 and for my money, the ex-stuntman turned action director is one of the best when it comes to stunt-heavy, brain-dead over the top fun. From Action Jackson to I Come in Peace to this Biker bacchanalia of tattooed tits and heavy artillery, Baxley knows how to set up an absurd premise and keep the scenes rollicking along quick enough you don't question any of it until the credits roll. The man also knows how to shoot action and it's no wonder with a resume that reads like his; stuntman, stunt driver and coordinator on everything from Charley Varrick and The A-team to The Dukes of Hazzard and Predator. The list is a long and impressive one and it's a shame he's been relegated to TV since this film, his last feature. Stone Cold was the screen debut of Seattle Seahawks linebacker, Brian Bosworth, and his new-wave mullet and surprisingly, he makes a decent action hero if a little too flashy in his neon bandannas and strategically ripped designer Guess jeans. What little story exists is boilerplate undercover cop beats, but the settings and bad guys are different; an out of control biker gang called the Brotherhead edging maniacally into domestic terrorism for it seems no other reason than revenge for their leaders' imprisonment. Killing Federal Judges doesn't sit well with the FBI so Alabama cop, Bosworth is forced undercover to bring the Brotherhood down and bring them down he does, but good with seventy minutes of biker bro fistfights and drag races before a completely bananas showdown in the actual Arkansas State Capitol building. Harley's are launched out of windows, civilians and National Guardsmen are mowed down with abandon, and a helicopter is shot out of the sky with a motorcycle years before John McClane would do the same in one of the Die Hard sequels. For the record, it looks better and plays better here. That said, I've barely scratched the surface. Did I mention Bosworth has a pet Komodo dragon? Did I happen to tell you that Lance Henricksen is the main villain in another greasy role for the record books, or that his main henchman is the equally greasy William Forsythe in whole hog mode? No, well now you've heard it all, almost. 

 

 

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