Bikers were the villains in a lot of early 90’s action movies. There was Another 48 Hours, the great Charlie Sheen actioner, Beyond the Law and this flick, which signaled the arrival (and departure) of ex-football player Brian Bosworth as an action star. The “Boz” plays John Stone (he’s “Stone Cold”, get it?) a burned out undercover cop with a serious bleach blonde mullet who gets picked by the Feds to infiltrate the drug-dealing “Brotherhood” of bikers led by Chains (Lance Henriksen). He impresses Chains at a beach bash where he beats up some WWF reject. Stone is easily welcomed into the ranks of the Brotherhood and he slowly starts to take it apart a piece at a time. When his cover is blown, Stone must stop Chains from assassinating a biker hating politician.
Craig R. Baxley, the director of Action Jackson, was at the helm of this puppy. He handles the action scenes competently and films the barroom brawls, fist fights, shootouts and motorcycle chases in his usual workmanlike manner. The opening grocery store action scene is not the definitive supermarket action sequence ever filmed (that would be Cobra in case you are wondering), but it’s still pretty good. (“Clean-up on aisle four!”)
Actually, this scene typifies what Stone Cold is all about. It does stuff you haven’t already seen hundreds of times before in an action movie, but it does it just well enough to keep you entertained for an hour and a half. The ending is nothing but wall to wall mayhem with people getting mowed down by semi-automatic weapons, tossed out of buildings and blown up. There’s also a great motorcycle-into-a-helicopter stunt (which was done before T2, I might add) tossed in there too. It may not be great, but honestly, where else are you going to get to see Lance Henriksen dressed like a priest gunning down judges in a courtroom?
But the best scene in the movie comes during a biker funeral in which a grubby biker is put on a pyre, propped up on his bike, covered in gasoline and then set on fire. Man, I’ve heard of Viking funerals before, but never Biking funerals!
The thing that prevents the flick from really cutting loose and becoming a classic is The Boz. He LOOKS like an action star but he just doesn’t have the chops necessary to carry the film. To top it all off, he’s got the screen presence of a Chevy hubcap. His big emotional scene is the one where he purees a Snickers bar, some potato chips, a few bananas, a couple eggs, and orange juice in a blender and feeds it to his pet lizard. That’s okay though because any movie in which Lance Henriksen and William Forsythe play bloodthirsty bikers is okay by me.
Forsythe gets all the best lines; my favorite is when he calls Bosworth, “A grown up version of Bam Bam!”