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Stone 2-Disc Special Edition - Severin Films Print E-mail
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Written by Chris Mayo   
Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

 Buy Stone on  DVD from Amazon.com - www.Severed-Cinema.com Buy Stone on  DVD from Amazon.ca - www.Severed-Cinema.com

Directed by: Sandy Harbutt
Written by: Sandy Harbutt, Michael Robinson
Produced by: Sandy Harbutt
Cinematography by: Graham Lind
Editing by: Ian Barry
Music by: Billy Green
Cast: Ken Shorter, Sandy Harbutt, Deryck Barnes, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Roger Ward, Vincent Gil, Dewey Hungerford
Year: 1974
Country: Australia
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 99 Minutes

Video: NTSC R0
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 / 16:9
Audio: Dolby Digital Mono
Distributor: Severin Films

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Stone stands as one of the most popular and profitable Australian films of all time, continuing its cult following for all these years.  Shot in the 70’s at a marginal $192,000 budget, this film is an obvious labor of love for multitask-man Sandy Harbutt, the films co-writer, director and star.  Stone is Australia’s answer to America’s Easy Rider.  Declared as one of the most infamous biker movies in genre history, let’s take a look at how the film holds up today with Severin Films’ 2-disc special edition. 

After Toad (Hugh Keays-Byrne), a member of the Grave Diggers biker gang bears witness to the assassination of a politician during an environmental rally, members of the squad start turning up dead.  After several bikers are picked off, the gang reluctantly takes in Stone, a meek and mild mannered undercover cop sent to investigate the murders while posing as one of the gang’s own.  Will he be able to find the killer before more lives are taken?

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Stone has a colorful array of characters.  The iconic rot-toothed Dr. Death who sports an eye patch and top hat, the Undertaker (Stone’s very own director Sandy Harbutt) the gang’s ringleader, and then there’s Stone, our hero who appears for the first time on screen in a white suit, as the biggest dork you’ve ever seen.  This changes however when straight-laced Stone is initiated into the Grave Diggers and gets an ear piercing and is forced to wear the gang garb.  With the use of real bikers in the film, Stone has a real authenticity.  It also shows some pretty cool stunts, including one where a biker rides to his death over a cliff into the ocean below.  There are also impressive shots throughout, one of which being the massive army of bikers riding in a motorcade funeral ceremony in which 400 real life bikers volunteered for the shoot.  Sadly, the relaxed pace of the film’s 99-minute runtime hinders its enjoyment.

Stone definitely shows it’s age, and for an exploitation film, comes across less impactful then it may have back in ‘74.  Seeing as the only other Australian films that come to mind worth mentioning are Mad Max, The Road Warrior or perhaps Razorback, one might better understand the initial hype for the film.  Had Stone been made in the US, I doubt it would have held the same adulation.  The movie does take a different spin on the exploitation film for that matter, since this time around a biker gang falls victim rather than the average person.  Even so, films like Last House on the Left were paving the way before StoneThriller: A Cruel Picture was even released the very same year.

Stone has lasted the test of time and its raving fan base continues to blossom today.  In 1998 30,000 bikers turned out for the 25th anniversary, and the film has even spawned a real life biker club for Vietnam vets.  There is no doubt that Stone is an important part of Australian cinema -- back then a film like Stone stuck it to society.  Stone definitely has its fans -- I just can’t help but think the majority of them reside in Australia.

Severin Films 2-disc special edition of Stone is the ultimate release for fans of the film or biker movie enthusiasts in general, and will come as a welcomed addition to their film collections.

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

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SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:

DISC 1
- Theatrical Trailer

DISC 2
- Stone Forever Making-of
- The Making of
Stone
- Stone Makeup Test
- Director’s Slide Show

Severin Films presents this 2-disc special edition release of Stone 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, with a Dolby Digital mono track.  Both show their age, chiefly the graininess of the video, but overall the film looks and sounds good for a low budget exploitation flick shot in the 70’s.  For fans of Stone, you’re in for a treat.  This release is packed with extras.  The first disc contains the Theatrical Trailer, while the second disc holds the meat and potatoes of the supplements.   We begin with the first featurette entitled “Stone Forever”, a 63-minute documentary covering all aspects of the film.  Here we celebrate 25-years of Stone and learn all sorts of Stone trivia.  There is footage from the 1998 anniversary where some 30,000 bikers turned out for the event.  The diehard fans express their love for the film and there is an extensive series of interviews with just about all the cast and crew.  “The Making of Stone” is the second featurette.  With a runtime of 23-minutes this making-of retreads some territory, but features footage and interviews shot during the original filming rather than years later as in our first featurette.  Rounding out the extras is a rather bland “Stone Makeup Test” which merely shows what the title suggests -- original makeup tests sans-audio.  The final addition is a 22-minute “Director’s Slide Show” narrated by Sandy Harbutt, which is a mini commentary on the production of Stone.

For the inquisitive fan, a single disc version is also available to check out.

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

RATING:
VIDEO: 1.85:1 / 16:9 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinemahttp://www.severed-cinema.com/images/half-star.jpg0 Skull - Severed Cinema
AUDIO: Dolby Digital Stereo 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema0 Skull - Severed Cinema0 Skull - Severed Cinema
DVD: Severin Films 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema
MOVIE: "Stone" 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinemahttp://www.severed-cinema.com/images/half-star.jpg0 Skull - Severed Cinema0 Skull - Severed Cinema
Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.comClick here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

Click here to enlarge image -- Stone -- www.Severed-Cinema.com

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