Biker film 'Stone Cold' is nothing more than a vehicle for violence.

On movies

May 20, 1991|By Lou Cedrone

There are probably more casualties in ''Stone Cold'' than there were in the Crimean War. The dead fall so fast and in such large number it is impossible to keep count. Not that you'd want to. Not that you'd care enough about this muddled, irresponsible film to attempt a body count.

Visually, the film looks very good, but who knows about the plot? And who really cares? All the movie hopes to sell is violence, and it does a pretty good job of that. You don't really know why some of the people in this movie are dying, but they die, and that seems to have been enough for the producers.

''Stone Cold'' stars Brian Bosworth, who left pro football to become an actor. Big and blond, he rolls through the film like a mobile pylon, and, actually, he's pretty good. It's the script that fails him.

Said to be the first major-studio biker-action film (that seems safe enough) to be released since ''Easy Rider,'' the new film is only a TTC little more responsible than that 1969 movie. ''Easy Rider'' glorified drug users and sellers. The anti-heroes of "Stone Cold" sell but don't seem to use drugs. They do, however, drink a lot of beer and engage in a lot of killing. They seem to enjoy one as much as the other.

The bloody finale takes place in a courtroom and goes back to an actual, real-life '60s incident. The movie version, of course, is much more grandiose. The bad guys - the lead bikers - wipe out everybody, the judge, the jurors and others unfortunate enough to be caught in the room.

The post-finale takes place in the halls, the atrium of the courthouse and outside the courtroom. It's all been done very well, so if carnage is your thing, enjoy.

Craig R. Baxley directed the film. Baxley also did ''I Come in Peace'' and ''Action Jackson,'' both of which were more comprehensible than this.

The plot of ''Stone Cold'' has the bikers selling drugs, which puts them in competition with the mob, so we have a lot of that business, too. Bosworth, meanwhile, is an undercover cop. He presents himself as a biker out of nowhere, a man willing to join the bad bikers in their bad habits.

Lance Henriksen is the lead killer. He may be a little too old for this, but then ''Stone Cold'' is not always big on logic. In one scene, two of the bikers shoot beer cans off the shoulders and heads of others. Meanwhile, the other bikers crowd around, some of them standing in the paths of the bullets and not caring. That beer must be very strong.

''Stone Cold'' pleased and displeased some of the real bikers who attended a preview screening of the film. There was some sniggering during the screening, and one man was eager to let the management know that he did not enjoy the film. Another wanted to see the manager to tell him how good it was.

PD At times, the real bikers were more entertaining than the movie.

''Stone Cold''

* A cop goes undercover to infiltrate a band of drug-selling bikers.

CAST: Brian Bosworth, Lance Henriksen, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray.

DIRECTOR: Craig R. Baxley.

RATING: R (violence, language, nudity)

RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes.

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