Stone (1974)

“Take the Trip!” A funky, low-budget Ozploitation biker classic, Stone was directed by Sandy Harbutt, who also cowrote the script (along with Michael “Pinball” Robinson). In addition, Harbutt portrays “Undertaker,” the leader of an outlaw motorcycle gang known as the Grave Diggers who ride around on their Kawasaki 900s creating mayhem wherever they go. After three members of their gang are mysteriously murdered, the Grave Diggers reluctantly allow a badass cop named “Stone” (Ken Shorter) to ride undercover in their bike gang and try to solve the crimes. Stone soon ingratiates himself into the gang – but at what price? The gang itself features a variety of colorful characters such as “Toad” (Hugh Keays-Byrne), “Dr. Death” (Roger Ward), “Septic” (Dewey Hungerford), “Hooks” (Roger Ward), “Zonk” (John Ivkovitch), “Captain Midnight” (Bindi Williams) and “Stinkfinger” (James H. Bowles). Also look for the beautiful Rebecca Gilling as Undertaker’s girlfriend “Vanessa.” Highlights include the weird funeral ritual, the gang’s cool fortified hideout, Stone’s “initiation” into the Grave Diggers and the biker rumble with rival gang Black Hawks, as well as the killer soundtrack by Billy Green. Stone served as a precursor to the Mad Max series. Quentin Tarantino raves about the film in the 2008 documentary, Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! A documentary, Stone Forever, was released in 1999 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Stone.

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