Recently released on Blu-ray, I couldn’t resist scooping up Craig R. Baxley’s Stone Cold this past weekend after hearing the magic words “go-it-alone cop” and “extremely violent bikers.” As if that wasn’t enough to seal the deal, the film stars Lance Henriksen, William Forsythe and Brian “Boz” Bosworth rocking a double mullet as Joe Huff/John Stone (sorry kids, no Stone Cold Steve Austin here). So the question is… was it worth dropping 17 bucks for?
The answer depends largely in your taste of movies, but if you’ve been following this column chances are you already know the answer. The film starts off with Joe Huff sporting an all-black duster jacket (trenchcoat) while dispatching of Lorenzo Lamas (Renegade) and Dog the Bounty Hunter knock-offs in a grocery store. One by one Huff thoroughly embarrases the bad guys with his innate badassery before the cops arrive, revealing that he’s also a cop… on suspension… for being a loose cannon (actually it’s for insubordination). The secret to his success? Health shakes consisting of orange juice, Snickers, potato chips, bananas, raw eggs (with shells) and tabasco sauce—oh wait, that’s for his pet KOMODO DRAGON!
Cut to a biker gang montage as “The Brotherhood” brutally murder a priest and a judge, seemingly all in the same day, leading the FBI to recruit Huff to take them down seeing as how he’s “logged more biker-related arrests than any other officer in Alabama.” Amazingly, the FBI—aka the nation’s “prime Federal law enforcement organization”—seem to know absolutely nothing about biker gangs so they blackmail Huff into going undercover as John Stone, a new prospect for the gang. After a few brawls and getting shot (don’t worry, he’s wearing a vest) he’s in like sin, but it’s not long before things go awry and Huff/Stone finds himself on the wrong side of the MC.
The rest of the movie plays out much like you’d expect… Huff/Stone befriends a cute/innocent biker chick in trouble, his cover gets blown, things explode, there’s a few fiery bike crashes… the one curve ball Stone Cold does throw at us is the death of Huff/Stone’s lady friend Nancy (Arabella Holzbog). It’s a bit unnecessary, but I guess her death is meant to “make things personal” for our hero. It works but, really, wouldn’t we expect him to kick ass regardless? I suppose it would have also been more impactful if Huff/Stone and Nancy had stronger ties, like maybe she was an undercover cop that got in too deep and he’s there to get her out.
Anyway, Stone Cold is the kind of film that fits right at home with other late 80s/early 90s action flicks like Cobra, Action Jackson (also directed by Craig R. Baxley) and Raw Deal. It’s not ground-breaking and the formula feels familiar to a handful of other “rogue cop” flicks, but it does mark the beginning of Bosworth’s film career and, for all accounts, is a pretty solid debut performance.
Biker riding montages? Check!
Loose cannon cop of the edge? Check!
Bosworth badassery? Check!