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Stone
cast: Ken Shorter, and Helen Morse

director: Sandy Harbutt

94 minutes (R 18+) 1974
Magna Pacific DVD Region 0 retail

RATING: 5/10
reviewed by Gary Couzens
A drug-addled biker witnesses a political assassination, with the result that the assassin is now after the biker and his gang, the Gravediggers. Stone (Ken Shorter), an undercover cop, offers to ride incognito with The Gravediggers in order to discover who is out to kill them...
   Stone was a major box-office hit in its native Australia, though it made less of an impact overseas. It remains the only feature directed by Sandy Harbutt, a former actor and commercials director, who also co-wrote the script, production designed, had a hand in some of the music not to mention gave himself second billing as the Gravediggers' leader the Undertaker. The film is also of interest as a forerunner of sorts of Mad Max, with similarities in content, bizarre character names and some of the same cast. However, Harbutt is no George Miller, and Stone, for all its historical interest is no more than a routine biker movie, told from the bikers' point of view. (Stone doesn't appear for over 20 minutes.) Helen Morse (who went on to feature in Picnic At Hanging Rock and to play the title role in Caddie) is wasted as Stone's posh girlfriend. This role doesn't justify Morse's third billing, but maybe much of it was cut. Stone originally ran half an hour longer; the present version is the director's preferred cut and the only one now available.
   The DVD is full-frame with the original mono soundtrack. Extras comprise the trailer, a making-of featurette, and an extensive stills gallery with commentary from the director.
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