Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 22nd, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Australia, 1974
Director: Sandy Harbutt
Writers: Sandy Harbutt, Michael Robinson
Cast: Ken Shorter, Sandy Harbutt, Deryck Barnes, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Roger Ward, Vincent Gil, Dewey Hungerford, James Bowles, Bindi Williams
DVD released: October 28th, 2008
Approximate running time: 99 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Severin Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: A biker belonging to the Grave Diggers gang witnesses an assassin kill a politician. When the member’s of his gang start to get knocked off one by one. An undercover police officer named Stone is given the task of finding the killer. Stone befriends the Grave Diggers who let him pose as one of them while he frantically searches for the killer before he strikes again.
Stone was produced, co-written and directed by Sandy Harbutt who also appears in the film as the character “Undertaker”. Stone is the only feature film that Sandy Harbutt directed. He has yet to appear in a film since making Stone. The film starts off with a bang with a political assassination and the only witness being a biker and his gang who become the next target. After this strong opening the film starts to drag as things start to get repetitive. This is most noticeable when the focus of the film shifts to the evolution of Stone’s relationship with the Grave Diggers. Not enough time is spent building up the suspense while to much time is wasted on mundane events. Visually the film is very stylish at times, especially the moments involving the bikers on their motorcycles. The performances are merely adequate with only Hugh Keays-Byrne performance as Toad standing out as memorable. Hugh Keays-Byrne is most remembered for his role as Toecutter in Mad Max. Ultimately Stone is an uneven film that doesn’t never fully exploits its interesting premise.
Severin Film’s presents Stone In an anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s original aspect ratio. Colors fare well with only a few minor instances where they seem over saturated. There is minor print damage that crops up throughout. Black levels are strong and the image looks detailed throughout.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Even though the mix is free of any background hiss. There are some minor instances where the audio sounds muffled. Overall the audio mix is more than adequate considering its mono limitations.
Extras for this release have been spread over two DVD’s. The only extra included on the first disc is a trailer for the film. Extras for the second disc include eight minutes of silent footage from the films make-up / screen tests and a director’s slide show with audio comments from director Sandy Harbutt that play’s over the images. Also include with this release is a twenty three minute making of documentary for the film that was most likely used to promote the film for its original theatrical run. The main extra for this release is the sixty three minute documentary titled “Stone Forever”. All around the extra content gives a thorough overview about the making of the film and its legacy. Overall Stone gets a good DVD release from Severin Film’s that is highlighted by the excellent documentary Stone Forever.