Craig R. Baxley-directed Stone Cold (1991) is a really fun action B-movie surprise starring ’80s football star Brian Bosworth as Joe Huff, an undercover cop who helms a white supremacist/neo-Nazi biker gang helmed by Chains (Lance Henriksen) and Ice (William Forsythe). I think the goal here was to make him the next Sly or Schwarzenegger at a time when these macho guys were very bankable; unfortunately, Bosworth cannot act and lacks the charisma that made his contemporaries so iconic, but he’s still really cool in the role. Perhaps best of all, his character owns a pet Nile monitor lizard (definitely DO NOT feed it what Joe does lol), although his ’90s mullet is pretty dated and looks a bit skunky.
This movie is ridiculous from start to finish but wildly entertaining, featuring lots of over-the-top, spontaneous explosions, bad acting, cool stunts, and a ridiculous plot. The climax of the film involves the biker gang trying to take over the Mississippi Capitol, which felt disturbingly similar to the Capitol Hill riots/insurrection in early 2021. Also, I felt disconnected from many of the biker gang members, mostly because of their beliefs. I know it’s just a B-movie, but perhaps the film could have done more to condemn or interrogate the fascism in the gang – as it is, I can’t really sympathize with a character like Gut, even though he is presented as more sympathetic. I just wasn’t sure how to feel.
Henriksen and Forsythe are great as gang members, however, and no one holds back with the violence or action in this one. This was not the big break that Bosworth was hoping for; in fact, he didn’t have much of a film career after this, but it is incredibly watchable and outrageously violent. I was also really impressed that it looks like they still had the budget to use a real Huey helicopter for the climax of the film, even though it has so many B-movie qualities. Apparently Bosworth rides motorcycles and did all of his stunts for this too, which is pretty cool. I think Stone Cold is one of the great unsung ’90s movie treasures, and you’ll get hooked in from literally the first five seconds of the movie (that’s how action-packed it is!).