Monday, September 7, 2009

Stoner (1974)

If George Lazenby ever ran out of friends, he would always be welcome to my house of a cup of tea and a sandwich. He's the man, without a doubt. After his (in)famous contribution to the James Bond-saga he tried to continue his career as a cool action hero through the seventies. He actually succeded for a while, and it's more a rumour that he was in flop after flop. He had a great success with at least two of his movies for Golden Harvest in Hong Kong, and even Stoner comes out as one of his most enjoyable and trashy flicks from this time.

The story is something about the evil Mr Big (Ing-Sik Whang) producing something he calls "Happy Pills", a special mix of heroin and aphrodisiac. It's highly addictive and both the Hong Kong, a taiwenese super-agent (Angela Mao) and a tough guy with a big moustache, Stoner (George Lazenby) want's to stop the bad guys. But the bad guys dosen't want to get stopped of course, and sends a tidal wave of henchmen to stop them all! The final battle is in an underground base on a island...

Stoner is a sloppy mess. From the beginning it would have starred Lazenby, Bruce Lee and Sonny Chiba - but when Bruce decided to die, everything crashed and left was Lazenby and a much smaller budget. Lazenby stayed in Hong Kong for 22 weeks and earned 10000 dollar every week, which interesting enough makes him the most wellpayed martial arts-start in Hong Kong during the seventies! So gone where the high profile international project and left was a sleazy, action-filled, crazy son of a bitch of a movie!

It starts a bit slow, but is quickly saved by the sleaziest scene in the whole movie. An orgy where the most disgusting scene is when a woman is simulating oral sex with an ice cream! And of course people are drugged out of their minds and naked to (did I mention that they are very ugly to?). Soon Lazenby enters the scene and starts beating people until he arrives to Hong Kong for some more serious ass-kicking. The fighting turns better for every fight in this movie, and the the final battle is a never ending fight with Lazenby against a dozen thugs and Angela Mao against some of the main enemies. It's awsome and though of course Mao is the master, she's so good at fighting, we can all be quite impressed with the more clumsy, but energic and fast Lazenby. The guy can fight (at least in front of the camera) and is a good actor to. Sammo Hung shows up, with a big mole on his nose, and fights Lazenby a couple of times. Not bad at all and the charisma and talent is there. 

Stoner is a trashy, nudity-filled action-fest which never pretends to have a deeper meaning or win any prizes. Can't wait until A Queen's Ransom hits dvd... and soon, very soon, The Man from Hong Kong will arrive to my doorstep. Life is good with Lazenby in the collection. 


Jack J said...

Is it the new FS disk you watched? Could you please let me know how long it runs for? The thing is there are FOUR different cuts of the film. It would be cool if this is the longer cut but someone at Asian Dvd Guide reported it to be the short HK version. We talked about it here:


Ninja Dixon said...

Sorry Jack, it's not the longest.

1 hour 49 minutes 24 seconds to be specific.

The print is widescreen, anamorphic, a bit rough quality - it has a strange "pattern" on top of it, maybe damage because of moist or heat. But overall, it looked okey and it's worth 49 hk dollars :)

The violence seemed intact, it was a lot of nudity and some drug use. I suspect Angela Mao was edited the most, because she's very sporadic until the fantastic finale.

Jack J said...

Thanks, Fred.

Jack J said...

Gee, I've just found a post on ADG that says the FS dvd actually DOES carry the long version and that the VCD has the short version!!!

Ninja Dixon said...

Interesting, so someone has compared them? What do they write exactly?

Jack J said...

Mostly just that it's the longer version from the Japanese DVD and not the shorter version from the VCD. It's the old HK reviewer Miles Wood who posted that. You can read it all in my latest post here.