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J. Russell Finch CEO & President
The Pacific Edible Seaweed Company
Fresno, CA.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Where's My DVD ?? # 3 HOLLYWOOD MAN 1976

    Hollywood tough guy and biker film icon William Smith stars in, co-produced and co-wrote (along with his buddy Ray Girardin) this highly entertaining 1977 drama where he plays Rafe Stoker - a Hollywood tough guy and biker film icon trying desperately to make his own low budget biker film. The movie explores some of the same themes as Richard Rush's THE STUNTMAN from 1980 in regards to a maniacal obsessed director (albeit on a lower budget and more sympathetically here ) who will stand at nothing to get his picture completed.
   After getting rebuffed by his studio for the funds needed to finish Stoker ends up putting up everything he owns for collateral in order to secure a loan from some pretty shady "businessmen", who then send in a real biker gang led by Harvey (Girardin) to sabotage the film shoot and collect Stokers asset's. What at first might seem to be a rather happy go lucky action piece gets increasingly dark and pessimistic with ever escalating violence as Stoker fights a desperate battle with the bikers,crooked police, inclement weather and the mafia along with a looming deadline and disappearing money.
   Rafe is a character you can't help but root for him and Smith (who as child actor appeared in GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN) is really excellent here bringing a combination of doggedness and sometimes scary single mindedness all the while in the pursuit of his dream. In addition to his acting credits he's had one heck of a life - check out his website bio here (5100 continuous sit-ups !!). In addition there's Mary Woronov (DEATH RACE 2000) as Stoker's wife, Jennifer Billingsley (WHITE LIGHTNING) as a biker chick and the great Don Stroud as a stuntman. If all this weren't enough you got direction by 70's drive-in guru Jack Starrett (RACE WITH THE DEVIL, CLEOPATRA JONES and A SMALL TOWN IN TEXAS)
   Never released on home video, unfortunately HOLLYWOOD MAN seems to have fallen into some sort of lingo limbo with only a crappy bootleg DVD floating around out there that butchers the film widescreen cinematography and while seemingly uncut running time wise it bleeps out the expletives. Although director Starrett sadly left us way too early, with all the other main participants still around it'd be great to get a nice special edition DVD (as the world always needs more William Smith & Don Stroud on DVD). 

1 comment:

  1. I've never even HEARD of this movie. It sounds so cool.