Follow TV Tropes


Film / Stone Cold

Go To

Stone Cold is a 1991 action film directed by Craig R. Baxley, and starring Brian Bosworth, Lance Henriksen, and William Forsythe.

Joe Huff (Bosworth), a tough Alabama cop who is frustrated with a system that handles criminals with kid gloves who is currently on suspension for insubordination. He finds himself blackmailed by a FBI taskforce into help them infiltrate a biker gang known as the Brotherhood, led by the rough and violent Chains Cooper (Henriksen).

Under the alias John Stone, Joe — along his FBI contact, Lance, an uptight germophobe who does not exactly fit in with the biker crowd — have to deal with many trials and tribulations from the gang, and comes to learn that they are planning to assassinate a district attorney, Brent "The Whip" Whipperton, who is going to charge one of their members with murder.

This film has examples of:

  • Action Prologue: Huff thwarting a store robbery.
  • All Bikers are Hells Angels: The Brotherhood is a savagely violent Neo-Nazi biker gang that fights with the Mafia over control of the crank trade and plots to assassinate a hard-nosed District Attorney who pledged to crack down on their activities.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: In one of the first scenes of The Brotherhood, two Mooks are shooting cans off each other's heads. The first problem is that they're not standing alone or near a wall—there are crowds of other members on BOTH sides of them as they're firing live rounds. This is immediately outdone in the reckless department when one guy misses and whips out an Uzi and opens fire, somehow not hitting the other man nor the dozens of people on either side of him.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: It's a Pyrrhic Victory, since Huff and his fellow cops wipe them out for it, but The Brotherhood is nevertheless able to pull off their hit on the D.A. and all of the judges presiding over their case.
  • Bad Habits: The final shootout have Chains dressed as the courthouse's priest while firing his machine-gun all over the place.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Near its end, the movie makes it seem like Joe is going to brutally kill the unarmed Big Bad in cold blood. However, he just beats him up a bit (not enough, since he attacks him again soon afterwards) and then "fires" an empty gun at his head.
  • Big Bad: Chains Cooper, the leader of the Brotherhood.
  • Blown Across the Room: Anyone hit with a shotgun blast endures this trope. The opening credits sequence in particular shows a biker gang member in a church using a sawed-off shotgun to shoot a minister, who proceeds to fly into the air and through a stained glass window.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Literal example – Lance is the one who kills the Big Bad in the end.
  • Cowboy Cop: Huff is on suspension from police work due to using excessive violence against criminals.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Chains gives a gift of a fullface motorbike helmet to a couple of mafiosi at a restaurant. One says, "I don't ride", but then lifts up the visor to find the head of a colleague is inside.
  • Deadly Dodging: A rather impressive one in the final shootout. Joe is in a corridor atop the penthouse, and a motorcycle mook is charging towards him. Joe guns down said mook and does a Nonchalant Dodge as the motorcycle sped past him... through another window, where it crashes into one of the Brotherhood's helicopters. Cue explosion.
  • Destroy the Security Camera: The film opens with this as a CCTV POV pans across a supermarket until a grinning robber with a shotgun pops up into view and blasts it.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: There is some vague attraction between Joe and Nancy but Chains either figures out Joe's a cop and she wanted to defect from the Brotherhood or she told him, so he kills her right in front of Joe.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Joe fights The Dragon Ice (William Forsythe) halfway amidst a bike chase halfway through the movie.
  • The Dragon: Ice (William Forsythe) is this, as well as the Disc-One Final Boss.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Joe's introduction is rather odd, given that there is no way he was in the parking lot of the supermarket and didn't hear all that gunfire before he got his cart. However, he doesn't even blink once he realizes the market's being held up by armed men and quickly dispatches them all no problem.
  • Epunymous Title: In regards of the main character John Huff's alias, John Stone.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: In the street chase, a police car gets a number of bullets (fired from a machine-pistol) emptied through the windshield. Despite hitting nowhere near the engine or fuel tank, the car simply explodes just because.
  • Evil Laugh: Chains has a habit of laughing when nothing funny's been said or after he's done something atrocious.
  • Failure Hero: All of Huff's plans to stop the Brotherhood with proper police procedures fail, and while he shoots all the bad guys by the end, it is only after their big plan succeeded. He also fails to safely get Nancy out of the gang and turn her over as a material witness. She gets shot in the head for trusting him.
  • Fanservice: Our hero answers the door for Lance just wearing skimpy black briefs. Then Lance finds there's a beautiful woman in his bed.
    Joe: What's the matter, Lance? Haven't you ever seen one of those before?
    Lance: Yeah, but...not quite that well made.
    • The movie also never misses an opportunity to show the bimbos in the Brotherhood topless around their camp or at the bar. There's scene in a strip joint as well.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Kinda. There's a Mook whom Joe rescues during a bar fight who becomes very loyal to him. In the climax, one of the Brotherhood members is holding a woman hostage while Joe is around the corner. The Mook sacrifices himself distracting him and Joe is able to take the other guy out.
  • Idiot Ball: Not that ANY of these characters aren't morons, but Ice jumps to an epic conclusion after seeing Joe talk with one of the agents assigned to him. Keep in mind, the audience knows his coworker is an agent, but all Ice has seen is literally just Joe talking to a guy in a suit. He's not in or near a cop car or anything, but Ice jumps to that conclusion and speeds off on his bike to go tattle. This spurs Joe to chase after him and Ice eventually dies by crashing headfirst into an oncoming car. If he'd have kept his mouth shut and waited, he'd have been proven right when the background check from the dirty female cop reveals that Joe is a cop. What's even stupider is that calling out to Joe and alerting him to the fact that he saw what he thinks he saw. All he had to do was back up quietly, stroll on over to a pay phone, and call up Chains to tell him what he thought just went down.
  • Kill the Cutie: Beautiful Nancy (Arabella Holzbog) is killed by the Big Bad.
  • Made of Explodium: The scene with the motorcycle crashing into the helicopter in the climax.
    • Ice's bike gets knocked off course and runs headfirst into a regular car and explodes like he was made out of C-4.
  • Metaphorgotten: Please read and try to understand this actual line from Chains when Joe first shows up to join the Brotherhood: "This is either gonna be the biggest porkchop I ever ate...or my bulldozer."
  • Non-Actor Vehicle: This was the first film role for the American Football player Brian Bosworth.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Joe, possibly. There is a Confederate flag inside his van when he arrives at the Brotherhood rally, and he IS from Alabama. The film doesn't specify if he bought it in order to "fit in" or if he already owned it (the Brotherhood is a Neo-Nazi biker gang, so the former is certainly plausible).
  • Railing Kill: A few occurs in the final courtroom shootout, notably when one of Chain's mooks is shooting at the army from atop a balcony. Joe then appears on another adjacent balcony, and shoots the mook sending him falling three stories down the other side.
  • Rated M for Manly: The movie attempts this tone. It's got filthy, musclebound violent guys slugging it out, shooting at each other, motorcycle races, and every single woman is treated like a whore or a trophy.
  • Romantic False Lead: Nancy. Joe gravitates towards her for a bit until she finds out he's an undercover cop from an unbelievably dumb mistake when the DEA hails him over the radio during an attempted drug bust and she's sitting in the cab with him. Afterward, it's implied she either told on him or Chains got wise. Either way, Chains blows her head off right in front of Joe after confirming he's a cop.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Joe tells Nancy that he is an undercover cop in a sarcastic tone that makes her dismiss this true statement as a lie.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Chains alludes to this by telling one of his soon-to-be-murder victims that " moments like this I think of my father's last words, which were... 'Don't, son! That gun is loaded!'"
  • Stupid Evil: The Brotherhood wants to murder the D.A. for pledging to crack down on their activities. The crackdown isn't in response to their drug running or warring with the local mafia, but is instead the direct result of the gang bringing tons of unnecessary heat on themselves by murdering judges, clergymen and National Guardsmen, often just for shits and giggles.
  • Unconventional Smoothie: Huff makes a smoothie out of all sorts of odd ingredients (vegetables, raw eggs, orange juice, candy bars, etc.), but it turns out to just be food for his pet monitor lizard. Even so, most of those ingredients are bad for Asian water monitors.
  • William Telling: During a Brotherhood meeting, Ice and some other biker take turns to do this to each other with beer cans. It ends with Ice whipping out an uzi to do the shooting, which somehow results in no fatalities.