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Stone Cold (1991 film)

Stone Cold is a 1991 action film directed by Craig R. Baxley. That centers on a biker gang that tries to assassinate the district attorney and free one of their members who is on trial for murder. The film marked the acting debut of 1980s football star Brian Bosworth.[3][4][5][6]

Stone Cold
Film poster for Stone Cold
Directed byCraig R. Baxley
Produced by
Written byWalter Doniger
Music bySylvester Levay
CinematographyAlexander Gruszynski
Edited byMark Helfrich
Stone Group Pictures
Vision International
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
May 17, 1991
Running time
95 min.
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million[1]
Box office$9.1 million[2]

The film bombed financially at the box office, grossing $9 million on its $25 million budget.[1][2]


Joe Huff is tough Alabama cop who is frustrated with a system that handles criminals with kid gloves. Currently, Joe is on suspension for displaying excessive violence toward criminals. After stopping a supermarket robbery, Joe is summoned by Agent Cunningham, whom he meets in a vacant underground parking garage. Cunningham proceeds to blackmail Joe into going undercover, by threatening to turn his three-week suspension into six months without pay.

Cunningham wants Joe to go undercover in Mississippi and infiltrate "The Brotherhood," a white supremacist biker gang linked to the murders of government officials and suspected of dealing drugs to the mafia. The Brotherhood is led by a violent psychopath named Chains Cooper.

Joe reluctantly accepts and goes undercover as "John Stone", but his job is not easy. His FBI contact, Lance, is a germophobe who does not exactly fit in with the biker crowd, and the members of the Brotherhood, especially Chains, have their suspicions about "John Stone", who has seemingly come out of nowhere to get a piece of their action.

Charged with killing a man as his initiation, Huff enlists the FBI's help to carefully fake the murder and is accepted into the Brotherhood. However, Chains's right-hand man Ice Hensley, does not trust Huff and eventually tries to expose him, leading to Ice's death in a high-speed motorcycle chase.

During the operation, Huff learns that the Brotherhood's ultimate goal is to eliminate Brent "The Whip" Whipperton, a District Attorney running for Governor of Mississippi, who has promised to crack down on crime within the state. They plan to use a cache of stolen military weapons to storm the Supreme Court, where one of their own is on trial for murder, and assassinate both Whipperton and the judge presiding over the case.

When Chains' girlfriend Nancy accidentally learns about Huff's identity, he confides in her, explaining that he can grant her immunity if she cooperates with the FBI. Though resistant at first, Nancy accepts his offer, but the operation fails when the man Huff had supposedly killed to gain admission to the Brotherhood suddenly returns. In retaliation, Chains shoots and kills Nancy, but plans to do away with Huff in a more spectacular fashion, by strapping a bomb to his chest and throwing him from a helicopter en route to the courthouse.

Huff manages to fight his way free and commandeer the chopper, then takes the fight inside the courthouse, where a melee erupts between the Brotherhood and the local police. Although the Brotherhood succeeds in its plan to eliminate Whipperton, Huff battles his way through the ranks of the gang until finally coming face-to-face with Chains.

Huff easily wins the fight and leaves the gang leader in police custody, but Chains suddenly breaks free and steals an officer's gun, intending to shoot Huff. A gunshot is heard, and Chains abruptly falls to the ground, having been shot by Huff's partner Lance. Huff then marches stoically from the courthouse.



Original cut was rated NC-17 because of the violence, it was cut down for R rating. An uncut version was never released and no information about what was cut is known.

In Q&A with audience after a special 35mm screening of the film in Austin's Alamo Drafthouse in 2014, Brian Bosworth talked about how original director of the movie was fired due to some "personal issues that he couldn't control which poured out on set", and his firing caused all the original backstory for Bosworth's character to be removed and changed after Craig R. Baxley was hired to direct. About 4 weeks of filming were therefore spent on scenes with Bosworth's character and his family (wife, child, and sister), which in the end were completely removed, and $4 million were spent on production expenses.


The film garnered poor reviews from critics.[7][8][9][10][11] Rotten Tomatoes reports an positive score of 25% based on 8 reviews, with an average rating of 4.75/10.[12] Brian Bosworth's performance in the film earned him a Razzie Award nomination for Worst New Star.

The film was a box office flop, drawing $2.8 million in its first week.[13] It eventually made $9 million domestically.[14]


  1. ^ a b Weinstein, Steve (1991-03-03). "MOVIESĀ : The New Land of BozĀ : Football wasn't big enough for Brian Bozworth, says sports agent Gary Wichard, but Hollywood is just the ticket". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  2. ^ a b "Stone Cold (1991)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  3. ^ "The Boz Aims For Film Fame". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  4. ^ Bates, James (1991-06-10). "But Spell the Movie B-O-M-B". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  5. ^ Warren, James (1991-04-04). "Muscling in Brian Bosworth says it's time to retire Hollywood's over-the-hill gang". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  6. ^ "Hollywood's New Action Toys". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  7. ^ "Stone Cold". Entertainment Weekly. 1991-05-31. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  8. ^ "Stone Cold". Washington Post. 1991-05-21. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  9. ^ Holden, Stephen (1991-05-18). "Review/Film; A Football Star's Debut With Drug-Dealing Bikers". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  10. ^ Wilmington, Michael (1991-05-20). "MOVIE REVIEWS It's a Bad, Bad, Bad Movie as Boz Busts Up Bad Boy Bikers". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  11. ^ Florence, Mal (1991-05-28). "He's on Different Stage, Reviews Are the Same". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  12. ^ "Stone Cold (1991) Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  13. ^ O'Neil, Danny (2010-08-14). "The search for Brian Bosworth". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  14. ^ Meyers, Kate (1996-07-26). "No Boz Like Show Boz". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-12-20.

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