Blu-ray Review: THE STONE KILLER

THE STONE KILLER is based on the novel “A Complete State of Death” by John Gardner. The 1973 crime-thriller was directed by Michael Winner from a screenplay by Gerald Wilson and stars Charles Bronson, Martin Balsam, Jack Colvin, Paul Koslo, Norman Fell, David Sheiner, and Stuart Margolin. The score is by Roy Budd.

Star Charles Bronson and director Michael Winner (The Mechanic) team up again in The Stone Killer (1973), the tale of a tough cop (Bronson) up against a Mafia plot to avenge a decades-old massacre. The twist: the Don (Martin Balsalm) is using Vietnam vets as his hit men. John Gardner’s book was adapted by Gerald Wilson, and the score is from Roy Budd.

The movie follows Lou Torrey (Charles Bronson), a tough as nails street detective who has to trade in his home turf of Los Angeles to the gritty streets of New York as punishment for being too tough on the criminals. Let’s just say he likes to fight and has his own violent methods when it comes to the bad guys. He gets put on a case that ultimately leads him to Al Vescari (Martin Balsam), a Sicilian Mafia Don who is plotting revenge on a rival gang for something that happened years earlier. The majority of the watch has Torrey chasing down prime suspects and henchmen where he is slowly able to put the pieces of the puzzle together that places him right on the heals of the man calling the shots. Torrey is ruthless when it comes to taking down anyone he sets his eyes on and doesn’t stop until he gets his man.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, an image, a few quotes, and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features more artwork for the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features artwork that matches the front cover. Inside is a booklet from Twilight Time that includes more images from the movie, some nice words about The Stone Killer by Julie Kirgo and the original artwork on the back. You can see the front cover of the booklet down below. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. This is a really good upgrade by the Twilight Time gang!

Bottom line is, The Stone Killer ended up being an exciting first time watch for me. Charles Bronson and Michael Winner worked together one year earlier on The Mechanic and a year later on Death Wish and both of these movies have gone on to garner their own cult status and even remakes. Needless to say these two make a great team when it comes to action movies. This lessor known 1973 crime-thriller throws Bronson’s “tough guy” character right in the middle of a mob boss’s plot to settle an old score with a rival mafia. The revenge and carnage does take place but in the end he gets his man among several others who got in his way during the process. Charles Bronson was the real deal back in the day and was a true Hollywood tough guy! I thought the story was interesting and all of the characters were easy to follow. I noticed several familiar faces in the movie so I guess back in the day certain actors were the go-to guys for many theatrical and television productions. This gritty crime-thriller featured some action scenes that included fights and cars chases and a little of the red stuff to go along with it. By the way, what did they use for blood back then, paint? This Blu-ray is now available and has a limited edition of 3,000 units and is worth adding to your Twilight Time collection.

Distributor: Twilight Time

Run Time: 95 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition (1.85:1) Region Free (A/B/C)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features:

  • Isolated Music Track
  • Audio Commentary with Bronson Biographer Paul Talbot
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (02:35)


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