Unfortunately the closest I ever got to realizing this profound ambition were the many times I threw myself off of perfectly good rooftops and buried the needle of my Chevy Nova. At a tender age Hal Needham became my idol with SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT (1977) and CANNONBALL RUN (1981). Sure, they are considered classics of a sort, but they made a big impression on me and subsequently I've felt that any movie made by a stunt man is a good movie. I'm sure you agree. When talking about stunts in movies, there is one name that springs to mind. Bond, James Bond. Becoming obsessed with the stunt work in the Bond films is as easy as a southern belle on prom night. Some of the best stunts in the motion picture industry were in Bond films and it took some pretty amazing stunt people to pull them off. One of those people is German-born skiing expert Willy Bogner.
When I say thinly plotted, what I mean is virtually no plot at all really. The closest thing that Bogner ever got to a plot was the sequel to his hugely successful ski-stunt film FIRE AND ICE (1986), titled FIRE, ICE AND DYNAMITE. As you can see, it's one better.
A wealthy industrialist, Sir George (Roger Moore), has found himself on the wrong end of his accountants when they discover that all of his tree-hugging philanthropy has left him in debt to literally dozens of major corporations. Sir George loves rhinos and tells his accountants that (I am not making this up) "saving these rain-forests just might save our planet." He says this right before throwing himself out of a Leer jet at altitude, without a parachute. You'd think he could have picked a less risky or dramatic way of faking his own death, but where's the fun in that? This provides the first big stunt scene in which Sir George, plummeting to Earth, is met mid-air by a couple of parachutists who have brought an extra chute for him. Nothing left to chance, you see.
After his artificial demise all of his creditors are gathered along with his three bastard children, a snotty rich git, Stephan (Stefan Glowacz, a professional rock climber); a pop singer with an attitude, Lucy (Connie De Groot, a professional pop singer); and the flamboyantly gay Alexander (Simon Shepherd, a professional actor). During the reading of the will a pre-recorded video is played with Sir George stating that the vast sum of his estate totaling a rather pitiful $135 million dollars would be paid out to the winner of his new race, the Megathon. Consisting of a massive, intense course over the Alps, the competitors will assemble teams and climb, skate, ski, bicycle, snowboard, bungee jump, kayak, hang-glide, paraglide and drive their way to victory using any means necessary.
Lucy: "You must be good at something."
Alex: "Curling, I suppose."
Lucy: "On ice?"
Alex: "No dear, with heated rollers."
Fortunately moments like those are well spaced out. So well spaced out that it's easy to forget about them until the next one pops up. Did I mention this movie has stunts? It is essentially a whole mess of insane stunt-work set to music, which pretty much describes Bogner's cinematic repertoire, but it moves so fast and is so well produced, you never feel like you are watching a "sports video."
Windsurfing champion Robby Naish
Champion Alpine skier Frank Wörndl
Olympic yachtsman Dennis Conner
Champion Formula 1 drivers Niki Lauda and Keke Rosberg
Champion rally driver Walter Röhrl
Tennis champion Erich Scherer
Olympic speed skater Günter Traub
German pop star Jennifer Rush
Global icon Buzz Aldrin (yes, the Buzz Aldrin)
Global icon Isaac Hayes (yes, the Isaac Hayes).
Not to mention German uber-actors Siegfried Rauch, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Ursula Karven and Osman Ragheb. Best off all, Marjoe Gortner stars as the race announcer! Oh and Shari Belafonte is in it too, for some reason. Phew! Did I miss anyone?
|I'll bet my Atari cartridge that this guy went to the hospital|