Brian “The Boz” Bosworth wasn’t the action hero Oklahoma needed, but the action hero Oklahoma deserved.
The 1991 action flick Stone Cold may not have been necessarily made in Oklahoma, but its star definitely was. Born in Oklahoma City and raised in Dallas, the Boz was a perfect storm of every white trash Okie stereotype — black leather dusters, acid-washed Zubaz, OU football pedigree, neon wraparound shades and an Aryan mullet so thick and pure Wagner should’ve written an aria dedicated to it — all fusing together to create the perfect box-office weapon.
While the Boz was best known on the football field as a juiced-up rebel who played by his own rules, it was only obvious that his character in Stone Cold, Joe Huff, would have to be just as bad to the bone. This disdain for authority is firmly established by the opening scene where he mixes orange juice, a couple of Snickers bars, some Lay’s, a banana and eggs in a blender and feeds it to his pet Komodo effing dragon. Sure it’s a meal that will undoubtedly kill this rare and endangered beast, but it was probably an impulse purchase and the Boz ain’t got no time for taking the proper courses in Komodo dragon care:
Currently on suspension for using excessive force, because he has a record for the most motorcycle-related busts in Southern history, the FBI decides he’s the man for the job to go undercover and infiltrate a white supremacist biker gang known as the Brotherhood, led by Lance Henriksen at his most Valley Brookish—seriously, somewhere right now on S. Hattie a kid is waking up and finding out this dude is his new stepdad.
Now these Brotherhood fellas are some real bad dudes; they make the Sons of Anarchy look like, I don’t know, my illegitimate son’s pre-school class. They’re a bunch of Dixie Beer swillin’ degenerates who don’t give a good gosh-darn about anything and to prove it, they shoot a priest at point-blank range in the face during a baptism, splashing a thick layer of Christian blood all over the baby and her doting parents.
On the case and determined to stop these infernal cherubs, Huff is rechristened John Stone—as in Stone Cold, get it?—a bad-ass biker who shaves his chest and rubs it down with oils to glisten in the hot Alabama sun, strapping on a black leather vest and the tightest ass-hugging pair of Z. Cavariccis possible, managing to worm his way into the gang by beating down some drunk truckers at a strip club where a Faster Pussycat tribute band is playing.
Communing together on a massive compound that’s a cross between the bathroom of Cat Baloo’s II and Elohim City, Henriksen immediately takes a shine to the plucky don’t-give-an-eff Huff, something that truly hurts the feelings of William Forsythe’s Ice, his sweaty and greasy second-in-command. (Other biker nicknames include Vitamin, Hooter and Gut, by the way.) Ice, ironically enough, is melted in a fiery explosion during one of the flick’s many masterful action sequences.
Somehow the mafia gets involved, $1 million dollars’ worth of a street-drug called P2P is stolen and there’s an attempt to assassinate a sassy Southern D.A. named Brent “The Whip” Whipperton. None of it makes too much sense and every single line of dialog is read like the preamble between two dudes who about to engage in violent foreplay with each other, as if it was pieced together from the cutting-room scenes of Cruising, but man, if it isn’t a fun ride the whole way filled with plenty of full-throttle kills and a high-octane body count that makes this one of most over-looked action spectacles of the 90s.
Sadly, the movie was a total bomb in theaters, subsequently ending the Boz’s cinema career before it could even begin, relegating him to a life of straight-to-video garbage like One Man’s Justice (where he plays cop on the edge Brick Justice), Back in Business (where he plays cop on the edge Denim Business) and one season as an XFL commentator.
Still, in a few weeks, the Boz makes his triumphant return to the big-screen in the third installment of The Expendables franchise, essaying the role of, who else, Stone Cold. Let’s raise our cans of Dixie in hopes that, by now, Oklahoma has collectively forgiven him for that whole whistle-blowing Barry Switzer and helping to get him fired thing. I know I have.
Stone Cold is currently out of print but DVDs can still be purchased for around 60 bucks a pop on Amazon. You can follow Louis Fowler on Twitter at @LouisFowler.