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A loving tribute to a thankless career that is worth a watch
Danger God is a fascinating look at a life that is not often thought if let alone examined, that being the life of a 1950s and 60s, b movie stuntman. They did crazy things for "fifty bucks and a baloney sandwich." Besides the obligatory scenes from several films, the production quality is pretty bare bones with interviews taking place in living rooms or offices and the audio varies in volume at times. But this approach suits the b movie content just fine with the behind the scenes stories and examination of the filmmaking at the time ultimately being what matters here and both offer fascinating and educational insights.
The segment that features the famed Spahn Ranch, the location used in a number of 1950s and 60s Westerns, is especially compelling. Kent talks about paying Charles Manson in advance to fix his broken down car. When Manson didn't do it, Kent warned him that his friend John "Bud" Cardos would kick his ass if he didn't. This is a very familiar scene for anyone whose seen Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Gary Kent is said to be one of the stuntmen of the time whom Tarantino based Brad Pitt's character, Cliff Booth.
While the first half of the film largely focuses on Gary's stunt work and film career, the second half wanders quite a bit and is a departure from the first half. It shifts to Gary's modern day life with a lot of it being sad yet touching, but I can't say all of the second half works as it feels like a completely separate film. B movies they may be, but stuntmen like Gary Kent and the filmmakers of these films loved movies and creating this entertainment for people. There's definitely an art form to being a stuntman and these people go largely unrecognized. Danger God is a nice love letter to the profession and b movie, drive in hey day and is definitely worth a watch.
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