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Right Into the Danger Zone With the Danger Gods

Fantastic Fest and AFS present the kings of classic stunts

By Richard Whittaker, 4:39PM, Mon. Sep. 16, 2013

Going, going, gone: Danger god Barry Sargent will be part of an Austin Film Society celebration of the art of the stunt
Going, going, gone: Danger god Barry Sargent will be part of an Austin Film Society celebration of the art of the stunt

Who are the Danger Gods? They are the gods of hellfire, and they'll teach you to burn. Safely, of course. Austin Film Society and Fantastic Fest are teaming up for an evening with some of the greatest American stuntmen ever.

AFS has announced that on Sept. 27 they will be hosting Dinner with the Danger Gods, a chance to hear five of the greatest stunt coordinators who ever committed carnage to celluloid reminisce about their lives in danger's crosshairs. The gods will be in Austin for Fantastic Fest, but this is the Austin film-loving community's opportunity to see them without a badge.

The lineup includes a quintet of the most bone-shattering, risk-taking, safety-minded maniacs in the history of cinema. That includes John "Bud" Cardos, who was not only the go-to stunt guy for a succession of biker movies, but also had his own stints behind the lens as director of no-budget exploiters like The Day Time Ended and the tarantulatastic Kingdom of the Spiders (starring the mighty William Shatner.)

He's not the only danger god as famous for his direction as for his derring-do. Chuck Bail fired a double-barrel blast of blacksploitation with Black Samson and Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold before spending much of the Eighties and Nineties as a TV action show regular.

They'll be joined by Bobby Sargent, who made Burt Reynolds look like a badass in Smokey and the Bandit before stunt coordinating a plethora of American classics, from First Blood to Weekend at Bernie's (he also pulled double duty for Richard Linklater, making the mayhem safe on Dazed and Confused and Waking Life.)

Revving the engine for stunt drivers will be Bob Ivy: A regular on horror sets, he's been Don Coscarelli's go-to wheel man since Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead. And taking the last vaunted seat in this pantheon of daredevils will be Gary Kent, whose 54-year career in Hollywood has seen him work with every action star from Robert Vaughn to Bruce Willis.

When the five are assembled, AFS promises us a night of a "couple of hours of charbroiled meat, drinks, reminiscence, true stories, tall tales, and life advice."


AFS and Fantastic Fest present Dinner With the Danger Gods, Sept. 27, 8pm, at the Marchesa Hall & Theatre, 6226 Middle Fiskville. For more details, visit www.austinfilm.org.

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