Steve Railsbach as a fugitive-turned-stunt fugitive-turned-stunt fugitive-turned-stunt fugitive-turned-stunt fugitive-turned-stunt man gingerly prepares to jump 'Stunt Man' bizarre By WILLIAM WOLF Special to The Press "THE STUNT MAN" is certainly one of the most unusual films of the year. It pulsates pulsates with energy and a maniacal undercurrent undercurrent that makes us wonder about illusion and reality while entertaining us with characters locked into the business of risking risking lives for the sake of moviemaking. On the surface this is a story of a fugitive fugitive who is inadvertently involved in the death of a stunt man who drowns when he drives a car off a bridge. The director, played by Peter O'Toole, is intrigued with the fugitive and gives him shelter by having him pose as the dead stunt man and taking on the same job. Steve Railsback is virile and interesting as Cameron, the man on the run, and O'- O'- Movie Review Toole gives a smashingly entertaining, larger-than-life larger-than-life larger-than-life larger-than-life larger-than-life performance as Eli, the director, who is god-like god-like god-like in his behavior, and has a grand time manipulating everyone for his own purposes. Cameron soon gets the impression impression that Eli is really trying to kill him. Is he or isn't he? The stage is thus set for plenty of action and suspense, plus some romance when Cameron becomes involved with the leading lady (Barbara Hershey.) The build-up build-up build-up is toward toward a repeat of the stunt that resulted in the death, with Cameron being briefed on how to escape from the car underwater. Director Richard Rush approaches the from a building in "The Stunt Man." but good film with zest and packs it with funny situ tions and some wild stunt work that is both eye-catching eye-catching eye-catching and uproarious. There is a fine sense of the moviemaking world, and that in itself makes the film enjoyable. By keeping the suggestion of menace near the surface and intertwining this with the comedy, Rush creates an off-the-wall off-the-wall off-the-wall off-the-wall off-the-wall atmosphere that keeps us guessing as to what's afoot. What's real? What's imagined? Is life the same as making a movie? There are also strong antiwar antiwar undercurrents, as the film being shot is about war, and Cameron has a history of having been in Vietnam. "The Stunt Man" is uneven, and it sometimes sometimes is a case of energy triumphing over the material, but O'Toole is so remarkable and the milieu is so bizarre that this is a good audience picture, and a refreshing change of pace from some of the other fare that is around. Rated R.