A second outing for narrator-hero Stoney Winston, would-be L.A. filmmaker (Double Exposure)--again featuring seedily convincing movie-biz atmosphere, a jaunty-to-cutesy tone, and a fragile, so-so plot. This time Stoney, a veteran production manager, is hired (for a grand total of $2250) to help out on location during the last three weeks of filming on Cycles from Hell. But everything about the low-budget production smells. The nouveau-fiche producer seems willing to overspend grotesquely, especially in payments to the Hell's Angels types who are providing backgrounds and extras. (Is he angling for a big tax write-off?) On the other hand, someone seems bent on sabotaging the production. And Stoney becomes more and more intent on figuring things out as he becomes more involved in improving the movie itself: he rewrites the script when the star is ""accidentally"" injured; he brings in his old pal Scuzzy (a slobbo-hulk on the outside, a sensitive sophisticate within) to take over the lead role; and he wins the confidence of talented, fledgling director Diane (a thorny sort) while also being seduced by a comely biker's moll. The thin scenario here seems more suited to short-story than full-length novel. And Stinson's ironic manner slips over into puerility whenever Stoney has imaginary confabs with Orson Wells and other soulmates. Still: a painless diversion for connoisseurs of non-glitz Hollywood ambiance--from front-office sleaze to back-lot camaraderie.