Saturday, August 9, 2008

Roller Boogie (Mark L. Lester, 1979)

Just when I thought that I had consumed every last morsel of yummy goodness that the 1970s had to offer, along comes a cinematic master work so potent, so purifying, so funky, that I literally got down on my hands and knees and thanked the unseen overlords who inhabit the warm and gooey confines of my easily-impressed heart for allowing me to witness such an unequivocal work of art. In Roller Boogie (a.k.a. Roller Fever), a perfect amalgamation of pulsating disco beats and balletic roller skating if I ever saw one, acclaimed directer Mark L. Lester (Class of 1984 and Class of 1999) has made a bold and audacious statement. You see, by making a film that is predominantly made up of montages, the cagey filmmaker has created what I like to call: A silent movie with sound. Hurdling the story towards its gratifying, fist-pump-worthy, super-awesome conclusion, these montages helped flesh out the characters without the nagging hassles that come with reciting dialogue. However, when the characters do speak, it's a rich tapestry of sentences and words. The script writing person (Barry Schneider) could have easily had the actors just verbalize guttural noises and it wouldn't have taken anything away from the film's majestic splendour. But this movie ain't about cutting corners. Uh-uh, it's about romance, friendship, syntax, integrity and personal autonomy. That, and the finding of ones self while gliding around in crotch-confining short-shorts.

The story centres around Terry Barkley (Linda Blair), a bored flautist who is tired of her rich, ineffectual parents. So, one day, she grabs her skates, puts on her sexiest pair of light blue shorts–with matching leotard, three loopy bracelets and a red belt tie the ensemble together, hops into her Excalibur Phaeton, picks up her well-groomed gal pal (Kimberly Beck), and heads down to Venice Beach to skate her gorgeously aerobicizied butt off.

There she meets Bobby James (played by ultimate where-are-the-now candidate Jim Bray) and his motley band of boogie-woogie skating enthusiasts. The brash Bobby pursues her romantically–you know, because he's a sane man with a functioning set of eyeballs. While Terry wants Bobby to teach her to skate well enough so she can enter Jammer's Roller Boogie Contest.

Complicating matters is Terry's parents, who disapprove of her new lifestyle, and a shady land developer who wants to turn the roller rink into a shopping centre.

Will Terry and Bobby be able to stave off a gang of malignant crooks, appease her fuddy-duddy parents, and save their beloved roller rink from demolition in time for them to win boogie gold? I don't want to spoil the ending or anything like that, but let's just say my fist, and most of my arm was being thrust upwardly in a celebratory manner near the end.

The throbbing disco soundtrack was an amazing showcase for the much maligned style of music, and the limb-twisting agility displayed during roller antics were wonderfully realized. But who am I kidding? It's Linda Blair that makes Roller Boogie really soar.

You'd have to been born without genitals or a complete moron not to receive any enjoyment from the sight of Linda Blair skating around in tight-fitting outfits of every colour imaginable; her glimmering, deliciously substantive thighs basking in the warm California sun.

Far-fetched as it may sound, but Linda's acting is just as astounding as her first-class organic structure. The adolescent boozehound from Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic shows a new-found maturity as Terry. Playful, yet dead serious at times, she imbues her delusional drama queen with enough moxie to fill a travel-size tube of toothpaste.



  1. Your screen captures here make a strong case that this is the greatest movie ever made. I am currently exploring the Linda Blair labyrinth of great movies -- of which "Chained Heat" and "Savage Streets" rank high.

    This, however, needs to be next on my to-rent list.

  2. I agree with your review of Roller Boogie (What's the tagline: "It's love on wheels!"). I used to have a copy of this on v.h.s. Yes, watch this film for Linda Blair who was at the pinnacle of her hotness and the (Earth, Wind, And Fire's) Boogie Wonderland roller skating montage. That scene (which you had the good sense to post) is thee best thing ever!!!

  3. Linda Blair is so beautiful, especially in this movie.

  4. Her gorgeousness is off the charts in Roller Boogie.

  5. Yeah, I had the biggest crush on her a few years adorable and cute...Albeit, Im much-much younger then her...

  6. Yeah, Linda Blair: C-U-T-E!!! She was also cute as can be in Exorcist 2- The Heretic. I had a crush on her something fierce about 10 years ago....I discovered this lil doll later on so I'm much younger then her. But I'd have to say Linda is overall, my ideal girl...

  7. Here's the soundtrack;

  8. does anybody know what kind of toe stops does terry have on her skates ?


  10. Hello Yum Yum, Brad here. Thought you'd like to know that Roller Boogie, complete with Linda Blair's gorgeous thighs (sigh!!) is making its way to Blu-ray on July 7th, 2015, courtesy of Olive Films.
    Here's a link to my Home Theater Forum article: