Introducing: Roller Boogie (1979)

It’s been a couple of long, busy weeks. So busy in fact that I haven’t had a chance to sit back and relax and watch a movie. Next up on my streaming queue was a nostalgic film categorized as a musical called, Roller Boogie. OH boy was I in for something interesting. Let me say first that while I was a wee little one during this time of roller skating and disco, I find it hard to believe that the roller skating fad was this big. Let alone have  104 minutes dedicated to the “sport”. So hang on, I’ve taken notes and highlighted all the important details so that you can watch it on fast forward mode. You’ll thank me for it, and you can use the extra time saved to choreograph a beautiful skating routine as a tribute to this film.

Streaming on: Netflix

Directed by: Mark Lester

Starring: Linda Blair, Jim Bray, Beverly Garland, James Van Patten

Rated: PG

Tagline: It’s Love on Wheels!      (And crap on film!)

Number of Choreographed Musical Skate Numbers: 7

Skating  extraordinaire and *chuckle* Olympic hopeful *chuckle*, Bobby James leads a group of friends up and down the Venice Beach boardwalk showing off their rollerskating skills. And then, there’s Terry, and she is the typical teenager who thinks her parents just don’t understand her and won’t pay attention to her. The only thing that she loves to do is skate. So she runs away to prove her point. Terry is a musical prodigy who has been accepted into a prestiges arts school. She meets up with Bobby, plays hard to get, and then whores herself out to him all in a couple of days. She “hires” Bobby to teach her how to dance on skates in hopes that they can enter a Roller Boogie contest hosted by their favorite skating rink. During their practice together, they overhear an evil scheme from a ruthless developer to close and burn down the rink to build a mall.

What you Would Miss:

  • Opening “dance/skate” number – Hell on Wheels. Was California that culturally diverse in the 70’s?
  • You should know better than to make out with your girl with your skates on.
  • Now that’s an outfit that would make Rainbow Bright jealous!
  • What happened to the rest of Phones’ shorts? One skate trick and he’s liable to fall out of his britches.
  • Apparently no one is allowed on Venice Beach without a pair of skates.
  • Hey those guys must have stolen my yellow shorts from middle school gym class.
  • Did the skating rinks really look like the late 70’s? Since when did walking on your hands become a skating skill? Who knew the couple skate ended up as an orgy on wheels.
  • Since when is roller skating an Olympic sport?
  • Ahhh…cassette tapes, anyone remember those? And oh my god, did I just see a record!
  • Linda Blair is a fast mover, and not just on her skates.
  • Nice car phone.
  • Perhaps she shouldn’t have had that big breakfast. Get her up there Bobby, you’ve been hitting the weights!
  • So when did the Jackson 5 break up and start skating?
  • Oh that Terry and her faulty wheel. Always something to smile and laugh about. Nevermind the thirty skater pileup she caused as a result.
  • Heavies at a roller rink, and they mean business. Take the money and run, take the money!
  • Plaid suit jacket and polka dotted button up shirt. Now that’s fashion!
  • Ladies, if you’re wearing a white dress, you must jump into the pool. I think I just saw some granny panties.
  • How nice to give Jammer a private one man show. One might wonder what Bobby wants out of the deal, but I think his bedazzled shirt says it all.
  • Hey Bobby, Mork from Ork called and wants his pair of suspenders back.
  • What? Can bad guys not see two kids with bright red helmets on their heads hanging onto their vehicle behind them? Perfect spot for some really bad dubbing.
  • Nice to see the policeman from the Village People get some work.
  • Hot Damn, let the Roller Boogie contest begin!
  • The most interesting Picture in a Picture effect I’ve probably ever seen. Full screen action with hot dog shaped video inlays.
  • Reminds me of Saturday Night Fever on wheels.
  • Linda Blair’s outfit contest outfit looks like she dropped a bowl of spaghetti noodles in her lap.
  • I have a felling that the judges panel might be more than a little bit biased.
  • Cue bad acting for ending…and scene!

Quotable Quotes:

“Roller Skating? Seriously. Next thing you’ll have me surfing or some such horrendous thing.”

“Franklin! I swear, you have more hands than a poker game.”

“Keep the change, Bobby James.”

“I’ll be back when I get here.”

“I just wanted someone to hold me, was that too much to ask for?”

“I was being a real bitch and you were handy.”

“You just tip Mr. John, or whoever’s doing you, and come home.”

“How are you doing there, Twin Peaks. Are you ready for some mountain climbing?”

Ugh…cheesy, corny, stupid, and I could list more, but it would be like roller skating in circles. The acting was bad but the material that they were given to work with wasn’t much either. Thank god that gone are the days of really high and tight shorts and suspenders on shirtless guys. I really don’t mind if the girls continued to wear those outfits that their chests were about to burst out of, but oh that hair…Yikes. And oh this film. I wasn’t expecting much to begin with and it sure didn’t fail to live up to those standards. The plot was very much contrived and left a lot to be desired. In fact, didn’t we see a similar storyline years later without the skates called, Breakin’ 2: American Bugaloo? And yes, it was equally as awful. Despite the spinning, triple lutzing, break dancing, hand jiving, and pornographic poses on skates, this movie drops and rolls over 4 turds on the skating rink floor. Probably had a niche back in the day, but obviously does not hold up well.

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3 thoughts on “Introducing: Roller Boogie (1979)

  1. mistylayne says:

    This sounds AMAZING. Also, when I was a kid I went roller skating every week. It was like the coolest thing to do and I could totally skate backwards and stuff. Roller skating was HUGE. Hilariously enough, I tried roller blading in high school and fell on my ass and almost got hit by a car. True story.

    • I was never really big into roller skating and especially not like this cast. I can’t imagine the hilarity that would ensue if I tried skating backwards, not to mention the number of innocent bystanders and children that would be injured as a result.
      Thanks for visiting the site!

  2. […] Oh no! Not a another Roller Skate movie! I’ve already suffered through this once already – Roller Boogie! […]

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