Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Linda Blair Week: Roller Boogie

Well hello again and welcome back to Day 2 of Linda Blair Week. This time around we move back to the time era of roller rinks and disco music. For those that do not care for either can bog off and move on. We observe a film that held auditions of over 300 skaters to work on the film but ultimately only 50 were cast. In addition to this movie, roller skating champion Jim Bray was hired as a stunt skater only to become the leading man next to Linda Blair. This is Roller Boogie.

Okay, she looks like she is having fun.

Wealthy socialites Lillian (Beverly Garland of D.O.A., Swamp Diamonds, Gunslinger, It Conquered the World, Not of This Earth, Decoy and The Alligator People) and Roger Barkley (Roger Perry of Arrest and Trial, Count Yorga, Vampire, The Thing with Two Heads, Barnaby Jones, The Facts of Life, Falcon Crest and Dirty Love) have overall ignored their daughter aside from she goes to Juilliard as a flautist (One that plays the flute) and must succeed to the highest plateau. 

Definitely grooving.

Unfortunately, daughter Terry (Linda Blair of Sweet Hostage, Stranger in Our House, Wild Horse Hank, Ruckus, Hell Night, Chained Heat, Savage Streets, Chicken Soup for the Soul, S Club 7 in L.A., and Monster Makers) has aspirations to have fun versus study, study and more study as she and her snooty friend Lana (Kimberly Beck of Massacre at Central High, Eight Is Enough, Zuma Beach, and Friday the 13th The Final Chapter) hit the broadwalk via Venice Beach. Terry notices Bobby James (Jim Bray of Roller Boogie) out with another girl but clearly our boy took in Terry with a long lasting glance. The two start developing a relationship in spite of their social standings being so different they have found a mutual love of disco and roller skating. Terry offers Bobby money so she can complete and win the Roller Disco contest at the skating place Jammers.

Like Hell Night, it wouldn't be 70s to 80s without a Van Patten (It was a Hollywood rule in the day) as Jimmy Van Patten (Lunch Wagon, Young Warriors, For Love and Honor, The Flunky Saw IV, Saw VI and Saw 3D: The Final Chapter) as Hoppy, Bobby's buddy from Venice Beach. I am still reeling from street name/nickname Hoppy.

I know, I know. Where's the twist in all of this? Pipe down and I will tell you. It looks as though Jammers is to be bought out by some shady mobster cats that will most likely tear down Jammers and make it a night club or some other means to launder ill-gotten gains. Terry and Bobby have to put the kibosh on this somehow with the aid of their friends and get that incriminating evidence to the cops before they're all wearing cement overshoes.

This film has it all. A vibrant cast, a great soundtrack and a kind of wholesome story about life is never what you think it will be. Now some will view this a mushy throwback but I like think of it as a pleasant reminder that these stories hold weight. From director Mark L. Lester of such cheese like: Gold of the Amazon Women, Class of 1984 also brought us Firestarter, Commando and Class of 1999 so it takes all kind to move a picture. Plus Earth, Wind and Fire is on the soundtrack. I'd watch a splatter fest flick if you can guarantee me Earth, Wind and Fire. Granted I could have done with less men in terry cloth shorts but I review a lot of 70s to 80s horror flicks and that is a constant.

John Holmes, is that you?