Roller Boogie (1979) Poster

(1979)

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3/10
The "Citizen Kane" of Roller Disco Films
EUyeshima3 February 2006
This one is a complete hoot. I caught this low-budget, formulaic 1979 film this past weekend on the big screen at the fully packed Castro Theater in San Francisco as part of a roller-disco midnight madness program. The crowd went wild at every absurd turn of the plot, and it's no wonder. Directed by potboiler specialist Mark L. Lester, this ultimate cheese of a roller disco musical avoids a permanent home in the video junk heap simply because of the sheer idiocy of the storyline and the wealth of unintentional humor permeating the film. There are movies that are intentionally vile and not worthy of reviewing, but this one is actually full of good spirits albeit with nothing in the way of taste, wit or common sense.

In what has to be the steepest career free-fall for a former Oscar nominee, an extremely nubile, twenty-year old Linda Blair stars as Terry Barkley, a prodigious flautist on her way to Juilliard, who tires of being ignored by her wealthy, 90210-based parents and decides to run away for a whole night. Upon meeting Bobby James in Venice Beach, the king of the disco-driven roller skaters, she decides she wants to learn some moves to win the big roller boogie contest at Jammer's, the local roller disco rink. My favorite plot point is Bobby's aspiration to become an Olympic roller skating gold medalist...even though no one tells him it isn't an Olympic event. Of course, Terry is rich, Bobby is poor, and consequently, romantic sparks are inevitable. Complications, however, occur when a thuggish land developer blackmails Jammer to sell his rink, so he can raze the building and build a shopping mall. The rest of the plot is not worth disclosing except to say that it is as preposterous as the convoluted set-up, and thanks to the wooden acting, horrendous dialogue and hilarious skating sequences, it makes for grade-A camp entertainment.

In skin-tight leotards and enough make-up to scare off a Santa Monica Boulevard hooker, Blair makes a sincere attempt at portraying Terry's teen-aged angst. Of course, it helps her professional standing that she is playing opposite real-life roller skating champion Jim Bray, a non-actor who was cast as Bobby only because the producers could not find a leading man who could actually skate. Innately geeky, the never-to-be-seen-again Bray certainly tries hard, though he is defeated by the film's numerous skating sequences which have been inserted so we can be impressed by his expertise. Instead, they provide the film's biggest laughs - the opening where he leads dozens of fellow skaters to the boardwalk to the strains of Cher's disco-diva anthem, "Hell on Wheels"; the ridiculous chase sequence through the streets of Venice where Terry and Bobby are chased unsuccessfully by a speeding car; the concluding roller boogie contest (of course); and in what has to be the absolute nadir, a solo skating number full of cornball treacle dedicated to the drunken Jammer.

Familiar faces from the baby-boomer TV generation dot the supporting cast, among them Beverly Garland ("Scarecrow and Mrs. King" and "My Three Sons") and Roger Perry ("The Facts of Life") as Terry's parents; and Mark Goddard ("Lost in Space") as the villainous land developer. If all that is not enough, there are other lures to consider - the blaring disco music; the groovy, circa-1979 clothes; the forced slapstick (in particular, a fruit-throwing mêlée and a very non-spontaneous pool dunking at a garden party). It's hard to think of a movie more execrable, yet the film has an endearing charm for all its misguided inanity. It's worthwhile just for the unintended guffaws. In the 1979-80 holy trinity of roller disco cinema, "Xanadu" may be "Gone With the Wind" and "Skatetown U.S.A." may be "West Side Story", but this one must certainly be "Citizen Kane".
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4/10
The world of cinema is complete....Roller Boogie!
rosscinema12 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of those rare films (wait...don't leave I'm making a point) that is exactly what you think it is. It's so easy to to watch this and then tell everyone within earshot that it sucks but the truth of the matter is that anyone expecting to view a good film is lying. Story is about a rich girl named Terry Barkley (Linda Blair) who's a musical genius (according to her parents, anyway) and she's expected to head to Juilliard very soon to play the flute. She and her friend Lana (Kimberly Beck) frequently head to Venice Beach to roller skate and they notice that a roller boogie contest is going to take place which prompts Terry to seek lessons.

*****SPOILER ALERT***** Terry asks Bobby James (Jim Bray) who's the very, very best roller boogie skater to help her and he does which prompts the two of them to get romantic with each other. The local roller rink is Jammer's and the owner Jammer Delaney (Sean McClory) is being hassled at gunpoint by some goons headed by the gangster Thatcher (Mark Goddard) who wants him to shut down the place so that a shopping mall can be built. It's up to Terry and Bobby to save the place but when word spreads that they have a taped conversation Thatcher attempts to stop them!

This is directed by veteran Mark Lester who directed many "B" films and if this effort is any sign of how deep his talents lie than it's a miracle he was able to continue any type of a career. How bad is this? It's pretty bad and most films that are made for the sake of cashing in on the latest fad are awful and this isn't any different. What can you say about a script that has a rich educated girl wanting to throw away the opportunity of going to Juilliard to instead try and win a cheap trophy at the local roller boogie rink? I had to laugh at actors Roger Perry and Beverly Garland who play the parents and Perry's reaction to everything that his wife utters is "Shut up"! In one scene Garland sits on the steps and as she talks to her daughter she empties all the vials of drugs out of her purse until she finds her precious Valium! The acting is particularly bad and while I'm not one of those who considers Blair a bad actress I think in order to keep working she had to accept roles such as this. Of all the ridiculous scenes that this film has in it the most inane has to be where the one (and only) black actor throws in the towel and becomes a Hare Krishna to forget disco music and roller skating after learning that the roller boogie contest is going to be canceled! This film does have one great thing in it and her name is Kimberly Beck! I've always been a huge fan of hers and while her role is horribly written she is still breathtaking to watch and the best scene comes as she's doing her nails by the pool. You can probably put this in the "It's so bad it's good" category and while it's always easy to just say this is crummy it's still a film that's exactly what it advertises.
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10/10
Campy and fun
eleanor-park21 September 2004
Just picked up the DVD after years of growing up to the movie. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that it was coming out! Sweet! I don't think anyone expects Citizen Kane when you see a movie called Roller Boogie but I think it is campy and fun, especially the large skating scenes on the boardwalk and in the rink. Jim Bray.. well what can I say? Fabulous skater (and the movie shows him off very well) and pretty hot to boot. Acting? He tried his best, and in a few scenes he is actually very endearing. His costumes are the best; teeny tiny shorts, tight tight pants, feathered hair.. I wonder if Mr. Bray will pick this DVD up, watch it and laugh about all the bad stuff he and the rest of the cast had to wear. Great movie. The DVD has the original trailer and that's it, since I'm sure no one wanted to sit down and do a commentary on this wonderful little slice of 1979. I don't blame them! You just have to appreciate it for what it is.
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6/10
Exploitation Film with a Documentary Look
aimless-462 February 2007
Before the days of "in-line" skates there was a less forgiving variety that went in and out of fashion for a century with everyone but elementary school age children. "Roller Boogie" (1979) caught one of the periods when the activity had once again become trendy, especially with teenagers. Skate shops opened all over the place but the really trendy location was Venice, California. "Roller Boogie" involves a bunch of teens who hang around on the Venice boardwalk and do a lot of roller skating; and burn their eyeballs girl and boy watching.

Because much of the film is composed of many cinema verite ("fly on the wall film-making" where the filmmakers attempt to make their presence as unobtrusive as possible) documentary shots of real skaters engaging in real skating at this real location, the film is more interesting and impressive now than at the time of its release. "Breakin" was a similar film from the same time period which also unintentionally documented a portion of social history (insert break dancing here).

Of course those who went to "Roller Boogie" at the time of its release were mostly there to see Linda Blair in her abbreviated skating outfits; which had been widely showcased in the film distributor's marketing campaign. "Roller Boogie" was basically a cheap exploitation film that disappointed very few viewers because it delivered exactly what it promised and maybe a little bit more.

Rich girls Terry (Blair) and Lana (too old television actress Kimberly Beck) do their slumming on the boardwalk, where they skate up and down to the pop music beat from their now ancient looking transistor radio headphones. The plot is mostly about Terry's puppy love romance with Bobby (real life super-skater Jim Bray) the summer before she heads off to college.

There is also a story about developers conspiring to tear down the old roller rink. One of these is played by former "Lost in Space" pre-teen heartthrob Mark Goddard, whose career never took off after his adventures with Dr. Smith and the robot had made him famous. MST3K favorite Beverly Garland has a small part as Terry's rich mom.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child
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10/10
Roll, Bounce! Rock, Skate!!
dgordon-117 September 2001
Trying to cash in on the roller disco craze, this movie starring Linda Blair, has a cute and innocent atmosphere to it. It is no academy award winner, and it is hokey in parts, but all and all it is a nice time capsule that highlights the fad of the late '70s and early '80s. The plot line was actually re-used in the movie "Breakin'2:Electric Boogaloo" (1984), which is another great pop culture movie. The California atmosphere, the music, and the skating sequences make this movie worth watching over and over again. A definite title for anyone that likes 'dated' movies.
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5/10
the "godfather" of roller boogie movies
windypoplar3 July 2008
"roller Boogie" is an absolute time capsule. It features Linda Blair at her ultimate cutest and a full bevy of roller skating teens. Undoubtedly this is the best roller boogie movie ever made! Which isn't saying much, but still its enjoyable fluff from start to finish, and considering its run time of over two hours, it never gets dull.

Terry barkley is a talented musician who'd rather skate at the local hot spot than get into Julliard! Wow, there s plot to root for. Her father, played by Roger Perry of "Facts of Life" fame, is not thrilled. Doesn't matter, Terry's heart is in her skates. But watch out, there are bad guys, rotten land-developers who want the roller rink for themselves! And they'll do anything to get it! Can Terry and Bobby save the day and win the big roller contest? DAre we hope? OK, you won't be on pins and needles, the plot in this flick is telegraphed so a two year old could get it.

Like I said, though, Roller Boogie is a time piece. If you want to see life in southern California in the late 70's this is it. I actually felt sorry for some of the guys and gals cause those outfits were really skin-tight! Linda looks great though. Jimmy Bray doesn't make an impression and that does hurt the film, but just enjoy the silly music, the stunts, some of which are righteous and the cheesy plot and your'e bound to have a good time. Note the extreme sports preview when Terry and Bobby are on the run and cross a pipeline! The party scene is also classic and was ripped off a dozen times after this.

Roller boogie has it all, pathos, passion, pepperoni! Hey, you can't take this too seriously, just enjoy and let your'e brain freeze.
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10/10
Pure cheese
jc1305us29 September 2005
Another great, awful movie a la "Road House", this movie is a time capsule of crap.This movie reenacts all the cliché plot points from so many other movies: i.e. The old man with a heart of gold, the rich girl and her boyfriend from the wrong side of the tracks, Acting: terrible. Writing: terrible. You have to see this movie to believe it. On a lighter note, Linda Blair and some of the other female leads are HOT!!! The absolute best scene in this entire movie is the local mobsters being pelted with fruit and running away. This movie is a nightmare that you don't wake up from, but its one of those weird psychedelic nightmares that you just have to sit through because its so surreal...Check out the costumes...God awful, especially the overweight bike cop who wears SHORT shorts. Hysterical.
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Makes "Sophie's Choice" look like a straight-to-video distraction.
Poseidon-316 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The epic magnitude of the eastern front of World War II serves as a backdrop for this riveting drama in which teenage Blair rescues two dozen prisoners of war and transports them to safety over treacherous mountainous terrain, all the while being pursued by vicious Nazi.... er..... What? Oh, yeah. Right. Okay. Take two: Pampered, lonely, rich girl Blair prefers spending time on roller skates down at Venice Beach over pursuing a degree in music at Juilliard. Her wealthy parents are appalled that she would rather attempt to win a big Roller Boogie contest with scrawny, local, wheel-meister Bray instead of training as an expert flautist and marrying similarly-rich, preppie Nelson. Blair heads to the beach at every opportunity in her vintage car (for which there is ALWAYS a spot right next to wherever she's going despite the giant mobs of people everywhere!) She and best pal Beck catch the attention of Bray and his friends Van Patten, Insinnia and Jackson (who, hilariously, is never shown without his strapped-on cassette player with huge earphones.) When crooked developer Goddard attempts to take over the favorite skating rink run by boozy McClory, it's up to Bray and company to come to the rescue. Anyone who's ever seen a motion picture can predict the outcome. Blair, who gained worldwide fame as Ellen Burstyn's possessed daughter in "The Exorcist", is all grown up here, though not fully rid of her baby fat. Tottering around in spike heels when she isn't on her skates, her pneumatic little body parades around in all the latest (gag-inducing) Danskin sportswear. She has an opening scene in which she ritualistically puts on her skating togs that Richard Gere must have studied obsessively prior to filming "American Gigolo" in which he made getting dressed a sport. Content that she looks appropriately ridiculous, she gives herself a congratulatory look in the mirror before heading out. Though the script is atrocious in every way, Blair demonstrates that her early career praise was overstated, to say the least. She, however, is Dame Judi Dench compared to Bray who, thankfully, never appeared before a movie camera again. Weighing in at 136 pounds, if that, he struts and skates around in an eye-burning variety of short shorts and knee high tube socks as his lame-brained friends question his ability to land a chick. This movie being science fiction, he eventually winds up with Blair, though their relationship is far from smooth. In fact, they fight more than they do anything else and it's not always easy to see why! Blair's parents are played by veterans Perry and Garland who don't always look as embarrassed as they ought to be considering the repugnantly stupid dialogue that's been assigned to them. Perry comes off slightly better than Garland who is forced to called Blair "Lovey" all the time and sort through her purse revealing a pharmacy full of various pills! Fans of "The Colbys" will be amused to see that Blair's house is the same one that housed Charlton Heston and Barbara Stanwyck, though the TV show used different interiors than this film which uses the actual location. The pool in the back, however, is unmistakable. Goddard, best known from "Lost in Space", doesn't even show up until nearly an hour into the film and tries to remain dignified, though it isn't easy. In a fair world, the lead of this film would have been Beck, who is taller, slimmer, blonder, bustier and just generally more appealing than Blair. She is given virtually nothing to do. Nelson is saddled with a clichéd character whose only memorable moment is having his behind exposed just as his mother opens the front door. From the moment it starts, this movie provides gales of laughter. Dozens and dozens of skaters (a few using an awkward and hysterically funny windsail contraption!) zip around the neighborhood while a song that Cher doubtlessly leaves off her resume pounds on the soundtrack. The film continuously places rear ends and crotches in the audience's face (and did girls REALLY go skating on the beach and in the rinks wearing ONLY leotards and hose??) Rarely do the chuckles subside as the horror fashion show, cheesy music and jaw-dropping scenarios continue. By the time Bray has skated an ode to McClory in a darkened rink, Goddard has been fended off with ripened fruit, Bray and Blair outskate a speeding car and Bray and Blair's skating double have taken top honors at the contest, a good time has been had by the viewer, albeit for all the wrong reasons! There simply aren't words....
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7/10
Oh my goodness gracious
artemishdc15 June 2005
Yes, I rated this a 7 out of a 10....I only gave it a 7 because I haven't seen it since I was 7 years old......don't know if it's the 10 I used to think it was hee hee I loved Roller Boogie hee hee...I must have watched that movie a million times when I was a kid.

When I was a kid I also didn't care about the plot...All I thought was beaches, skating, pretty girl, pretty boy...happy ending.

I'm afraid that if I see it now I'll be supremely disappointed by my childhood innocence like I was with Saturday Night Fever...whew...I had no idea what was going on there until I saw it when I got older..again I had tunnel vision as a kid. I could only think about the dancing.

If you want to see Linda Blair not controlled by the devil and have some campy fun...go for it!!!! Don't be a snob:)
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It delivered the "B" movie cheese factor I craved! And that was it...
domenicarose7 June 2004
I was positively giddy when this flick came on T.V. yesterday afternoon because it wasn't something that I would actually go out and rent, wasting precious time and money. I have a morbid curiosity about stinker movies and I had heard about this one's notorious stinkiness for a while now. It was just the laugh I needed to cheer me up on a cloudy, gloomy day: the plot was ludicrous, the cast's wardrobe was just as gloriously tacky as expected, the skating was decent (but in the context... so silly!), and the script was absolutely ridiculous! Plus I loved the heavy-handed use of clichés used to hit the audience over the head, "Hey, in case you haven't figured it out yet, these people are RICH" when showing Terry Barkley (Linda Blair) and her family: 1.) her 1920's(?) era car--Hey, I know the Beverly Hills rich bitches of today drive Beemers and such, but back in the late 70's, it had to be kind of the same situation with similar model cars driven. Why would Terry's rich daddy want his precious little girl driving around L.A. in such an impractical and most likely unsafe fossil of a car! 2.) The Barkley household's princess phones--another impractical device. 3.) Terry's typical "poor little rich girl"/"my mommy and daddy don't care about me" issues.

Other gleeful love/hate moments of sheer comedy: the opening sequence where the Roller Boogie "gang" is rolling though the streets to a Cher song (an obvious effort to get the audience pumped up and lured into the "magic" of the film... it only had me and my boyfriend rolling in laughter), the roller boogie guy with the radio strapped to his shoulder and the HUGE headphones on ALL the time, the one mobster heavy who always wore that awful-looking plaid jacket in every scene he's in (isn't that what ALL mob heavies wear???), Bobby James' lone tribute skate routine to the rink's owner Jammer that was supposed to get the audience all emotional(?!?), the shirt that he wore during this scene with his sequined "BJ" monogram on it (sooooo cheesy!), the chase scene when Bobby and Terry are skating for their lives from the mobsters and they jump over the car (can you say, WIPEOUT??? I mean, their neat little landing without any stumbling whatsover was sooooo unbelievably funny!), plus too many more to mention.

I gotta mention here that I'm even a HUGE fan of 'Xanadu,' another roller skating movie from the same time. But that movie had the redeeming factor of more charismatic actors, better plot, much better soundtrack, and awesome costumes and stage sets. It also had a dreamy, hopeful, and inspirational feel that 'Roller Boogie' never even came CLOSE to achieving. I just can't see how ANYBODY could have written the script for, acted in, or directed this classic piece of crap with a straight face. But it DID deliver the cheese factor I was craving. Thanks for the laughs, 'Roller Boogie!' May you live on as an undisputed masterpiece of bad cinema... a deliciously cringe-inducing time capsule of that age.
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10/10
How I learnt to Skate!
anna_lg9 June 2006
This film became an icon for me from a very young age. I was just nearly five when this movie came out so I didn't get to see it until a few years later when Channel 4 showed it as a retro late night film. I was an avid skater. I longed for a local roller rink near me, but there was Nothing, only Ice rinks. I took ice skating lessons to help alleviate some of the frustration and then went back and applied some of the knowledge to my skating. Roller Boogie was brilliant for me, because it was cheesy , but most of all one of the very rare films that focused on roller skating - a tough subject to inject into a movie! Terry's car in the movie is beautiful too and those white roller boots! I remember finally getting a pair of all white-leather roller boots, hard to come by over here, but they were the best present ever - I still have them and they still fit and I hope to be wearing them when I teach my niece how to skate too! Roller Boogie as a movie cannot be taken too seriously! It has a feel good factor about it, no obscenities, the music is so retro ( to us nowadays anyway) and I love the skate line at the beginning of the movie - I just wished we had skate lanes like that in the UK! This is a film for those who like skating - don't bother to watch if you are a football fan - you wont get it - its simple teenage, roller skating , good vs bad and I have spent years trying to find a copy to replace my fuzzy VHS-taped from TV-copy. Mine came today, I've watched it, and I will probably watch it in the future when I'm snuggled up on the sofa, full of cold or maybe a hangover and just watch it - it is my feel good movie and one that few will ever enjoy as much as me! xx
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4/10
"Look, you're not some bimbo from the boardwalk. Are you sure you wanna do it?"
utgard146 January 2015
Rich girl (Linda Blair), whose parents just don't understand her love of roller skating, falls for a goofy-looking dude from the wrong side of the tracks. Roller skating dramatics ensue. Made from cheese, this tired relic of the disco era is impossible to take seriously today. It's objectively terrible in every way but one -- unintentional humor. There's a lot to make fun of and laugh at here. The premise alone is laughably absurd. It's by-the-numbers predictable if you've seen pretty much any movie ever. Cherub-faced Linda Blair was growing up (and out) and was anxious for everybody to notice, so director Mark Lester gives her curves plenty of attention. But she's overshadowed by her boobtacular gal pal Kimberly Beck, who's practically overflowing from every top she wears. Professional roller skater Jim Bray plays the male lead in his only movie. He's a pretty bad actor but he's a groovy skater. Vets Beverly Garland and Mark Goddard do little to help things. It's a crappy movie but it is good for some yuks. Oh, and if you're a fan of short shorts, you should check this out. But be warned -- not everyone who is wearing shorts in this should be.
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7/10
Linda in skates!!
Criss7798 September 2009
It'an innocent final 70s movie, where Linda Blair moves to skate with her boyfriend, expert roller skater Jim Bray and her friends making a plan to safe the disco palace where a devilish business man tries to build a Shopping Mall there. At the end of the night is the roller skating championship. Evertything must go perfect. The movie is bad, but you cannot denied to be amazed about the disco music, the roller skates and Linda. There's innocence in this movie. This kids loves sport, to hangout with girls not only for sex and loves have fun drinking a soda in the roller boogie place. This are times hard to get now, and the nostalgia wins a 10. Maybe will bore some, but still got it's cheesy magic.

Directed by Mark L. Lester.
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I liked this
vchimpanzee8 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Terry is rich and headed for Juilliard after high school, but she wants to hang out with the skaters at Venice Beach. Naturally, her parents don't like that. And then there is Bobby, a possible boyfriend, who teaches her to skate. The skaters have a street and some outdoor facilities, but many of them enjoy an indoor rink run by Jammer. You have to figure in a movie like this there will be some sort of threat to the favorite hangout, and some plot to rescue it. That's not a spoiler; I had that part figured out after five minutes.

There is some good music in this movie. Not just disco, but also the two concerts in which Terry plays the flute. And while there's no good acting to speak of, or even good writing, you can't deny the skater/dancers are quite talented. And the girls looked good in their teeny-tiny or tight outfits. There may have also been good-looking guys dressed sexy too, but I wasn't really paying attention.

This movie has formula written all over it. But I like the formula.
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2/10
Polyurethane or "If you like this, polyurinthane...."
highclark4 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
A very dated film that serves up laughs for succeeding generations of Netflix users. And while Roller Boogie can boast of about a dozen or so unintentionally hilarious lines, it really is pretty dire stuff in every way possible. And to be honest, that's about the only angle I can give this film; just watch it in order to laugh at it. That's not much of a recommendation, but I don't think very much of the film.

The dancing is terrible, but what can you expect, they're dancing with roller skates on. The acting is horrible, but what can you expect, who the hell else would agree to be in this film?

It's too bad, but for Linda Blair at the time this movie was made, her best days in Hollywood were already a thing of the past.
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5/10
I use to Haaaaaate to skate...Now I can't wait!
sol121823 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
****Some Spoilers**** With the popularity of "Saturday Night Fever" back in 1977 the Hollywood crowd tried to cash in on the skating and disco craze that was sweeping Southern California around the same time and decided to make a movie to capitalize on it and thus the idea for "Roller Boogie" was born. But by the time that the movie was released around Christmas 1979 the disco and skating craze was just about over and the makers of "Roller Boogie" were stuck with a big turkey and it was long past Thanksgiving. Even if the disco/skating craze was in full bloom "Roller Boogie" would have still bombed out because of it's very disjointed music and skating sequences as well as it's silly story that would have been better if there was no story at all. The plot of the movie is so childish and simple that even the crowd that it was targeted for found it hard to take. Unlike "Saturday Night Fever" which besides the great musical score and exciting dance numbers was also a top notch drama about a young man coming of age and seeing that his future was more then just discoing the night, as well as his life, away. And after a number of trials and tribulations left his disco and partying environment to face the real world at the end of the movie. But in "Roller Boogie" there's nothing even close to that in the story. Terry, Linda Blair, is a musical prodigy when it comes to plying the flute and has received a full scholarship to the prestigious Julliard School for the Preforming Arts in New York City that coming fall. But Terries real love is to Roller Boogie the day and night away down by the beach and boardwalk in Venice Calif. To make a short story long Terry falls for Bobby, Jim Bray, who besides being very cute is also the best Roller Boogier on the boardwalk. After Bobby has a few tussles with Terry, who acted as if she wasn't interested but really was, both Terry and Bobby agree to skate in the big Roller Boogie contest at the end of the summer at the Jammer's Skating Rink as a duet but only after Booby teaches Terry the ins and outs of being a successful Roller Boogier like he is. Meanwhile the mob, yeah those guys, are trying to muscle in the Roller Boogie rink Jammer's and convert it into a big shopping mall and they finally get it's owner Jammer Delany, Sean McCory, to sell it to them after threatening to blow his brains out and burn down the rink, those mobsters always have to spoil everyone's fun. With everything that can go wrong going wrong against the Roller Boogiers, even Terries father who she ask for help turned out to be the lawyer for the mobsters front company who is to build the shopping mall, it looks like their dreams of Roller Boogieing is about to come to a sad end. But then, just like magic, before you can say Roll la' Boogie the Roller Boogiers come up with an audio tape of the mobsters shaking down Jammer Delany to sell them his roller rink that one of the Roller Boogiers taped without knowing about it, that figures, and with that tape as evidence the gig is up for the mobsters, or so we thought. But not after the customary, that movies like this that have no real story to carry themselves through the ninety or so minutes on the screen, chase scene up and down the streets and boardwalk of Venice with the mobsters getting pelted by the Roller Boogiers with truckload after truckload of fruits and veggies. The mobsters have guns and do pull them out from time to time during the movie and even point them threateningly but for some strange and unexplained reason never used them? The chase finally ends at the Jammer's Skating Rink with the cops, mobsters, Roller Boogiers and everyone else in the movie in attendance there. And then one of the Roller Boogiers sneaks into the Jammer's sound room and plays the very incriminating tape to a stunned and shocked audience where it's heard by everyone there over the PA sound system of the mobsters threatening Jammer Delany with violence if he didn't give in to their demands. With that the mobsters goose is cooked and not only do they lose their bid to get the Jammer's Skating Rink but are arrested by the police and led away to be indited and tried for criminal extortion. With all the evidence against them the mobsters would be better served if they threw themselves on the mercy of the court hoping that they would get just a long prison sentence instead of being forced to be in another Roller Boogie movie. Now happily with everything back to normal and the big Roller Boogie contest free to be held with the Roller Boogieing pair of Bobby and Terry competing you don't have to be a real genius to figure out who won the great event. An awful film that would have better served everyone involved with it if it was just left in the can and quietly forgotten about then it being released to the public and ending up embarrassing those who were in it as well as those who made it. The only reason one can have for watching "Roller Boogie" is to see Linda Blair in her tight and sexy outfits almost bursting from the seams against her very impressive and ample body. The movie "Roller Boogie" is almost impossible to find on VHS, I don't think that it's been re-issued for over twenty years, or seen on cable-TV and you can forget about ever seeing it on DVD. As far as I know the movie negative was deep sixth in the Pacific Ocean. It seems that everybody involved in the movie "Roller Boogie" would like to have it expunged from their memories like one would want to forget a very very bad dream.
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1/10
Scary on so many levels
huladog551 September 2005
Linda Blair reached her peak in "The Exorcist", this film is scarier than that one in my book. The acting was dreadful, the soundtrack frightening, and the story non-existent.

Where the hell did they find these other 'actors'? I think most must have been taking time away from the adult film industry, judging by the prowess displayed here. Terry's love interest/skating coach (?) was pathetic on screen. His delivery made him sound as though he was slightly impaired somehow.

This movie represents the final nail in disco era's coffin. Avoid at all costs.
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2/10
Even Xanadu at least had a good soundtrack!
TOMASBBloodhound11 May 2015
Roller Boogie lacks good music, and so much more! Were it not for the hotness of Linda Blair and Kimberly Beck, this film would lack any reason to even glance at it. This should be on the bottom 100 list with R.O.T.O.R. and the Kirk Cameron movie. It's amazing some of the things that TCM will slip into their lineup some nights if you stay up late enough. I kind of remember this film from my childhood... back in the days of school-sponsored rollerskating parties, white men with Afros, and Jimmy Carter. After watching most of it as an adult, its hard to believe anyone could have enjoyed it. Even with rollerskating being so hip at that time.

Roller Boogie would like to be Saturday Night Fever, or something along those lines. But it takes talent and so much more to make a lasting film based only a certain popular craze. SNF had the charismatic John Travolta. Roller Boogie has..... some guy who never did anything else as its male lead. SNF had a memorable Bee Gees soundtrack. Xanadu had Olivia Newton-John and ELO for its exceptional soundtrack. Roller Boogie has not one memorable song, and few memorable scenes. Honesty, what was the most memorable scene of Roller Boogie? I'd have to say it was when the kids throw a whole food truck worth of fruit at the bad guy and his henchmen. What else happened? There was another scene where a bunch of stiff old people fall into a swimming pool for no other reason than they probably couldn't think of any other way to end the scene. There is some decent skating, but there had to be. The problem is with how stagy it all looks. A couple characters will be talking in the foreground, and there will be these extras in rainbow-colored clothing doing choreographed skating routines on the sidewalk behind them. Doesn't look authentic at all.

The film was shot in a few weeks, but doesn't end up looking like they spent even that much time on it. Any momentum Linda Blair had in the 1970s pretty much ended with this film. It could have been interesting. It isn't. It should have been fun. It isn't. Roller Boogie might be worse than American Anthem. It's that bad. 2 of 10 stars.

The Hound.
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7/10
Celebration of the Roller Disco Movement of the Late 1970's!
cshep3 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Mark Lester invites you to take a slice of life out of the Roller disco movement of the late 1970's. What can only be described as Campy Fun, highlighted with several musical numbers. Roller Boogie delivers at times High Energy and Fun,at the Roller Disco "Jammers.", in Venice Beach. Opening with Cher's "Hell on Whells", we get a glimpse of lovely Santa Monica and the carrying ons of the Disco Roller movement.

Beautiful Linda Blair, and skating guru Jim Bray star as star struck summer lovers , who desire to win the Disco Boogie Championship. Subplot of mobsters taking over the "Jammers", by extortion to create their own view on the Pacific Ocean. Mark Goddard of "Lost in Space" is the head baddie. Jim Perry and Beverly Garland are the rich condescending parents of Linda Blair. The film moves at a good pace, for a film that lasts about 120 minutes. It is cheesy, but never pretends to be more than sum of its' parts. It really is a celebration on wheels, everyone should experience Roller Disco, maybe the world would be a better place. A very honest film, I gave it a 7 out of 10.
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1/10
Not fun....it was meant to be taken seriously
mfvaughn3 July 2005
This is absolutely one of the worst movies ever made. And contrary to another comment on the movie, having lived in Southern Cal during this period and being the age that this movie was aimed at, it was meant to be taken seriously for the disco crowd that was running rampant just prior to and during its release period. The acting is horrible, the milieu it represents is horrible, the writing is horrible, and the premise is horrible. Let me say that a LOT of people went to see this film upon it's release--the superficial, appearance oriented, self-centered disco freaks. Pure commercial slop intended to capitalize upon a temporary and silly craze.
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See Linda Blair skate that career into oblivion.
jeff-1505 January 1999
Finally getting a chance to see this film was kind of a let down. Contrived is one word to describe it. Great dance sequence scenes, and Venice Beach parts are cool, but the crappy rich kids vs. poor kids theme made me want to gag (how 80's). Blair is flawless, but even she can't rescue this one. This is how Disco started to get a bad name.
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One Woman - Linda Blair
XFA1 September 2003
I know this movie isn't all that great. But It's not all that bad either. Linda Blair is the ONLY star in this flick and I like her in this flick. She's cute and she has money and she's not spoiled ( much ) and she has beautiful clothes. Unless you are a fan of either roller skating , roller disco or Linda Blair , you probably won't think this one is all that great. I'll rate this one 5 / 10
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8/10
Be Warned
TedMichaelMor16 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Do you remember envying people who lived in California until you lived there? "Roller Boogie" recalls the reality of the place by being too much like many experiences there. Writing about this movie requires effort better spent on other topics, but innocent people might need a warning.

First let me confess that I love roller-skating. My parents operated the local rink on Saturdays for a few months as community volunteers. They had essentially met skating. The skating in the film attracts me. I think I would like Venice, California. I think I would have liked it during the outdoor roller-skating fad. Further, I like the car Linda Blair drives in this film.

Further, Jim Bray is a terrific skater; for a novice, he is a good actor. Linda Blair is not as bad an actor as critics claim. Here she is an attractive young woman. Mark Lester directed a superb award-winning documentary. He produced important films. He directed some good movies and wrote scripts for others.

I do not object to remaking something like the old Andy Hardy movies—there is a place for such movies. Redoing the old American International movies is okay too. In many ways, this film surpasses those cult classics. At least, Jim Bray and Linda Blair are winsome. That counts.

Of course, if you need plot, intentional humour, taste, wit, or other aspects of great movies, you might rate this film lower than I do. Still, though "Roller Boogie" feels like a cheap date, a cheap date could be a terrific date. "Roller Boogie" is not terrific, but cheap dates have their place. This one depends on you. I might have gone for a nine rating if I had not grown into a grumpy old man. Further, I miss living in California. I liked it.
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3/10
Not as bad as "Xanadu" but pretty close!
preppy-316 October 2008
This was made to cash in on the then hot roller disco fad. Rich girl Terry Barkley (Linda Blair) inexplicably falls in love with skater Bobby Jones (Jim Bray). Then she, Bray and their friends try to stop nasty businessman Thatcher (Mark Goddard) from tearing down the local roller disco rink.

I realize a lot of people find this campy and fun. It's campy alright but I didn't find it fun at all. I was mostly bored. The script is pretty awful--full of idiot characters (all of Brays' friends act like Three Stooges rejects) and stupid dialogue. There are continuity problems galore too--notice how Goddard and his goons look pretty clean after being pelted with tons of fruit. As for the acting...what can you say about a movie where Linda Blair gives the best performance? The acting on display here is abysmal. Bray easily is the worst but (in his defense) he was chosen to star at the last minute. No wonder this was his only film. Also that feathered hair does him NO favors! He also looks pretty unattractive (but that's just my opinion). Goddard is pretty good though--he (wisely) underplays his role. This gets a 3 because it isn't totally unwatchable--it's definitely better than "Xanadu" and the opening sequence with the kids skating through the streets IS fun. Also I admit--I LIKE some of the songs and the skating/dancing was actually pretty amazing. Years ago Blair was asked out of all the bad films she did what was her favorite. She said, "Roller Boogie. It was good for the kids." So I didn't like it but it is harmless.
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