SassyFlix | Roller Boogie

Roller Boogie

  • PG
  • 1979-12-21
  • 01:43:00
5/ 10
15 votes

Drama, Romance

Beyond ensuring that she makes it into Julliard as a flautist for the upcoming fall term, wealthy Lillian and Roger Barkley largely neglect their teenaged daughter, Terry Barkley. Although Terry doesn't try to hide the facts from them, her parents have no idea that she hates the flute and the associated music, has no desire to attend Julliard, and spends all her time on the proverbial wrong side of the tracks with her friend Lana roller skating on the Venice Beach boardwalk with the legions of other roller skaters. There, she attracts the attention of Bobby James, the hotshot skater who rightly believes he is headed to the next Olympics. Terry initially rebuffs Bobby's advances, until she asks him to teach her how to dance so that they can compete in the upcoming roller boogie contest at Jammer's, the local skating rink owned by Jammer Delaney, a former roller derby star. Terry and Bobby's relationship eventually becomes more than just about skating. But the roller boogie contest and by association Terry and Bobby's relationship is threatened when they learn that Thatcher, a cutthroat land developer, has physically threatened Jammer and anyone around Jammer, including the kids at the rink, unless Jammer signs a contract to hand over the roller rink property to him for redevelopment. The situation is even worse for Terry when she learns she has a personal albeit indirect connection to Thatcher.


It delivered the "B" movie cheese factor I craved! And that was it...

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.

Loved It!!!

I thought this movie was great! It was very cute but kind of cheesy, I think thats what made it good. It had a great love story in the middle of a mildly sensible crime story.

The story of a rich prude, bored with her life, who finally finds something interesting to fulfill her time: skating. But when a man comes to replace their beloved skating rink with a mini mall, she will stop at nothing to stop him. Her skating friends and boyfriend are the only ones who will stick with her. All the while, she has time to practice for a roller boogie contest with her boyfriend and blow away her fellow contestants. Classic!!!

Campy and fun

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.

Pure cheese

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.

Roll, Bounce! Rock, Skate!!

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.

How I learnt to Skate!

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!

Oh my goodness gracious

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:)

Linda in skates!!

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.

Celebration of the Roller Disco Movement of the Late 1970's!

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.

Exploitation Film with a Documentary Look

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

Skating, Disco and Skin

On the boardwalk, snooty Beverly Hills teenager Linda Blair (as Theresa "Terry" Barkley) refuses to boogie down with cute Venice roller-skater Jim Bray (as Robert "Bobby" James). They are mutually attracted, however. You can tell. Later, at the roller disco, Ms. Blair has a proposition for Mr. Bray. No, not that. Blair wants Bray to teach her how to skate. Well, that too. They quickly become a couple. This upsets snooty parents Beverly Garland and Roger Perry (as Lillian and Roger Barkley). They expect Blair to go off the Juilliard Music School and continue developing her skills on the flute...

Somehow sensing the movie wouldn't be much without him, once "Lost in Space" pilot Mark Goddard (as Thatcher) lands in town. He and his gangster-type goons want to level the discoed "Roller Rink" and open another business. This film highlights a silly sub-fad that was over sometime before post-production. Direction and editing are sloppy. Bray is game and the skating sequences are fun. The part of the chase at the big, drained swimming pools is quite good. That is Cher singing "Hell on Wheels" (a minor hit) over the credits. The story ends with a "boogie contest." You'll never guess who wins.