Roller Boogie (1979)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Dance Film, Musical Romance, Teen Movie  |   Release Date - Dec 21, 1979 (USA)  |   Run Time - 103 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Jeremy Wheeler

Strap on those roller skates, because it's time-travel time, 1979 style, in Roller Boogie -- a completely absorbing flick that dunks you face-first into the garish disco-skating scene that lasted just about as long as it took to film this hunk of retro junk. Linda Blair struts her awkward teenage stuff in lycra-clad sexy outfits as she tries her best to feign interest in a Frankenstein's monster-looking '70s goofball (lead ham Jim Bray), a feat that probably took every head-spinning acting bone in her body just to pull off. Bray's hair and skating antics shine here (he was a championship skater at the time), though don't ask about his delivery or the fact that his face looks like it was just pummeled by a pro boxer. The flick opens immediately with a huge choreographed montage in which a group of delinquents rolls through the California strip to crazy disco music that, depending on your tastes, will either make you retch with sequin-hating disgust or wail with ironic hilarity -- that is, if you're not crying over your old sticker albums longing for "the old times." The finale is highlighted by an "ice-skating on wheels" competition that utilizes some hot split-screen and picture-in-picture techniques that give it a little something extra special for everyone who made it that far. Nostalgia fans will most likely find their way back to Roller Boogie for years to come, while others will tune in for the amazing outfits and a brief glimpse at a simpler time when all the kids wanted to do was cruise around in their dune buggies and lift weights on the beach.