Friday, June 20, 2008

Roller Boogie Airs On TCM Tonight!

As part of its cult movie showcase "TCM Underground", Turner Classic Movies is showing the 1979 epic Roller Boogie Friday night at 3:45 AM. Made during the roller skating fad of the late 70s, the movie stars Linda Blair as a teen who rallies to save her favorite roller rink when it's threatened with demolition by a ruthless land developer. Although there won't be any headspinning by Ms. Blair, I fully expect some fancy footwork on the roller rink by TAFKARM (The Actress Formerly Known As Regan MacNeil).

Since Roller Boogie is one of those films that slipped through my pop culture sieve, I am actually looking forward to seeing it tonight (chances are I'll still be up). Along with Linda Blair, the movie also stars Stoney Jackson (Streets of Fire), Jimmy Van Patten (Freaky Friday), Beverly Garland (My Three Sons), and Mark Goddard (Lost In Space).

Below is the trailer to Roller Boogie (set to Cher's roller disco opus "Hell On Wheels"). If you can't get enough of Cher in all her strobe light glory, following the trailer is the video to "Hell On Wheels"!


BeckEye said...

Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-aking awesome! I saw this in the theater. I loved it as a kid because I was such a roller skating freak. It's pure crap, but I may have to tune in tonight. I haven't seen the movie in so long!

The Gal Herself said...

You're right, I do completely appreciate this post! And if it was still 1979, I'd still be up at 3:45 AM. You know how you can go forever without hearing a person's name and then it crops up again and again? Such is the case of Beverly Garland. Earlier this week, a friend and I were stitches over the discovery of the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn in (where else?) Hollywood.

BTW, I think Dusty Springfield's "I Close My Eyes and Count to 10" was only released as a single in the UK.

Dr Zibbs said...

It's on TONIGHT?! I've got a viewing to go to. Viewing...Roller Boogie...Viewing..Roller Boogie. I've made a decision. I shall watch Roller Boogie.

Jessica said...

YES, that trailer was sooo 70s! :D Never heard of it, but I might just have to check it out!
I thought the only thing Linda Blair did was the exorcist. lol

pjazzypar said...

As the old folks use to say, "If you ain't got nothing nice to say, don't say nothing at all". I was mainly commenting to tell Dr. Zibbs to go to his viewing and Tivo that mess!

BeckEye said...

WEll, I pooped out last night at 8pm. I'm old.

Did you watch it? What did you think?

Malcolm said...

BeckEye: I remember reading on your blog about you practicing your skating moves in your basement as a kid. I went to sleep around midnight. I was so tired that I didn't bother trying to record it. However, I woke up around 3:40 am. It was 3:44 when I realized, "Oh shit, Roller Boogie is about to start". I put it on TCM and watched it. Although I wasn't expecting "Citizen Kane", I still was disappointed. I was hoping it would be campy fun (similar to the original Hairspray). On a 10 scale, I'd give it a 3.

The Gal Herself: I know exactly what you mean about a name cropping up that you haven't thought of in years. I looked up Beverly Garland on Wikipedia and found that her deceased husband named the hotel after her. Since his death, Beverly has been more involved in the operations of the hotel.

I listened to my Very Best of Dusty Springfield CD and found that we most likely have the same version because "I Close My Eyes and Count To 10" is on it. I had forgotten about that song; I really liked it though. I think you are right about it only being released in the UK as a single. If it was released in the US, it didn't chart.

Dr. Zibbs: I hope it was an enjoyable skate down Memory Lane for you.

Jessica: Although Linda Blair has made a bunch of films, "Roller Boogie" is arguably her 2nd most famous big screen effort. I was trying to think of the other movie made around the same time that tried to capitalize on the roller disco fad. It just came to me... it's called Skatetown U.S.A. I am going to email TCM to see if they have it in their library. Just the cast alone (Flip Wilson, Ruth Buzzi, Maureen McCormick, Patrick Swayze, etc.) makes it worthy of at least one viewing.

Pjazzy: Yeah, Roller Boogie was some mess. Right along the lines of Thank God It's Friday (another movie that disappointed me because of its lack of campy fun).

pjazzypar said...

Hey Malcolm,

The problem with movies like "Roller Boogie", "Thank God It's Friday" and "Skate Town USA" among others, it they don't really capture the significance of the era or the subculture. I was there (during the Disco era) and the late 70's and early 80's were not as they were depicted in those types of films. The 2006 film "Roll Bounce" actually did a better job of giving a feel of what it was like at that point in time.

Malcolm said...

Good point Pjazzy. Off the top of my head, the only movie from that era that got it right was "Saturday Night Fever". It's the same way with the rock and roll movies of the 1950s. Most of them aren't very good (however, I will still watch them if they come on, lol). Easily the best of the lot was "The Girl Can't Help It" with Tom Ewell and Jayne Mansfield. Along with including some of the greats of early rock and roll (Little Richard, The Platters, Fats Domino, Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps, and Eddie Cochran), the makers also took the time to come up with a decent plot and a solid script.

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