2019 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 8: Roller Blade (1985)

DAY 8. AFTER THE DISASTER: Will we rebuild, adapt or move on?

If there’s one thing this site has been about as of late, it’s been post-apocalyptic films. Just take a look at this Letterboxd list that keeps track of all of them — if a movie has been made about the end of the world, we’ve watched it, written about it and told way too many people about it.

So after watching more than a hundred post-End of All Things movies, where else do we have to go?

1985’s Roller Blade was directed by Donald Jackson, who was no stranger to end of the world movies. You’d probably know him best for the movie where Roddy Piper plays a male stud who knocks up fertile women and battles amphibians, Hell Comes to Frogtown.

He was also no stranger to post-nuke films that feature people on skates, for some reason. This very narrow genre of films is actually much wider than you think it is, thanks to movies like Solarbabies, Prayer of the Rollerboys and the many, many films that Jackson created, such as Roller Blade Warriors: Taken by Force, The Roller Blade Seven, The Legend of the Rollerblade Seven and Return of the Roller Blade Seven. He was also responsible for the 1996’s Rollergator, in which a purple jive-talking alligator escapes from Joe Estevez’s carnival and does battle with a skateboarding ninja.

Look — it’s 4 AM and I’m not certain that any of this is real. I’m just going to write what I know and hope that this record proves that I was here, alive on Planet Earth and trying to contribute something worthwhile before I become dust.

In the City of Lost Angels, Sister Speed leads a holy order of rollerskating nuns called the Bod Sisters that try to protect humanity from the fascist regime that seems to be holding sway over things. All of the nuns wear strange cult-like robes with iron crosses on them when they’re not nude and Sister Speed rolls around in a wheelchair, yet she still has her skates on, just in case her legs decide to start working again.

Perhaps the most telling thing I can say about this movie is that everyone is on old four-wheeled skates and not inline Rollerblades, so it’s basically lying to you with every single moment of screen time.

Then again, this is also a movie where switchblades are used to heal people.

The sisters also have this magic crystal that the bad guys want and they’ve possessed a young girl to infiltrate the skating nuns. Those bad guys are led by Dr. Santicoy, who has a leather dom mask and a hand puppet made from a silver-painted baby doll that he talks to. Also, for some reason, one of the head nuns is a dog named the Holy Hound Gideon. Yes, they put a dog in a colorful nun outfit that kind of makes that canine look like it joined some weird Satanic cult.

Nearly every single person in this movie has been dubbed, which makes it seem like you’re watching an episode of Power Rangers, but it’s an episode where everyone has naked rollerskate fights and has sapphic interludes in a hot tub.

There’s also a group of skating law enforcement officers led by Marshall Goodman, whose son Little Chris (played by Fred Olen Ray’s young son) runs away without his skates. Yes, he disobeyed the biggest rule in this wasteland. He took his skates off.

Unlike nearly every great end of the world movie, no effort has been made to explain how the world got this way. Who has time when there’s so much skating to do?

It also shouldn’t surprise you that a majority of the Bod Sisters — like Shaun Michelle, Melanie Scott, Crystal Breeze and Michelle Bauer (who was also in Dr. Alien and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama — are well-known adult actresses. The quality of a mid-1980’s VCA adult effort is completely apparent here, but just when you expect the performers to start getting down, they start skate fighting instead.

I’m not sure who this movie was made for, why it existed or how it found it’s way into my Plex stream at 4:49 AM, but it’s moments like these that make me realize that God doesn’t play dice and that there’s some kind of grand plan. Because otherwise, watching a cinema opus like Roller Blade would find me screaming into the void.

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