Linda Blair stars as a rich musical prodigy who only wants to roller skate all day on the boardwalk. She falls for a guy from the wrong side of the tracks who teaches her how to roller dance for the beach’s annual Roller Boogie. (A disco with roller skates.) When the Mob wants to tear down the roller rink and put up a shopping center, the teens band together to save their beloved establishment.
Basically it’s Romeo and Juliet but with roller skates. And third rate Mafioso.
First off, I HATE roller skating. It’s not very fun and I despise all those idiots who always rollerblade around like they’re hot shit or something. Despite my prejudices, I thought that I’d get a kick out Roller Boogie in a Crown International teen movie sort of way. It’s also a disco movie that’s got a lot of cheesy 70’s fashions, and I’m usually a sucker for time capsule flicks that feature horribly dated fashions. Add to that the fact that it stars exploitation superstar, Linda Blair and was directed by Mark L. (Commando) Lester. With all of these ingredients, you would think that Roller Boogie had a recipe to be some sort of cult classic. It isn’t, it just sucks. It doesn’t quite bite the big one like Xanadu did, but it’s still just one big shitfest.
Roller Boogie is mostly nothing but poorly choreographed scenes of people dancing on roller skates with the barest minimum of plot. Every now and then something incredibly ludicrous will happen that you just have to laugh (like when a roller skating Blair jumps over a mobster’s car), but for the most part, Roller Boogie is just borderline unwatchable. There’s so-bad-it’s-good, then there’s so-bad-it’s-terrible. Roller Boogie is a case of the latter.
At one point Blair whines, “What a drag! What a bummer!” I agree.