Friday, November 2, 2007

No. 20 - Roller Boogie III

Underground filmmaker Damon Packard is obsessed with the 70's. His Reflections of Evil intercuts footage of trailers from 70's films like White Line Fever with sequences of a mentally imbalanced, homeless watch salesman (played by Packard himself) roaming the mean streets of L.A. Packard's character flashes back to childhood memories of the 70's, and the juxtaposition of that seemingly more idealistic and innocent time with our current era is startling.

Roller Boogie III is one of Packard's shorter works. Packard takes the story of a young man who aspires to stardom as a roller skater and intercuts footage from the 70's cult classic Roller Boogie (which featured Linda Blair). Then, Packard overlays classic disco songs, such as Donna Summer's On The Radio, and inserts footage from The Exorcist. The end result is jarring, and hilarious, as we cut from Blair on roller skates to Blair possessed by the devil, spewing split-pea soup.

The roller disco movie was a short-lived sub-genre. Beyond Roller Boogie, there was Skatetown U.S.A., and Xanadu (or as I like to call it, Xana-don't). It would be decades before Roll Bounce revived the sub-genre.

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