Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz! I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Scott Shaw” with a minor in “Zen Filmmaking”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!
This week Supercult takes some shrooms and learns the ways of the Roller Ninja with The Roller Blade Seven!
In the apocalyptic future, in a region known as the Wheelzone, the only way to ride is on roller skates or skateboards. When the evil overlord Pharaoh abducts Hawk Goodman’s sister, Hawk must embark on an epic adventure, learn to rollerblade, and team up with an odd band of heroes rescue her. Can Hawk battle his way through the gangs inhabiting the Wheelzone to complete his task? Maybe…if he has help from The Roller Blade Seven!
The Rollerblade Seven is an experimental film by Donald G. Jackson, the “Ed Wood of the video age”, and Scott Shaw, who’s Wikipedia page describes him as an American actor, author, film director, film producer, journalist, martial artist, musician, photographer, and professor. Shaw has also directed, produced, and starred in a plethora of crap-tacular films with names like, “Guns of El Chupacabra”, “A Space in the Time”, “Samurai Johnny Frankenstein”, “The Back of Beyond”, “Lingerie Kickboxer”, “Samurai Vampire Bikers From Hell”, and “Mimes: Silent But Deadly”.
Surreal, disjointed, and nearly incomprehensible, The Roller Blade Seven unfolds in an abstract, dreamlike structure. It (thankfully) utilizes minimal dialogue and (not so thankfully) repetition of footage in key scenes. Several entire sequences occur repeatedly such as a scene in which the protagonist rides his motorcycle out of a garage eight times in a row, leaving from a different parking bay each time. The majority of what little dialogue is included was based upon two books written by Scott Shaw: “Essence” and “Time”.
Filmed on a scant $300,000, The Rollerblade Seven experienced a short theatrical release in the US, Australia, and Europe in 1991, but was never “formally” released, and found a more willing audience on Cable TV and in Video and DVD release. Like most misunderstood masterpieces, Rollerblade Seven has developed a cult following for basically being an acid trip put to celluloid.
The setting of Wheelzone is a post-apocalyptic world of the most ludicrous proportions. S&M, Samurai swords, roller-ninjas, a Kabuki mime with a wiffle bat, Frank Stallone, a rollerblading, top-hat wearing, banjo player wrapped up in bandages like the invisible man, a pacifist named Stella Speed, Frank Estevez, and giant armored, rollerblading minotaurs are just a few of the seizure inducing images throughout the film. In the movie anyone caught travelling without some form of self-propelled wheeled transport (rollerblades, bikes, skateboards, wheelchairs, etc) are beaten up and forced to sing. At one point Hawk must ingest magical mushrooms with Academy Award Nominee Karen Black. Whenever a new character is introduced, the audience is treated to a title card, which displays the actor’s name. Shaw is supposedly an accomplished martial artist, but the film seems designed to make him appear too incompetent to be trusted with anything more than blunted craft scissors. There aren’t even seven members of the eponymous Roller Blade Seven! Though, to be fair, Scott Shaw explains this quite clearly on his blog:
“We explain this as Roller Blade Seven is the ultimate level of human consciousness in Return of the Roller Blade Seven. But, yes, originally there were the Roller Blade Seven. Here is a photograph of the actual Roller Blade Seven on the first day of filming. Most of these characters never made it past the first weekend of production, however.”
I think we all know exactly what he’s talking about…
The credits for Roller Blade Seven make the film look like either the worst vanity project on the planet, or a work of extreme passion by a duo of filmmaking vagabonds. The film is Directed by Donald G. Jackson, Produced by Donald G. Jackson and Scott Shaw, Written by Donald G. Jackson and Scott Shaw, Starring Scott Shaw, Music by Scott Shaw, Cinematography by Donald G. Jackson, and Edited by Scott Shaw. Seasoned Supercult veterans might remember the name Donald G. Jackson as the director of the Supercult Classic Hell Comes to Frogtown (released 3 years prior in 1988). You might also remember the name Scott Shaw as the producer, director, and star of the sequel, Hell Comes to Frogtown III (also known as Max Hell Frog Warrior, released 5 years afterwards in 1996). The pair also worked together to create the numerous Roller Blade Seven Sequels, all of which are sold through Scott Shaw’s website:
The Original Trilogy:
- The Roller Blade Seven
- The Return of Roller Blade Seven
- Hawk: Warrior of Wheelzone, a retelling of the first film
- Re-Return of The Roller Blade Seven, a “RARE, Never Released, Re-Mastered, Screener Copy” of Return of The Roller Blade Seven
- The Legend of The Roller Blade Seven, a collector’s edition of the first film
And The Extras:
- Roller Blade Seven: The Unseen Scenes, a explorative collection of over 24-hours of footage, narrated by Scott Shaw, that was never used for the final edits of the first two films
- Interview: A Scott Shaw Zen Documentary, a rare behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Roller Blade Seven
Oh, yeah, and Shaw and Jackson also describe Roller Blade Seven as the first example of Zen filmmaking, a filmmaking style developed by Shaw, the primary premise of which is that there is no script or screenplay.
“In Zen Filmmaking there are no rules or definitions. The spontaneous creative energy of the filmmaker is the only defining factor. This allows for a spiritually pure source of immediate inspiration to be the only guide in the filmmaking process.”
Let’s take a few moments to let that sink in…
Alright, if that moment wasn’t enough for ya, you can always buy one of Shaw’s several books on the subject on his website.
Long story short, it seems as if Shaw and Jackson found each other in the early 90’s and formed a blood pact to give zero f#*@’s, make a crap ton of really shitty movies, and maybe hunt vampires on the weekends or something- I DON’T KNOW! The point is that these two cats are 200 proof CRAY CRAY, and we are about to take a few dozen shots of their magnum opus.
The Roller Blade Seven has a 1.9 on IMDB, beating out Supercult crotch kickers The Room (3.3), Theodore Rex (2.4), and even Foodfight (2.0), and was named #27 on a list of the 100 Best B-Movies of All Time by Paste Magazine in 2014. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has no reviews from audiences or critics, leading us to believe that absolutely no one has seen this film, or at least wants to admit that they’ve seen the film…but according to the site, 71% of Rotten Tomatoes users inexplicably WANT to see it!
Those who are willing to admit to witnessing this film compare it to other unspeakably bad movies like the British Vampire flick “Razor Blade Smile” or the noir parody(??) “Art Deco Detective”.
OH MARS of MishkaNYC writes,
“RB7 makes you feel like you’re on mind-bending drugs. During one fight scene, I found myself blinking really slow and heavy because I thought my eyes were fucked up. Nope. They really did just show Hawk kicking that ninja in the face…11 times. The same shot is shown 11 times. But it works, maaaan. It’s a campy movie with lots of bladin’, thongs, and [sunglasses] . Throughout it felt like I was watching a movie one of my friends had made, if my friends were brilliant and knew the little brothers of Sylvester Stallone and Emilio Estevez.”
IMDB user rowebot1 writes,
“This movie is simply unwatchable…No amount of panning or explanations can possibly get the message across of what this movie is actually like. This movie isn’t just bad, it makes you angry. The copy that I watched is lucky to still be in one piece as an angry viewer was stopped mid stomp as he attempted to destroy the video so that no one else would ever have to be subjected to it again. If the chance comes around to see this movie, you should take it. It will make you appreciate every other movie you’ve ever watched so much more.”
The Gauntlet has been thrown my fellow Supercultists! This is the final frontier! The moment you’ve all been waiting for! It’s time to dig deep, give thanks to our lord and savior Nicolas Cage, and watch the shit out of this here horrible movie!
The Supercult show is proud to present, the perfect Spring Break send-off, The Roller Blade Seven!