Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Greatest Story Ever Rolled

With all the Dirty Dancing/Road House fan-love (I hate to say "re-evaluation") following the recent passing of Patrick Swayze, it's probably a good time as any to remember his first acting role in the awesome 1979 roller disco kitsch-fest Skatetown, U.S.A. The film came out shortly before Roller Boogie and Xanadu - perhaps the most notorious film of this short-lived craze - and although it's no classic, it's terrific dopey nonsense that deserves a second life on DVD, which unfortunately hasn't happened yet. Swayze is so badass in this ("I take home the trophy, the dough AND the women"), he could've walked off The Warriors. And it looks like he had all those moves pat down even this early in the game, doing a fair bit of skatin' and dancin', with a roller-rink centrepiece that involves lashing a belt around like nunchucks, and bare-chested no less.

Toss in TV actors like Scott Baio (Happy Days), Maureen McCormick (The Brady Bunch) and Melissa Sue Anderson (Little House on the Prairie), and a dozen other familiar character faces slummin' it, lots of glittering mirror balls, gaudy outfits, crappy, eye-rolling comedy (Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten ordering pizza that never arrives! Ha!) and laughably dated vibes, and you have a great, stupidly charming, neon-laden party-starter of a film. Of course, the trailer is fantastic:

No comments:

Post a Comment