In a world…where a gruesome blood sport placates a docile public…That’s the milieu of Rollerball, a Norman Jewison-directed, James Caan-starring 70s dystopian hit.
Houston is the best team on the planet, led by crafty veteran uh, “rollerballer” Jonathan E (played by Caan). Globalism is the order of the day, and the New World Order includes corporations ruling the world. And corporate interests fund this sport, which is an odd hybrid of roller derby, baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and pinball! (but with spikes. Oh, and motorcycles).
Rollerball practitioners live high on the hog, indulging in splendor the likes of which none of us can imagine, women, pills, booze, etc. Of course, this isn’t different from any major sport today. What IS different, is that corporate interests occasionally interfere, making the game that much more dangerous…and keeping its more “dissident” elements in check (that being, reluctant superstar Jonathan E).
So, this nasty spectacle keeps the populace entertained, as they know no racial or economic strife, yet have their individual freedoms curtailed. So, is the flick successful?
On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast:
- What’s with James Caan and 70s hair?
- What are the different kinds of dystopian films?
- What was Jewison up to and what was his purpose?
- What other movies is Rollerball similar to?
- What’s the deal with “futuristic” movies and their aesthetic?
- Would we take part in, or watch Rollerball if it existed in some form today?