Really Awful Movies: Ep 180 – Rollerball

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?

Join us!


Really Awful Movies: Ep 179 – From Justin to Kelly

Charitably listed as a “comedy” on IMDb, the laughs are always unintentional in the horrific, From Justin to Kelly.

And the synopsis is thus: “A waitress from Texas and a college student from Pennsylvania (‘the Pennsylvania Posse’, a group that includes the fro-ed Justin Guarini) meet during spring break in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and come together through their shared love of singing.” They certainly don’t come together in any other sense as this thing is TAME TAME TAME. The occasional beer is quaffed (not nearly as many as we’d regularly consume during a podcast recording) and an endless array of set pieces prevent Justin (Guarini) from finally meeting up with Kelly (Clarkson).

And no fireworks can be had. Not the barest of sprinkles, or the faintest of explosions.

So why this musical? We actually like musicals, and have discussed several on the Really Awful Movies Podcast, a program devoted to genre cinema.

If you’re a fan of American Idol or The Voice, you’ll know that while the latter consistently struggles with “putting over” (to use a WWE term) its talent, American Idol has actually produced a few bona fide stars. Kelly Clarkson is one of them, a pop culture supernova immortalized in the 40-Year-Old Virgin. Justin Guarini, is not one of them. So it’s interesting to see where their careers headed after this shameless cash grab.

So, sit back, take a listen to a few of the tunes, and of course…WATCH THE MOVIE FIRST and join us for a discussion of…From Justin to Kelly. And subscribe too.