Tag Archives: post-apocalyptic

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 159 – Death Race 2000

Movie poster for David Carradine film, Death Race 2000There’s a race. And there’s death involved.

In the then distant future, society is transfixed by a bloodsport, one that involves mowing down pedestrians in a cross-continental race. David Carridine, of the legendary familial acting dynasty, stars as Frankenstein, a popular and seemingly indestructible driver in Death Race 2000.

He has to do battle with other drivers, and points are awarded according to cohort deaths: running over babies and the elderly garner the biggest scores. Cheery stuff!

Actually, there’s a zany, over-the-top quality that was the hallmark of Paul Bartel films (he directs). But there’s more to Death Race 2000 than your run-of-the-mill roadster movie. The film asks a lot of pertinent questions too. Look out for Sly Stallone as Machine Gun Joe and Mary Woronov as Calamity Jane Kelly.

Gentlemen (and gentle-women), start your engines! And tune in for new episodes of the Really Awful Movies Podcast every Friday.