The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

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--Matt

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Prayer of the Rollerboys (1990)

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When RepoGenetic sent me the Universal Soldier: Regeneration screener and a copy of Drive, he also included this bad boy. I had been looking for an opportunity to review it for some time, and with Sutekh's Space Chase last night, I figured this was as good a week as any to make it happen.

Prayer of the Rollerboys takes place in the future after the US economy has collapsed, turning it into a Third World country. In LA, gangs have emerged amid the chaos, and one of them, the Rollerboys, has become very powerful. Led by the be-mulleted Gary Lee, they preach hate and a pure white America owned by Americans. Corey Haim is another Rollerblader trying to make ends meet and keep he and his younger brother out of the dreaded homeless camps, when he saves a Rollerboy's life. Turns out he grew up with Gary Lee, they're old pals, and he wants Haim to join. First Haim says no, but when his younger brother joins up, he instead takes the police up on their offer to join undercover for them.

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This was a very interesting movie. How interesting? At moments I forgot I was watching Corey Haim. I'm serious. The idea of the US becoming a Third World country with the rest of the world picking our bones of course is unrealistic-- as we go, so does the rest of the world-- and some of the things, like Harvard being transported to Japan, were pretty silly; but as a what if concept, it was pretty interesting. My favorite scene was the one where the Rollerboys are feeding starving kids out of their van while inundating them with propaganda through their comic books. It's a common occurrence in the world to see anti-government groups provide all kinds of social needs programs that the government in power should be providing but can't or doesn't, from food and schooling, all the way to public transportation. It was a cool touch of realism. There were some bad parts, like Haim's kid brother was annoying, and some of the acting and dialog was off, but overall it was interesting enough for me to get past that.

This is our first Corey Haim film sans his partner in crime, Corey Feldman, that we've reviewed here at the DTVC. I've got some other ones in the queue that I could go to, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. On imdb he was listed as having 9 films in various stages of production, meaning the Two Coreys show did its job and got Haim back in the business somewhat. This 1990 version of him, twenty years younger, is kind of the vintage Haim we're used to, and it's hard for me to imagine him cast in more age appropriate roles today. At 39, he could play a very believable dad to a 15-year-old in a film. Can you imagine that? Not when he's 19 in Prayer of the Rollerboys I can't.

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Speaking of playing parent to older children, Medium's Patricia Arquette is in this as a fellow undercover cop/Haim's love interest. Prayer of the Rollerboys was three years before True Romance, which is probably the film we most know her for prior to her role on Medium. There's no doubt, she's pretty hot. I wonder if she was star struck working with Haim at that time. I wonder if anyone would be starstruck working with Haim now. I know Arquette wouldn't be, but like an actress just starting out. I wonder if I'd be starstruck if I met Haim. I'd have to be, I grew up in the 80s.

Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like a Hole" played in the background of one of the party scenes. You often don't get mainstream music used in indie films like this, so it was really cool. I was trying to remember how mainstream the song was in 1990 though. I couldn't remember if it was on MTV during the day, or only during 120 Minutes. I love NIN, especially that song.

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New England is Dunkin' Donuts country, which is kind of too bad, because we miss out on some other greats, like Krispy Kremes. As such, the Dunkin' Donuts product placement made me a little uneasy. You can't go two miles in any direction without seeing a Dunkin Donuts somewhere, which is somewhat disconcerting, so at the very least, I hope my DTV movie watching will at least allow me to escape, and it's there too... God I need some Krispy Kremes...

This is an interesting movie. At 90 minutes, it's not much of an investment in time, it's got Haim, which is always good. Sure, there were some bad parts, but as a concept it was cool enough to work-- at least for me. There is some suspension of belief necessary, though. If you're expecting a film based in legitimate macroeconomics, you may want to look else where.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102703/

4 comments:

  1. Patricia Arquette has already appeared on Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors when she made this one, but she was defenetly still a star on the rise. Agree with you, shes always had this hotness to her.

    Prayer for the Rollerboys (which I haven't seen) is a quintessential corey haim film that slipped me by. I should get around to watching it already!

    This movie is kind of similar in tone to Solarbabies, which was also about a group of rollerskatin teenagers that lived in a group,surviving in a post apocalyptic world that is running out of water. It also starred a couple of the actors that appeared on The Lost Boys, another film Corey Haim appeared in.

    Solarbabies, was a pretty decent 80s sic-fi, though I haven't seen it in ages! I wonder if I would still find it cool now? Time for a re-watch!

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  2. Just saw the previews for it on You Tube, looks like a decent rebellious flick! Gonna get my hands on it soon !

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  3. dude, you killed him!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8560246.stm

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  4. I just heard the news, what a sad story. I know, and I just reviewed one of his movies only a couple weeks ago and was talking about all the stuff he has coming down the pike. He'll be sorely missed.

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