WTFW: Prayer of The Rollerboys (1990)

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WTFW: Prayer of The Rollerboys (1990)

  • Directed: Rick King
  • Produced:
    • Robert E. Baruc
    • Tetsu Fujimura
    • Martin F. Gold
    • Richard Lorber
    • Robert Mickelson
  • Written: W. Peter Iliff
  • Starring: Corey Haim, Patricia Arquette, Christopher Collet, Julius Harris, Josh Todhunter
  • Music: Stacy Widelitz
  • Editing: Daniel Loewenthal
  • Cinematography: Phedon Papamichael Jr.
  • Studio:
    • Academy Entertainment
    • Fox Lorber Features
    • GAGA
    • JVC Entertainment Networks
    • TV Tokyo
  • Distributed:
    • United American Video (USA) (VHS)
    • Academy Entertainment (VHS)
    • Castle Hill Productions (all media)
    • Image Entertainment (all media) (laserdisc)
    • Platinum Disc (USA) (DVD)
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: November 1990
  • Running Time: 95 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

Released in 1990, “Prayer of The Rollerboys” is a film about your typical rollerblading, trench-coat wearing, drug manufacturing and dealing, paramilitary, white supremacist teenagers who are bent on world domination!  The movie takes place in the dark future after "the great crash" where the homeless are subjected to camps, the economy is in the crapper, and Japan is dismantling various pieces of Americana and having it shipped overseas, news reports indicate they have reconstructed Harvard University, the last of the Ivy League schools over in Hiroshima, Japan.

Haim stars as Griffin, a rollerblader in near future Los Angeles, a city overrun with crime and drug use in the wake of a catastrophic economic crash caused by the greed of previous generations.  The film includes ominous events, including news reports of riots in Washington D.C., a newspaper headline that proclaims "GERMANY BUYS POLAND" and references to the Israeli Defense Forces "cleaning up Northern Ireland".

A rollerblade-wearing white supremacist gang known as the Rollerboys fight for control of what's left of the city.  The fascist group is led by a childhood neighbor of Griffin's, Gary Lee.  The Rollerboys carry out their eugenics agenda through violent battles with ethnic gangs and through the distribution of the drug "mist".  When Griffin's little brother begins to idolize the Rollerboys and eventually starts abusing mist, Griffin is convinced by the police chief and an undercover cop (Patricia Arquette) to join up with the Rollerboys as a mole, in exchange for a better life for his brother.

Mist is an inhaled drug that causes the user to be at ease, making him content to pass the day away in a stupor. It was originally designed by the Chinese government as a way to pacify its masses.  Gary Lee has added a new ingredient to the mix which causes the side effect mentioned previously, it causes the user to become sterile in a short period of time. The drug is taken via an inhaling mask and canister, mostly because they are cheap to come by.

The Drug is produced in Mist houses.  The police cannot gather any proof of their existence because the drugs and manufacturing apparatus' are flushed with acid.  Gary Lee has developed a new prototype Mist house however that is mobile, one man per shift, 3 shifts a day, 7 days a week, if successful, he will have 20 more produced just like it.  The Mist dealers come to the "kitchen" drop off the cash from Mist sales and pick up a new supply, most of the Rollerboys Mist dealers are children between the ages of 10-15.

Having joined up, Griffin's loyalties to the gang are eventually called into question and he is tricked into nearly beating his African-American friend Speedbagger to death.  He also discovers that the Rollerboys' mantra "the day of the Rope is coming" actually refers to a toxic chemical "Rope" being added to the mist drug which renders its (mostly non-Caucasian) abusers sterile, enabling the gang's genocidal goal.

The film was nominated for two Saturn Awards: Best Performance by a Younger Actor (Corey Haim) and Best Science Fiction Film.

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