An undercover super skater named Griffin (Corey Haim) joins forces with a group of drug dealing roller boys wearing trench coats and khakis in hopes to put a stop to a dangerous drug called Mist.
Ask and thou shalt receive! Prayer of the Rollerboys is a nonsensical film that has been on my list for a coon’s age. After a hefty dosage of beggary from my readers, I decided it was time to whip up a quick summarization as to why this film is so bad, it’s good! Do you ever feel embarrassed by the guilty pleasures of your childhood? Much like Howard the Duck, every cringe worthy moment through every grueling second of these shit festivals has me questioning my standards. The sad thing about the film in question is that it was meant to be taken seriously! So does that qualify as a ‘So bad it’s good’ flick? The pain and torture I endured for your reading pleasure seemed to last much longer than it should. THE HORROR! No, Prayer of the Rollerboys is in fact NOT so bad, it’s good. What the hell were we thinking? What the hell was Rick King thinking? Before you start cursing my name and telling me to go fuck myself for trashing your beloved homo-erotic skater flick, let’s explore the train wreck that is POTRB.
This is a post-apocalyptic ‘treasure’ where the children of an economic crash have risen to take over America. The Japanese have taken over Harvard University and the majority of the civilians live in homeless camps. American fruit pickers are being deported in foreign countries and Germany buys Poland. When I hear post-apocalypse I think Blade Runner, Logan’s Run, and Escape From New York, to name a few. The future setting in POTRB looked like a polluted 1984 with bad eighties hair and questionable fashion choices. The film is almost completely devoid of visual styling. Oh and in the future, pizza boys are still in corny uniform….
Gary Lee (Christopher Collet of Sleepaway Camp. Yes, the one who gets decapitated by a little girl with a penis,) is a Nazi poster boy sporting a curly mullet who spews this trite speech that fills the audience in on what has transpired in America: “Before many of you were born, our parents caused the Great Crash. They were consumed with greed. They ignored repeated warnings, and borrowed more money than they could ever repay. They lost our farms, lost our factories, lost our homes. Alien races foreclosed on our nation while we… We were locked in homeless camps. Now America belongs to the enemy. Forget your parents. They didn’t care about us. We are the New Generation, and we are the Remedy. You need a new family, a family that cares. The Rollerboys care. Join with us. Let us be your Strength. Let us be your Warriors. Help the White Army win back our homeland. The Day of the Rope is coming.”
Nothing says America like drug-peddling anarchists on roller blades. To be fair, roller-blading was a huge fad in the 90s and the economy was suffering so I can respect their angle.
Anyway, Gary Lee and his band of fascist rollerboys may have a disturbing agenda with their wonder mist but they’re still feeding the homeless camps and giving away their rollerboy comic books to the kids. “Get them while they’re young.” The mist is a combination of and I quote, “Throw in a little yellow. Throw in a little white. Got yourself a little blue. Mix it all up in that little bowl over there. Throw it in that little container there. Mixes up all by itself. Goes all the way through this bubbling process.” I am not a drug expert but this is all implausible with the green glowing outcome.
The fascism and anti-semitism is clear as these white boys skate in a synchronized V-shape formation, swinging their arms in unison. They even beat the shit out of an old, helpless black man for shits and giggles. Our protagonist Griffin struggles to keep himself and his annoying little brother Miltie (Devin Clark) out of the camps but his childhood friend, Gary Lee, manages to pull him in. Patricia Arquette keeps rolling in with highly unusual slut gear in hopes to score some mist while she sexually molests Griffin. She’s actually a VERY convincing undercover cop with a code. The two join forces to take down the rollerboy’s day of reckoning dubbed “The Day of the Rope.” That’s the gist of the storyline without spoiling anything. Throw in a few dirty cops and you got yourself one messy plot.
The acting is awkward and all over the place, making it hard to take the characters seriously but given the atrocious script writing, I cannot place the blame solely on the actors. The dialogue is rough but it does feature some fancy new world slangs. The most comical performance goes to little Miltie. Talk about nails on a chalk board. It would have been nice to see Joshua John Miller from Near Dark, Class of 99, and Teen Witch in his place. Corey Haim was such a talented actor. It’s a shame about his drug habit because he had a bright future ahead of him. Then again, I think this movie killed his career. It’s also refreshing to see Haim portraying a young lad who is against drug use. Check out these rare images of Haim basking in the rollerboy glory at the local video store….
Mark Pelligrino and Morgan Weisser were among my favorite performances but it’s hard to get past their character names Bullwinkle and Bango. Bullwinkle angrily biting into an apple is among my favorite scenes.
The special effects are up to par with several notable action sequences. That’s about all it has going for it. The soundtrack is easily forgettable with the exception of Nine Inch Nail’s Head Like a Hole blasting during the party scene at the rollerboy’s head quarters. The production values are unexpected with the budget at hand and the cinematography features a variety of impressive shots of the ruins of Los Angeles.
So there you have it. My brutally honest opinion about a film you all hold so dear to your hearts. The film has acquired a questionable reputation. You could say it’s like if A Clockwork Orange and The Warriors had a baby.