10 August 2018 | Hey_Sweden
Nothing special here, but it certainly kills time amiably enough.
Renowned sex symbol Raquel Welch is front and centre as Diane "K.C." Carr, a reigning roller derby star who is obliged to leave town early in the tale. She signs up to play for leering team owner Burt Henry (Kevin McCarthy), the kind of guy who ultimately does what's good for business. She must overcome the vindictiveness of another player, Jackie Burdette (Helena Kallianiotes), who'd previously been the big cheese of the team, and fend off advances from horny pig teammates. In the meantime, single mother K.C. ends up with little time for her two kids (the daughter is played by Jodie Foster, in one of her earliest roles).
The script here is just okay, but at least it manages to entertain, and create a key emotional moment for teammate Horrible Hank Hopkins (character actor Norman Alden, giving the movies' standout performance). What is striking is the way that this fad of the 70s has definite similarities to pro wrestling: the colourful personalities, the bone-crunching brutality, the circus-like nature of the sport, life on the road, and the frequent smack-talking. This helps the picture to at least be a reasonably good artifact of time and place, if not a great film. The action on the track is pretty damn amusing, and adding a degree of authenticity is the presence of real-life roller derby players of the period. Decent location shooting in Kansas City, Fresno, and Portland is an asset.
Raquel is very appealing and also quite convincing in a very physical role, giving as good as she gets. McCarthy is fine as the unlikely romantic partner for her. Kallianiotes is one of those antagonists whom you do come to understand and sympathize with, to some degree. Jeanne Cooper, Katherine Pass, Cornelia Sharpe, William Gray Espy, Richard Lane, and Russ Marin round out a solid supporting cast. If you're watching it for Jodie, be advised that her role is actually quite minor.
Overall, a watchable picture, certain to appeal to fans of Raquel and roller derby in general.
Seven out of 10.