28 October 2003 | Wizard-8
Surprisingly dull look at an exploitive sport
This was an attempt by American-International Pictures to cash in on the publicity for the highly publicized KANSAS CITY BOMBER, also released in 1972. Actually, it's more like Roger Corman's attempt to do so, because while A.I.P. footed the bill, it was a Corman show all the way (even though he had already started his own movie company/distribution outfit, New World Pictures, two years earlier.) In fact, it has the same look and sparse production values as New World movies of the earlier '70s, making you wonder if A.I.P. gave Corman little to spend, or if Corman pocketed a lot of the budget.
Whatever the case, the end result is pretty boring to sit though, despite the showcased sport (roller derby) and the presence of B movie queen Claudia Jennings. The first few minutes aren't bad, promising an energetic and wacky look at the behind-the-scenes of roller derby, but then the movie suddenly takes a turn to the deadly serious. Sure, there are catfights, nudity, and clobberings on the roller ring, but there's no feeling of fun to it all. Actually, much of the movie focuses on boring bickering and chattering between the characters. To make matters worse, the print of the movie currently playing on cable eliminates the original music score and substitutes bland muzak that results in the viewing experience becoming more of a slog to get through.