Official Selection, Slamdance 2012
Official Selection, Seattle International Film Festival 2012
"Superbly funny... More than just a send-up of 70s roller disco movies" — Jessica Baxter, FILM THREAT
Disco didn’t fade quietly into the night when the world had a collective thunderbolt of awkward self-observation. No, it was dragged kicking and screaming to its death by the video-game pusher man and now, at long last, you’re gonna be learned. Can you dig it? Best get your skates on (!) ’cuz here it comes! Leo (Mark Little) is one heck of a nice guy, not to mention the town’s resident king of roller disco. His world gets pummeled when seedy mobsters descend on the seemingly-non-profit Roller Town disco rink he calls home, fixing to turn the place into a mercenary money machine with grooveless and puzzling new machines called “video arcade games”. Heresy! Leo does not like where this is going. He and his friends are going to fight back. Hard. With disco fury. And good deeds. And moves. Lots of moves. Can roller skates deflect bullets? They cannot. No matter, this is war!
Coming on the heels of last year’s HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN and THE CORRIDOR, the Halifax freakwave continues to astonish with the wickedly hilarious ROLLER TOWN (not to mention, the wholly unclassifiable LOWLIFE, also weirding out the Fantasia screen this year). A riotously funny, high-energy send-up of that ever-so-brief but immortal trend of disco celebration films that boogie-blasted cinemas in the early ’80s (think can’t-ever-happen-againers like ROLLER BOOGIE and XANADU) with dashes of BREAKIN’ and young love/coming-of-age tales that stretch across generations, ROLLER TOWN shines proud as an innovative and insane slam of inspired indie cinema. The warped brainchild of comedy collective Picnicface, brilliant sketch comedians hailed by many as the SCTV of our day, ROLLER TOWN began life with an endearing online fundraising drive that rewarded donors with hysterical personalized songs (they’re still up on YouTube — watch some and you’ll be a pissed-pants believer). Several years later, the film exists and is it something else. Gravity-defying one-liners, lunatic plot beats, blinding costumes, madcap invention and enough personality to fill a dozen profilers’ handbooks are but a few of the grooves that make ROLLER TOWN so glitztacularly great. Have you got the funk, punk?
— Mitch Davis