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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cult Movie In Need Of A Cult
Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of the shiniest forgotten gems of 1970s cinema. Released as Roger Corman's attempt to beat Kansas City Bomber (that other Roller Derby movie starring Raquel Welch) to the theaters to capitalize on the sport's peak in popularity, Unholy Rollers is unfortunately the less-remembered of the two. Not to say that it didn't get its fair share...
Published on September 25, 2003 by J. Barbee

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars claudia jennings enters the rough and tumble world of roller derby...
A Roger Corman production, Unholy Rollers (1972) takes a fun behind the scenes look at the world of roller derby, following the adventures of an unknown skater, who finds some success. Released around the same time as Kansas City Bomber (1972), another movie about the then popular "sport" of roller derby, Unholy Rollers attempts to capture some of the atmosphere and...
Published 23 months ago by trebe


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cult Movie In Need Of A Cult, September 25, 2003
By 
J. Barbee (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Unholy Rollers [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of the shiniest forgotten gems of 1970s cinema. Released as Roger Corman's attempt to beat Kansas City Bomber (that other Roller Derby movie starring Raquel Welch) to the theaters to capitalize on the sport's peak in popularity, Unholy Rollers is unfortunately the less-remembered of the two. Not to say that it didn't get its fair share of praise at the time - a review in Film Comment, that venerable academic film journal, called it "THE hardboiled film of the year."
And hardboiled it was, thanks to a singularly ballsy performance by the late, great Claudia Jennings as a complex and dissatisfied rookie Roller Derby star. A recent screening of the film at the American Cinematheque in Hollywood had the audience hooting, cheering and stomping their feet at each of Jennings' many bursts of fiery anger. But, her fever-pitched delivery of both elbow and verbal jabs alike, lays like a filmy veil over a spectacularly nuanced portrayal of blue-collar ennui and disappointment. When critics site the 1970s as a decade devoid of powerful roles for women, this film proves that they never went to the drive-in, because it doesn't get much better than this. All this with a total lack of self-importance, and a healthy dose of fun (not to mention editing by a young Martin Scorsese).
Unholy Rollers is in desperate need of a revival. It is the stuff that midnight screenings are made of, a cult film without a cult. Watch it once, and you'll want to show it to everyone you know. You'll be quoting it for the rest of your life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wildly campy 70s Roller Derby Drama., November 1, 2009
This review is from: Unholy Rollers [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Unholy Rollers is an action-packed drama, spotlighting the sport of Roller Derby. When this film was released in 1972, Roller Derby was at the zenith of it's popularity with the public.

Be forewarned, this definitely doesn't qualify as a P.C. movie, by any means. Like most B movies from the 70s, it's chocked full of stereotypical characters; lecherous male chauvinist pigs, dumb blond women, a lust-crazed lesbian, negligent store clerks, etc.

The film has B movie queen Claudia Jennings in the starring role, as Karen Walker. Karen is a gorgeous, buxom young woman, working at a dull job in a cat food cannery. For fun, Karen loves going to see her favorite local Roller Derby team, the LA Avengers.

Meanwhile, Karen gets tired of fending-off the unwanted sexual harassment, of her sleazy supervisor. Fed-up, she throws a can of cat food in his face, then quits in disgust. Without any other job prospects lined-up, Karen decides to try out for the LA Avengers team.

Karen makes the team, then reports to the team doctor, for her physical. The doctor turns-out to be mainly interested in ogling Karen's bod, after she strips-down to her undies for the physical. The doc gives Karen a clean bill-of-health. She then gets her Avenger uniform, and reports to the rink for her first game.

Karen gets off to a rip-roaring start, during her first game as an Avenger. She displays lots of colorful showmanship. The team Owner, Mr. Stern, likes Karen's skating style. In the locker room after the game though, Karen's teammates caution her to skate according to the team rules.

The Avenger's star skater, Mickey Martinez, gleefully teases Karen about her skirt that she wears. Mickey eggs-on the others, including the team's coach, to join in. Karen takes offense. But she's told by another teammate, Jennifer, not to take it seriously. Jennifer then invites Karen to join the rest of the team, for drinks at a local seedy bar. Wanting to be accepted by the others, Karen goes along.

Once at the bar, Karen is approached by Mickey again. Mickey is the lesbian character, and she makes amorous advances towards Karen. Karen gets belligerent with Mickey, telling Mickey to get lost. Feeling insulted, Mickey wants to 'teach Karen a lesson'. So, Mickey and some of the other Avengers, pin Karen to a pool table, tearing off all of her clothes. Naked and furious, Karen gives them all a brutal tongue-lashing. Especially Mickey, who she vows to get even with.

With vengeance, and a thirst for fame driving her, Karen quickly rises to the top of the Avengers team roster. Karen even beats Mickey's scoring record, eclipsing Mickey to become the Avenger's new number one skater. But fame and glory go to Karen's head. She refuses to be a team player, or follow orders by the team's Owner. Soon, Karen is headed for a fall. And she learns the hard way that, star or not, she's as expendable as any other skater in the league.

This film is jam-packed with lots of flashy skating footage, ribald humor, violent fights on the track, and an overall sense of raunchy debauchery. The bitter rivalry between Karen and Mickey, is the meatiest plot-line in the film. There's just not much else about the movie, that holds the viewer's interest.

Claudia Jennings performance as Karen Walker, is brilliant. Claudia had a wholesome, all-American cheerleader kind of beauty. Yet she manages to make the violent, ruffian qualities of Karen Walker completely believable.

Betty Anne Rees, was the perfect choice to play Karen's nemesis, Mickey Martinez. Betty was born with the face of a villain. It has lots of severe, razor-sharp angles, and looks like an abscessed tooth feels-painfully evil.

Unholy rollers is wild roller-coaster ride, through the rough-and-tumble world of 70s Roller Derby. It's destined to go down in history, as one of the biggest cult B movies, of all time. It's a must-see, for any 70s B movie fan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars claudia jennings enters the rough and tumble world of roller derby..., December 9, 2012
A Roger Corman production, Unholy Rollers (1972) takes a fun behind the scenes look at the world of roller derby, following the adventures of an unknown skater, who finds some success. Released around the same time as Kansas City Bomber (1972), another movie about the then popular "sport" of roller derby, Unholy Rollers attempts to capture some of the atmosphere and spirit of the game, as part athletic endeavor, and part entertainment.

A fan of roller derby, Karen Walker (Claudia Jennings) quits her job, and after a tryout, earns a spot on the Los Angeles Avengers team. Tough, sexy, and with a flair for playing to the audience, Walker is given a chance to become the featured player, by the owner of the team (Louis Quinn). Karen makes the most of the opportunity, creating a rivalry with Mickey Martinez (Betty Anne Rees), the team's current star player, and causing friction with some of her teammates.

With talent, determination, and a definite wild streak, Karen finds some success, hammering down opponents, jamming past her teammates, while also starting a romance with Nick (Jay Varela) who also skates for the Avengers. Eventually Karen does become the star, causing Mickey to be traded to another team. It's war on the track, when the two rivals square off as opponents for the first time, and the results are not pretty, as an overconfident and unpopular Karen, begins to slip over the edge, before losing it completely, as a riot breaks out at the arena.

Unholy Rollers may be mostly superficial, crude in places, and with more than a few rough spots, but the film is entertaining, and has a certain sleazy charm. With a particular view of the sport, and some of the colorful characters involved in it, the film displays some humor when dealing with some of the sleazy elements, and a sense of style regarding nudity, such as an incident in a pool hall, and a romantic scene in a roller arena. The action scenes are shot reasonably well, with some contributions from a young Martin Scorsese. Having announcers commenting over the action taking place on the track is a nice touch, that adds color, camp, insight, and a lot of fun.

The acting won't win any awards, but overall it's a cut above what you might expect in a low budget exploitation flick. Claudia Jennings (Gator Bait, Sisters of Death, Fast Company) a former model who appeared in Playboy, became a B-movie heroine in the 70's, working in a number of Corman productions, before her untimely death at 29 in 1979.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Amazon's cast list is incorrect!, July 20, 2010
By 
C. Smith (Buffalo, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As another reviewer has warned, do NOT purchase Rude Dog: Leader of the Pack, under the impression that it is a strange incarnation of the 1972 Claudia Jennings film Unholy Rollers: Leader of the Pack. The two films share a subtitle and nothing else. Amazon should change their cast list for the VHS tape of Rude Dog: Leader of the Pack; Claudia Jennings and Louis Quinn are NOT in this film!

For the Claudia Jennings film, go here The Unholy Rollers New DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Widescreen Print of a 1972 Cult Classic!, December 30, 2013
This is the best Unholy Rollers has ever looked before! MGM has restored it to a beautiful widescreen transfer! Also for once you get to hear the original soundtrack! The home video versions had a synthesizer musical score replacing the original! I liked this movie much better than I thought I would. Other than the MGM H.D. channel showing this movie,this is the only other way to see the film with the original songs and in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Both Betty Anne Rees and Roberta Collins play Claudia Jennings' rival teammates and prove to be a pair of evil villains,but neither stays on screen for very long. Roberta Collins, who would later star in Corman's Death Race 2000, makes a few cameo appearances while Betty Anne Rees is in the film for nearly an hour. The focus stays on Claudia Jennings as it should and she's there from beginning to end. The film didn't get as brutal as I thought it would. It's a good it didn't since the worse you see are a bloody nose,pretty girls getting knocked down unconscious,& Claudia Jennings gets hit by a man. The bruises Claudia's character got seem to be implied. This is a film that's worth multiple viewings!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great 70s Exploitation by Diretor Roger Corman, October 3, 2013
Playmate Claudia Jennings rolls to victory in what may be the best Roller Derby movie ever made. It's down and dirty... and delightful.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Strange Show, April 23, 2014
By 
I really like roller derby, and shows about the game, but this one was a bit strange. Sorta captivating but probably not worth the time to start watching it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Unholy Rollers, Holy Cow!!, March 26, 2014
Unholy Rollers starring the late Playmate, Claudia Jennings definitely shows its age. Released in 1973, I remember seeing it in the drive ins. It shows some resemblance to the much much better Kansas City Bomber. Karen played by Claudia Jennings is a brash rookie joining The Avengers. Ambitious, she's seen as an interloper by her team. Her antics make you cringe at times with her burning bridges, making more enemies than friends on and off the track. And tempers really flair as she faces past teammates and worse a new rookie threat. A b grade movie obviously, how else do you explain the same two teams playing each other as a good example for this low budget flick? Still it's sexy, plenty of good roller Derby action to garner three stars from this viewer. Don't take it seriously, just sit back and relive the days of cheap drive in movies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is time capsule hyper realism, February 6, 2014
I had been wanting to watch this movie for 2 years but didn't want to buy a copy. On a whim, I searched for it and there it was. Despite all the waiting and all the expectation, it did not disappoint!
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A MISTAKE!!!!, February 6, 2007
By 
frank maggio "FAT FRANK FILM GUY" (WARWICK, NEW YORK United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
THE FILM YOU ARE ORDERING HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ROLLER DERBY, THE 1970'S, OR A NUDE CLAUDIA JENNINGS. THIS IS A CARTOON FOR CHILDREN. THE NAME OF THIS FILM IS THE SAME AS A VERSION OF "HOLY ROLLERS" BUT IT IS NOT "HOLY ROLLERS". THIS IS NOT WHAT IT SAYS IT IS. UNLESS YOU WANT A CUTE CARTOON ABOUT DOGS, DON'T ORDER THIS FILM.
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Unholy Rollers [VHS]
Unholy Rollers [VHS] by Vernon Zimmerman (VHS Tape - 1987)
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