Story by Donald G. Jackson
Screenplay by Donald G. Jackson and Randall Frakes
Directed by Donald G. Jackson
A post-apocalyptic future where you live and die based on how well you roller blade. Yes, Roller Blade is a classic piece of b movie insanity from the mind of Donald G. Jackson. You might think that means there are roller blades in the film, but you would be wrong, everyone is using regular skates, as this was years before in-line skates or roller blades became popular.
Director Donald G. Jackson spent a whole $5000 making Roller Blade and it went on to become very successful, earning over a million dollars through video sales. He made several additional roller blade themed movies, some of which were funded by studios. Some drama happened that’s more appropriate to discuss in the relative films’ reviews, but needless to say it despite the increase in budget, it was not a pleasant experience for Jackson. The large amount of Roller Blade related films has ensured the films a cult following, even as Legend of the Roller Blade Seven has a reputation for being one of the worst films ever made.
Donald G. Jackson is known for being an advocate of Zen Filmmaking, a method of low-budget filmmaking that doesn’t use a script and focuses on using the energy of the cast and available resources to craft a film on the fly. Hence, many of Jackson’s films seem like they were made up by a group of friends on weekends, because they often are. Some of his more structured films such as Hell Comes to Frogtown are more focused, but you can see the roots of Zen Filmmaking here: The lack of focus or strong script, voice-overs instead of sync sound, characters that randomly become more important, and actors playing multiple roles.