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Prayer of the Rollerboys - Arquette, Haim, and an Iguana.
Matt - 12/26/00


Santa brought me a late Christmas gift in the form of the worst sore throat of all time. So seeing as how my day's already shot, I might as well review another one of Corey Haim's greatest hits. Bear with me, I feel like shit and should've probably opted to talk about happy stuff. Reviewing this is adding insult to injury.


Prayer of the Rollerboys. Years ago, this pinnacle of cinematic genius popped onto one of those cable channels who refuse to buy the rights to movies people would actually want to watch at around 3 AM. I remember being on the phone at the time, which is probably the only reason the movie lasted on my television set as long as it did. But I guess it was fate, because this is the movie that made Corey my personal anti-hero. As shocking as it might seem, I actually think this is a good movie, albeit one that had no right being filmed. Most of Corey's movies aren't so lucky, but Prayer.. has four things going for it...

* Gratuitous drug use: The movie seeks to condemn leisurely drug use by upping its side effects - in this case, the bad guys are spreading the use of a new and far more evil than usual drug called myst - if the drug doesn't kill you outright, it'll make you sterile. See, the Rollerboys are a gang of neo-Nazis...they only sell the myst to those races whom they're looking to kill off. For the first half of the movie, the neo-Nazi stuff is sorta subdued...but once they have a party consisting of kicking the shit out of an old black guy with a bag over his head, the point's drilled right in.

* Rollerblades: Did I mention that all of the bad neo-Nazi villains are superb rollerbladers? Well, they are. And judging from the chunk of this futuristic, battle-weathered America they own, rollerblading is essential to global conquest. For what its worth, rollerblading fans generally appreciate this movie for its veritable assault of bladin' scenes. Of course, for the rest of us, its just a neat little way to make the movie's title make sense.

* Crooked Cop Subplot: In the director's best efforts to make this film a total clusterfuck, we'll also realize that some of the cops are actually bad guys trying to steal drug money. The storyline provides nothing, aside from the overwhelming sense of confusion one usually gets trying to make sense of what's on the screen. For the sake of a clean flow, I've eliminated the bad cop subplot from the review. All you need to know is that they take bets on whether or not Corey'll get a blowjob by the end of his adventure.

* Random, inappropriate appearance by an iguana.

So, here's the story. Futuristic America is in shambles - the stock market crash has somehow led society to either kill itself, kill each other, or lock people behind fences. I'm not sure either, so if you're lost, you're not alone. Because America is in financial ruin, foreign nations have moved in and sucked it dry of virtually anything of worth. All that's left is an endless stream of crime and other assorted vile things.

Gary Lee is a man with a purpose. He seeks to take back America by creating a new White Army on Rollerblades, and believe it or not, he's done a pretty good job so far. Whether dealing drugs, killing Mexicans, or for some reason buying giant aircraft carriers, his lead of the Rollerboys gang spells trouble for whatever stability society had left.

Meanwhile, Corey plays Griffin, a rollerblader who doesn't want to hurt anyone. Griffin's parents died when the stock market crashed, again reiterating that this crash must've been of seriously epic proportions. He watches over his little brother Miltie as best he could, delivering pizzas to cover the rent for his tent and trying to steer clear of the never-ending evils...of the Rollerboys.


We kick off with a healthy dose of Rollerboy Propaganda. Gary Lee tries to convince today's young people into becoming the Rollerboys' future army with promises of candy and a few well-placed but altogether nonsensical catchphrases, the most absurd of which being 'day of the rope.' When Gary finishes a speech, he puts his fists in front of his chin in the same way a person who doesn't know how to fight would, and seals the deal by smiling as if he's just told you the secret to eternal life.

Meanwhile, the kids take a shine to his videos and posters, unwittingly becoming pawns in his evil game of drugs, racism, and rollerblading. Griffin's little brother is also taken in by all the bright lights...something Griffin's just not too happy about. After all, nobody wants to introduce their girlfriend to their little neo-Nazi drug-addled brother. The fact that Miltie has a mullet only complicates matters, successively thrusting him from being the most annoying child in this movie to flat out the most annoying person in this movie.


Elsewhere, Corey/Griffin rollerblades his troubled thoughts away. One of the movie's few ongoing themes. Griffin has a lot on his mind. Aside from his brother, he also inadvertently saved a Rollerboy from a burning drug house, making him seem like an ally of these hedonistic drug pushing fancy pants Nazis. Now the cops are on his case too, and remember, given the year this movie came out, Corey certainly looks like the type to be hanging around a bunch of drug dealers. The fact that he goes around rollerblading isn't helping his aura any.


Finally, Griffin and Gary Lee meet up, face to face. They exchange cordial greetings and recipes for herring canapes, ultimately setting up a dinner party to be held monthly on the third Tuesday. But they say most of that under their breath. What we do hear clearly is Gary thanking Griffin for saving his soldiers, and we also find out that these two were good chums when they were kids. Gary tells Griffin to join up with him, seeing as how he meets the whole rollerblading criteria. Griffin respectfully declines the offer and the chance to be a drug-pushing Nazi, thus fully establishing him as this movie's hometown hero.


Since he can't make money selling drugs like those dirty, no-good Rollerboys, Griffin is reserved to delivering pizzas. He had ruined his truck earlier in the movie while saving the burning Rollerboys, but that's okay, since Gary Lee bought his boss a new Pizza Van! While Griffin is appreciative, he knows that the van was bought from drug money. Not helping matters any is the fact that his little brother is starting to take a real shine to these seemingly gregarious nazi druglords.


Here's where the movie starts abandoning any sense of realism it hoped to achieve. Griffin watches the news and is saddened by the news that yet another college has literally been shipped off to Japan. Not the name, mind you. The entire college. I guess the Japanese aren't the architectural geniuses they'd have us believe if they need to literally move entire colleges across the globe. Still, scenes like this serve a purpose: America is in shambles. But hey, we still had pizza being delivered to our doors, so how bad could it really be?

On the right we see Speedbagger, Griffin's landlord/mentor/father figure who has the unfortunate trait of being black...not something to aim for in a movie about racist, rollerblading terrorists. Speedbagger is your typical crosseyed wizard of superior knowledge, almost Force-sensitive in his ability to detect trouble on the horizon. He tells Griffin that bad things are coming in the future. Right, Speedbagger, I think the whole drug war/deteroiated America solidified that point about an hour ago. This guy is like one of those psychics who tells you you're intelligent and that there's great love in your future.

Later in the movie, Griffin will be tricked into joining a classy Rollerboys Bashin' of the Blacks party. Speedbagger doesn't take to kindly to having his skull bashed in by his friend, but Griffin counters by saying that he didn't know it was Speedbagger under that hood. That could've been any black man! So, I'm not sure if he was trying to insinuate that beating up black guys is okay if you don't know them personally or not, but the point it: these Rollerboys are not the good guys they want us to believe they are!


Corey goes to a Rollerboys party and see what they're all about: titties.


Ugh, I'm already growing tired of this movie's attempt at plot twists and turns. Most Corey movies aren't this pretentious...they know they suck, and they make no effort to convince anyone otherwise. This movie had enough potential that some actual effort went in. The results are predictably bad, but its not the kind of movie that you'll cross the seven seas to avoid watching.

Up above we find our fabulous co-star getting her underwear taken off by Griffin. For those who can't tell by the shoddy screencap, its Patricia Arquette, who's made her mark on Hollywood by refusing NO ROLE - whether it makes her blow Corey Haim or marry an 11-year-old Amish boy, Patricia is no acting snob. Here she plays Casey, an undercover cop who seeks to avenge her brother's death by destroying the Rollerboys' criminal reign. How she plans to do that by sleeping with all of them, I'm not really sure.


Well, Griffin's seen enough. His brother is starting to gush with Rollerboy love, and he knows its time to take action. So after some urging, he agrees to go undercover for the coppers and join up with the Rollerboys, who would've been taken a lot more seriously had they opted for a more sinister title. I don't shiver with pro-Caucasian fascist fear when I hear the word 'Rollerboys', do you?


With that, Griffin signs on with the bad guys. To prove that he's one of them, he takes an uzi and shoots a bunch of Gary Lee's imported vases. Hey, whatever works. Gary Lee also uses this opportunity to show us his true power symbol: an iguana. After this, Griffin goes through a long, action-packed test to officially become a Rollerboy. The action sequences in this movie aren't bad, since Corey and most of the actors actually do rollerblade, cutting the obvious stunt double scenes to a minimum and at least giving the movie a few points for casting actors that fit their ridiculous criteria.


The guys have a neat little ceremony to induct Griffin. Griffin's not too happy about it, though. He puts on his game face, but he knows that being a Rollerboy just isn't what he wanted to do with his life. He wanted to be a singer. A performer. Someone to make the girls scream. Sure, being a Rollerboy has its perks...but Griffin's sure none of them include getting up on stage and really releasing some raw, emotional energy. It would be years before he finally accomplished that goal...


And with that, being a rollerblading nazi is starting to look a whole lot better.


Griffin and Casey tongue each other, and Casey finally admits that she's also an undercover agent. By now, the movie has made the rules pretty clear: you're either a Rollerboy, or a cop pretending to be friends with a Rollerboy. Or black. One of those three. There's also some prostitutes wearing gypsy outfits in the beginning of the movie, but those were more cameos than, you know, actual star-power.


Myst is the drug that's causing all the trouble. Gary Lee's special blend includes ingredients that make people sterile, a perfect way for him to create an all-white world. Of course, the drug itself is dangerous...most people who take it either end up dead, or in Griffin's brother's case, far more annoying than they were previously. Griffin's goal is to get into the myst trailer and take it out. (apparently, the drug is so special, its only manufactured on one tiny trailer - and once that trailer is destroyed...problem solved!)

I'm leaving out some of the movie's other elements. Griffin's brother is addicted to myst, Speedbagger is in the hospital, and Corey is no longer delivering pizzas. Now that we're all up to speed, here's the movie's blank sex scene...


I kid you not, Patricia Arquette would all-but apologize for being a part of this movie in future interviews. I guess there's a stigmata that goes along with being an actress scripted to suck off Corey Haim that's not very attractive in Hollywood. Case in point: when's the last time you saw a movie starring Nicole Eggert or Amy Dolenz? One of them was so disgusted she literally had her breasts removed, while the other's only other movie role was in a movie about mutant, killer ticks. If you can't guess which girl is which in those descriptions, you're just helping to prove my point.


Corey finally lands a job at the Myst trailer. Stuff goes down, people fight, cops and bad guys get shot, etc...I dunno. It was a blur. Casey ends up shooting the bad cops before they turn on Griffin, most of the Rollerboys and good cops fight it out, and Griffin and Gary have a long rollerblading chase sequence. The end result?


Poor Gary Lee goes to jail. He hints that there will be a sequel to this flick, a prediction far bolder than all of Nostradamus' instincts combined. Obviously, there was no sequel, and there will never...evvvver be a sequel. Not unless, by some strange chance, rollerblading neo-Nazis once again become fashionable.

This is a tough movie to review since it doesn't look like much on paper, but I'm gonna throw a recommendation at it. Its worth seeing just because its one of the only three Corey movies out there that won't cause you to hurt someone. Amazingly enough, its achieved somewhat of a cult status with rollerbladers, and I guess if you watch it with the sound turned off, its really not that bad of a movie.

Meanwhile, you might absolutely hate Corey's acting, but remember...you never heard the guy sing.

- Matt
matt@x-entertainment.com
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