Unholy Rollers, The (1972)

Unholy Rollers, The (1972)

“Young Karen Walker — there’s a girl who’s certainly on fire tonight!”

A working class woman (Claudia Jennings) joins a local roller derby team and quickly rises to the top of her ranks — but will her key rival (Betty Anne Rees) fight back?

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Claudia Jennings Films
  • Rivalry
  • Roger Corman Films
  • Sports

Inspired by the production of another film about the roller derby circuit — Kansas City Bomber (1972) — Roger Corman produced this action-packed exploitation flick starring Playboy Playmate Claudia Jennings, whose fiery personality is put to good use. Jennings throws cat food at her (soon-to-be-ex) employer:

… goes for a joyride after nearly being savaged on a pool table by her teammates:

… doesn’t hesitate to point a gun at her lover (Jay Varela):

… and is feisty as all get-out in the rink:

At first this gutsiness serves her well, as she develops a fanbase (yes, that’s Princess Livingston of Russ Meyer fame in the crowd):

… stars in a few commercials — shown here with a teammate (Roberta Collins):

… and is able to afford some luxuries. (Watch for Kathleen Freeman in a tiny role as Karen’s mother.)

Eventually, however, the dog-eat-dog nature of such a brutal sport comes back to bite Karen — though she’s more than ready to fight in whatever ways she can.

Note: Martin Scorsese is credited as supervising editor, early in his career:

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Claudia Jennings as Karen Walker
  • Enoyable authentic footage of rolly derby-ing in action

Must See?
No, but it’s recommended for one-time viewing. Listed as a Cult Movie in the back of Peary’s book.


One thought on “Unholy Rollers, The (1972)

  1. First viewing (11/28/20).

    Low-budget flick of minimal interest that will have appeal mostly for fans of the sport or those who (like Peary) have a cult attraction to Jennings.

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