The Roller Blade Seven (1991)
Nomination Year: 2016
SYNOPSIS: Of all the Scott Shaw films I have seen (with or without Donald G. Jackson), this one is the acme of Zen Filmmaking.
I use the word acme instead of zenith because I want you to think of Wile E. Coyote -- the same crazed anarchy of those cartoons is on display inside this film, or as I call it in my notes, One Fucked-Up Random Encounter Table.
The reason this movie works so well as a movie instead of just a manifesto is because the framework upon which the random encounters are hung is solid, and all of the Zen stuff is done within that structure.
The basic story is: Our Hero (Hawk, played by Scott Shaw) is given a Quest by Father Donaldo (Donald G. Jackson). He gathers a group around him (the psychic says she sees "a Samurai, a Passive, a Clown," which doesn't really add up to Seven, but what the heck).
People roller skate through culverts a lot in this movie. A guy in samurai armor. A guy playing the banjo. The Big Bopper. Kabuki the Clown. The Black Knight. The shadow of the cameraman (Whoops!).
The phrase "Martial Arts Free-For-All with Banjo" is another one that appears in my notes. There is random nudity. Hawk fights a ninja. There are random banjos. We get to see that camera shadow again (it's darn near everywhere).
There are jarring music transitions, and we are in The United Skates of America. Father Donaldo talks to us about time. Hawk succeeds in his mission, and gets married. And then gets killed. Or maybe not. But in any case, there's The Pride of the Yankees. Repetitively.
It features almost all of our favorite Don Jackson / Scott Shaw actors: Scott Shaw, Frank Stallone, Don Stroud, Joe Estevez, and even Donald G. Jackson himself. Everybody but Robert Z'Dar.
Looking through my notes, there are 8 categories where I do not see a potential Smithee nomination (Oblivious, Deus Ex Machina, Stupidest-Looking Monster, Worst Science, Best One-Liner*, Worst Cover Copy, Cutting Butter with a Chainsaw, Acting Appropriately Stupid*). But let's be honest -- any movie that begins with Bad Acting at 0 minutes and ends with a Crummy Ending, and yet is still highly enjoyable ... is a total Win.
(* Perhaps I did not look hard enough.)
- Most Ludicrous Premise
A Samurai, a passive, a clown
- "Wanna Run That By Me Again?"
Don Jackson on Time
- "Alas, Poor Yorick"
"I hate banjos!"
Big Bopper & thru Kabuki (& banjo?)
- Crummiest Ending
Repetitive Pride of the Yankees & our heroes are both dead ... maybe (???)
- Worst Picture
Martial Arts Free-For-All with Banjo
- Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame Scott Shaw Not the comic book writer/artist, this one is the filmmaker/martial artist. Frank Stallone younger brother of "Rocky" & "Rambo" himself, Sylvester Stallone Karen Black from Easy Rider to Stripping For Jesus, she has a long & varied movie career Don Stroud William Smith NOT Will Smith. This guy is a big bruiser who played "Falconetti" in Rich Man, Poor Man and fought with Clint Eastwood in Any Which Way You Can Joe Estevez Martin Sheen's brother, making him Charlie Sheen's and Emilio Estevez's uncle; he plays a lot of bit parts. Roger Ellis looks a lot like a low-rent David Carradine Donald G. Jackson as an actor, he's a good director
Director Claim to Fame Donald G. Jackson aka "Maximo T. Bird" when he felt like it
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