Schlock du Jour: Rollergator (1996)

directed by Don G. Jackson
runtime: 83 mins

I am a disappointment. Before you attempt to console me, please, just listen to my story.

I had it all planned out, see? I held my horses for the perfect opportunity. I had waited so long to finally see it, and I knew I needed my best mates Jade, Jeremy, and Tim there to enjoy the experience with me. I also needed drinks of course. You can’t forget the drinks when you’re screening an A+ Schlock bomb that would rewire our synapses after it blew our collective minds. This was going to be a great night. We were going to watch Rollergator. Hell. Yes.

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Hell.
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Yes.

Fast forward 83 minutes to me sitting there, in silence, embarrassed and ashamed as the credits rolled. Because that’s when I realized that I showed the wrong movie. What I meant to watch involved women in skimpy clothing turning into reptiles, and then killing other people to turn them into gay zombies! It had been Repligator I meant to watch! Bret McCormick’s erotic sci-fi romp from the same year. Not whatever the shit this was. I had never even actually heard of Rollergator, it had merely incepted its way into my mind like its name was Berenstein Bears. Press [F] to pay respects.

So then what was Rollergator? This is a family film in the vein of To Catch a Yeti, Nukie, A Gnome named Gnorm, Munchie, etc. Just take a creature, in this case one that looks like Gon from Tekken 3, turn him purple, and make him crack wise every 2 seconds and rap occasionally. Throw in a lesser Estevez and some lady ninjas, and slap a stupid name on it and voila! 90’s family home entertainment! In the case of Rollergator, you’ll have to turn the fun level down to about a 2, can’t let these things actually be enjoyable you know?

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Q: What do you call an alligator in a vest?
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A: An investigator! Teehee

This movie begins with the main characters all independently wandering around a fun-park. They all look like they are on missions from the CIA, thanks to the dramatic low camera angle and concerned expressions on the actor’s faces. This goes on for maybe 5 minutes while acoustic guitar jamming plays in the background. This scene has nothing to do with the movie.

The movie really starts when teenage girl PJ is walking around the beach and hears someone that sounds like Gobo from Fraggle Rock calling for help. That someone turns out to be a purple talking “alligator”. PJ finds him odd, but accepts this talking baby alligator thing without questioning whether or not reality has broken. Acoustic guitar still blares in the background, washing out most of the dialogue.

The alligator explains that ninjas are after him to take him to the cruel Joe Estevez so he can use him as a side-show freak in his carnival. PJ Agrees to take him with her to help him find his owner. A character known only as “swamp farmer.”

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I’ve told you before, I just don’t like the sound of “Joe Sheen”

Obnoxious pun after bad joke after awful Schwarzenegger impression, and the acoustic guitar still jams ceaselessly, doing absolutely nothing for the film.

There is a rollerblade chase where PJ and alligator are being pursued by a ninja on a skateboard, and a girl with a slingshot, named Slingshot. The alligator puppet never skates or even ends up on a skateboard. He spends most of his time in a backpack. There is a bounty hunter with the face of a frog that we see once talking to Joe Estevez, and then we never see him again. This is likely a nod to director Don Jackson’s one good movie, Hell Comes to Frogtown. I kept noticing the cross around PJ’s neck, and given the tone of the movie, and the shitty coffeehouse acoustic guitar, I kept waiting for the Christian morals to drop from the sky like fallen angels, but ne’er did they strike.

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I worked with Roddy Piper once!

This is, without a doubt, something they would make you watch at Youth Group. Somehow the lesson got cut from the film, but I’m fully convinced Rollergator was made by a youth pastor and his two favorite youth leaders when he discovered they had a funny purple alligator puppet at their disposal. They wrangled up a high school senior who was passionate about the acoustic guitar and watched old jackalope skits from America’s Funniest People. They were ready to go.

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ArchiCrash on DeviantArt is apparently a fan.
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As is the city of Orlando…

I’d like to take a moment to make this formal apology to Tim, Jeremy, and Jade, because apparently I am a dum-dum. At the end of the day, this was certainly not the sleazy boobie reptile flick, Repligator, and not even a suitable replacement. This was quite possibly the worst thing I have ever seen. This was sadness incarnate. Dismal and purple.

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If I can find these patches, you’ve all earned one.

0 REELS of 6!

Stay slime, and be rad at all times!

-Rat

P.S. if you want to challenge your own endurance, head to Toxic Filth Video for your copy.

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*Hallelujah chorus plays* Elliot “Rat” Ross is the editor of The Basement on a Hill. His passion is writing whacked-out reviews of nutzoid movies, sifting through screeners, and interviewing independent filmmakers and artists. He lives in Omaha, NE, where he works a big boy job instead of writing for a living, but hopefully that will all change one day. He is happy to contribute to Cinemaslice, and asks that you send him presents. Email him for his address.

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