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July 31, 2022

Donald G. Jackson’s Infamous Rollergator 

Est. Reading: 3 minutes

I did it. I watched Rollergator. I watched the whole thing. What can I say? What can anyone say? It is less a movie and more a means of audio-visual torture. It’s not the worst movie I have ever seen, but it has to be the most annoying. 

It's about a young woman who finds a two-foot, purple, talking alligator in a cave. We never learn its name, but it delivers a nonstop barrage of nauseating wisecracks throughout the entirety of the film. The sort of jokes your embarrassing uncle might tell. Not sexually inappropriate, but embarrassingly bad. 

The gator is played by a cheap puppet that looks like it was purchased in an off-brand toy store. The only moving part is its mouth.

Our pretty, blonde, rollerskating, heroine inexplicably decides to help this completely obnoxious reptile escape the carnival barker who has hired a ninja to capture and subdue him. An entire third of the film involves watching the ninja slowly skateboard after our slowly rollerblading protagonist.

Another third of the film is a buddy movie featuring buddy montages of the gator and the roller-girl bonding. This culminates in one of the most horrific sequences in the film, the “impersonations” scene. The purple puppet puts on a little show for his new found, friend featuring a series of terrible impressions. He does Ricky Ricardo, The Terminator, James Cagney, and the like. He also does an English bobby which consists of him repeating the words “jolly good, good show!” over and over again. I’m gritting my teeth just remembering it.

  The last third of the film takes place in the evil carnival barker’s office. The barker is played by Martin Sheen’s brother Joe Estévez. His role in the film is to crack even more embarrassing jokes while ordering his assistant to capture the gator. 

Oh, and one more third consists of pointless shots of the carnival, reminiscent of the shameless padding in She Freak

As if all this wasn’t horrible enough, the fucking puppet raps. “I like to rhyme and I dig the slime. The mud and grime are my best buds.” It doesn’t even rhyme. How hard is it to find a word that rhymes with grime? I mean really. This movie makes you want to throw stuff at the screen.

The Rollergator theme song was written and performed by “Magic Man.” I tried, tried, tried to understand, but lord have mercy it was awful. However it was not as awful as the incidental music which was taken from an album misleadingly titled Metal by one Preston Reed. The music consists of Mr. Reed aimlessly manhandling a guitar in a non-stop pointless progression of free associated nonsense. When I say non-stop I mean that no matter what is on screen, the guitar just prattles on, drowning out the dialogue and everything else. The only thing worse than horrible dialogue is horrible dialogue you have to strain to hear. 

The man responsible for this cinematic abomination is named Donald G. Jackson. Unbelievably, he has written 43 other films, directed 41, and produced 51. Many of his films involve rollerblades for some reason. I have actually seen one other of his films called Roller Blade. It was horrible, but it was far more entertaining than Rollergator.

Back when I wrote about Roller Blade, I discovered that Jackson actually had a “cinematic philosophy”. Claiming that Rollergator was the product of some organized philosophy is like pointing out the arrangement of chunks in your vomit and claiming you are an abstract expressionist. 

Ridiculous or not, Jackson insists that he is a “Zen filmmaker.” Even the imperturbable Buddha on high must clench his anus when Jackson waxes poetic about Zen. Jackson does not use a script because he wants the film to be a spontaneous expression of emotion. He thinks that by not planning anything, he will capture some vital spark. He may just be trolling everyone or he may be irretrievably delusional. 

I don’t think there is much more that I can say about Rollergator without popping a vein in my forehead so I thought I would settle for curating a brief portfolio of reviews I found.

“Rollergator turned out to be a lot worse than I had anticipated.”

“This film should be burned and everyone who made it should be burned.”

“I can't imagine that anyone has ever willingly sat through this”

"Every time I attempt to watch Rollergator, I fall asleep. It's almost as though my brain rejects it"

“This movie is simultaneously 83 minutes and 372 weeks long.”


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