Directed by: Lamar Card
Starring: Mark Schneider, Katie Saylor, Morgan Woodward, Len Lesser, Skip Riley, Bruce Kimball, Tom Kindle, George Barris, John Chambers, Cheryl Hepler
Super Vans of the 70s
Ah, the 70s. Pot, sex, hippies, CB radios, bad music, stagflation, and… totally super custom vans! Water beds, painted unicorns, shag carpets! That’s what SuperVan is all about, man! It’s 1976 (Bicentennial! Wooh!) and wouldn’t you rather be ridin’ high in your Super Van? Of course you would.
As Bob Stone (who?) famously sings: I don’t care if i’m not a wealthy man, cuz I’d rather be ridin high in my supervan!
This is sunshine at the front door, we have a bear report.
Smokey is eastbound I-70 and Oakland
Let’s close ‘em up and take em on down to double nickels!
Sunshine to Convoy: Our ETA to Freak Out way is 4 hours and 20 minutes.
We’re west bound with the pedal down and we’re doin it to it!
Clint (Mark Schneider) leaves in his van headed for the Van Happening “Freak Out” competition where he can possibly win $5,000. His dad is pissed because his kid isn’t interested in working the family business. Instead Clint wants to “do something.”
The Van (1977)
Directed by: Sam Grossman
Starring: Stuart Goetz, Deborah White, Harry Moses, Marcie Barkin, Bill Adler, Steve Oliver, Connie Hoffman, Danny DeVito
Totally boss, stellar, and tubular!
The 70s. Bell bottoms, disco music, skating, prog rock, and, uh… vans! What did it all mean? What was in the air that drove people to levels of insanity where they actually thought that having a van was the end-all be-all of super-coolness? One theory I have is that it was the weed. Another theory is… well, I don”t have another theory, actually. Set in some California beach town, The Van is a 1977 time capsule about a total dweeb named Bobby (Stuart Goetz) who wants to buy a van, with all the options, and by options I mean water bed, 8 track, TV, mag wheels, cup holder. Wow. The idea is that with this totally cool rad van he”ll be able to score with chicks left and right.
Roller Boogie (1979)
Directed by: Mark L. Lester
Starring: Linda Blair, Jim Bray, Beverly Garland, Roger Perry, James Van Patten, Kimberly Beck, Mark Goddard, Stoney Jackson, Christopher S. Nelson
It’s A Wonderland!
It’s 1979, year of the Iran hostage crisis, the energy crisis, and the Chicago “Disco Sucks” crisis. You don’t care, because you’re in Venice Beach, it’s a beautiful day, and you’ve got your quad skates on! Besides, Roller Boogie is playing down at the drive-in and your favorite skater Jim Bray is in it! I mean, you have all those Roller Skating mags with his mug all over ‘em. You think Hollywood doesn’t also have a subscription?
Yes, Roller Boogie, one of two 1979 cult skating disco classics (the other being Skatetown, U.S.A, naturally) featuring 70s actors well on their way to obscurity (and B-movie heaven). In this case it’s the adorable Linda Blair, everybody’s favorite possessed kid. She was doing fine after The Exorcist until she starred in Exorcist II – The Heretic, John Boorman’s beautiful failure that was the wrong exit ramp to Roller Boogie (and beyond).
Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979)
Directed by: William A. Levey
Starring: Scott Baio, Flip Wilson, Ron Palillo, Maureen McCormick, Ruth Buzzi, Greg Bradford, Patrick Swayze, Billy Barty, Katherine Kelly Lang, Bill Kirchenbauer, Murray Langston, Denny Johnston
Skatetown USA – It has it’s own zip code!
I remember skating rinks. Went to them as a kid. Had lots of fun skating around in a circle while disco music played. But even as a kid I never felt that roller skating was anything other than a pleasant diversion. Skatetown USA would have you believe otherwise. Skatetown USA assumes that the only world that exists is the world of roller disco. But that’s part of its charm.
Skatetown USA came out in 1979. It was the height of the roller disco craze. They even had a bunch of magazines dedicated to it. Disco Demolition night had occurred that past July, but you would never know that by watching this movie. Yes, disco was about to die, but nobody saw it coming at this moment in time. Skatetown, U.S.A. was only the first in a string of disco/skating movies – the release date for the film beat out Roller Boogie (with Linda Blair) only by a couple of months. To quote Thompson, they were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. As we all know now, that wave broke and rolled back hard.