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Shepard's Headlock 

Wednesday, Aug 1 2007
It can be dispiriting to be an art-house film programmer in the Internet age, since there's always the risk of some bore perusing your hard curatorial work and declaring, "Nice lineup. I assume I can get all of these on Netflix?" Joel Shepard, the film curator at YBCA, provides a witty answer to those creeps with "Screw Netflix: Movies Not Available on DVD." The series is now into its second month, and today's screening, Vernon Zimmerman'[s Unholy Rollers from 1972, has a host of things to recommend it: 1) It's a Roller Derby exploitation movie. 2) The star skater is played by the 1970 Playboy Playmate of the Year, Claudia Jennings, and she works at a cat-food cannery at the start of the film. 3) The other star skater is a lesbian. 4) The lesbian pins Jennings to a pool table and takes off her clothes. We'll leave you to discover the rest, but know this: You might have to shield your eyes from its brilliance. Also, this is weird, but Martin Scorsese was the supervising editor, and Unholy Rollers came out just a year before Mean Streets. Something's going on there.

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Michael Leaverton


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