*Online Premiere* When Zeke, a gifted saxophone player and rollerblader, makes a telepathic connection with an alien, he must decode their link in order to save the world from environmental catastrophe. This absurdist sci-fi action film from director Max Juren is notable for its comically lo-fi SFX, “futuristic” locations, costuming, and production design (mainly just neon colors and lights) and droll performances, a mix of 1980’s cheesiness and awkward community theater.
We begin with an evil CEO in a secret meeting with a scientist warning of impending consequences if the company doesn't change their destructive ways. The boss isn't fazed. He doubles down on maximizing profits over all other concerns. When we meet our hero, Zeke, he’s rollerblading (as he does) along the waterfront with his friend, Topaz. His sweet sax sounds have always mesmerized her, but on this special night, the music pierces up so far into the sky that it makes contact with an alien. The otherworldly being zaps down and tries to communicate with Zeke but is intercepted by the evil CEO who looks to either kill it, or learn its secrets. While Zeke is haunted by the encounter, he soon realizes that it may be up to him to battle the corporate overlord to save the alien and the planet.
Indeed, “Bladeroller” is bonkers (thumbs up bonkers), arriving both as an earnest attempt at big-budget sci-fi, while also leaning into its ludicrous elements, visualizations, and characters. As it moves along, it gets funnier (one sequence in particular with Zeke’s uncle is a real gut-buster) but it’s equally commendable for its commitment to the requisite story tropes and plot reveals. Now let’s just hope Zeke and Topaz can find a find to liberate mankind using only his saxophone and some rollerblades. (36 minutes). Directed by Max Juren. Starring Matt Hopkins. NOTE: Also available on AMAZON PRIME.