Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Kansas City Bomber Great Skates
Year: 1972
Director: Jerrold Freedman
Stars: Raquel Welch, Kevin McCarthy, Helena Kallianiotes, Norman Alden, Jeanne Cooper, Mary Kay Pass, William Gray Espy, Stephen Manley, Patti 'Moo Moo' Cavin, Cornelia Sharpe, Russ Marin, Martine Bartlett, Richard Lane, Jodie Foster
Genre: Drama, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: K.C. Carr (Raquel Welch) is a roller derby skater with the Kansas City team; the rules are simple, the player simply has to pass one of the rival players on each lap to score a point. However, what the rules don't take into account is the amount of violence involved, ranging from jostling to throwing punches to barging rivals over the barrier. K.C. can take this punishment physically, but psychologically it's much harder to bear. Tonight she is challenged to a one on one match with her team mate Big Bertha (Patti 'Moo Moo' Cavin), with the loser fated to leave Kansas City... forever.

During the seventies, the attempts at realism gave birth to many types of films that took on social problems, but did so with a slant that offered entertainment as well as a message. One strain of this was the feminist picture, a reworking of the "womens' pictures" of yesteryear, which featured such accomplishments as Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and Norma Rae. Kansas City Bomber was one such film, and star Welch got to show off her previously unhinted at acting chops, as she'd been largely decorative before.

Adapted from a Barry Sandler script by Calvin Clements Sr and Thomas Rickman, it's as gritty a Raquel Welch film as you're ever likely to see, although this telling it like it is translates into pretty much ninety-nine minutes of misery. K.C. is, of course, a single mother to two kids (including little Jodie Foster), but her job ensures she has to leave them to be looked after by her mother for most of the time and sees them rarely: cue tear-jerking scenes with her being rejected by them. But mainly it's the trials of being a skater that concerns the story.

K.C. loses that match with Big Bertha, and so is transferred about ten minutes into the film to the Portland team (didn't Portland City Bomber sound right?) where she has a hard time finding acceptance. She makes friends with Lovey (Mary Kay Pass) who offers her a place to sleep, but everyone else, with two exceptions, isn't interested and K.C. gets a reputation for being bad luck to have around. She is especially disliked by captain Jackie (Helena Kallianiotes), an alcoholic skater who sees her as a threat, but the team boss, Burt Henry (Kevin McCarthy verging on the sleazy) wants her as a romantic partner, which K.C. has to go along with or risk losing her job.

Almost everywhere the noble K.C. goes she is faced with antagonism, and even those who like her are contrived to turn against her eventually, so that after an hour of this you're thinking, "Give the girl a break!" Welch certainly throws herself into the role; you can tell when she's replaced with a stunt double because the double ensures her long wig covers her face and turns away from the camera. Yet for many of the action sequences you can tell Welch is performing her own stunts, which not only makes you respect her character, but the actress as well. With all the gloom over K.C.'s head, however, it's not certain exactly how much of a triumph that ending is as her problems are far from cleared up, but as an illustration of a sport not taken as seriously as some, the film is a good snapshot of the times. Music by Don Ellis.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 6038 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith


Last Updated: