Apr 302010

I have wanted to watch this documentary for a couple years and was glad to find it in my possession this week to review.

A Leaky-Sleazewell production, Blood on the Flat Track takes a look at the Rat City Rollergirls in 2005 – a year after the league was founded and blew up much to Seattle’s chagrin. What can I say about this documentary?

One thing that was really in the forefront of my mind as I watched this 90 minute flick was: Dang. Derby has changed. The game has evolved so much in the last five years it’s pretty crazy. Strategy and the rules have really evolved. It’s was funny to see girls still abiding by the ol’ penalty wheel (at first) and getting in to real and staged brawls. I could never imagine clockin’ another girl on my league . . . It was cute to see some of the narrators like Basket Casey talk so candidly about the fighting and express how it really was just part the production.

The documentary was well made and should be considered a big chapter in flat track derby history. I saw players like Mama Cherry and Pia Mess who now are California residents in the infancy of their derby careers tearing it up.

Major appearance by the Tamaccio sisters (Femme Fatale and D-Bomb) before their Oly days. One thing I have got to say is that those girls were and are effing amazing! I saw Femme Fatale throwing strategic and effective hip hits while everyone else was doing the big crazy takeouts. Those girls are so amazing! I am in awe of all the is Tamaccio. It was great to see them pre-Oly. They were actually on opposing home teams and had to play against each other. As I’m sure all you derby enthusiasts know there is a third Tamaccio sister who also skated for Rat City and is now with Oly – Blonde An’ Bitchin.

Blood on the Flat Track did a nice job of depicting the real life of a derby girl and their relation to the sport, their relationships and professions. Seattle is such a colorful and cool West Coast city that the Rat City Rollergirls really encapsulate their surroundings and leave their mark on the metropolis.

There are great interviews with about 5 or 6 main girls. A couple of my favorites were Burnett Down, the chill painter/ bartender who was a bad-ass vixen on wheels and of course Miss Fortune, jammer extraordinaire who I have gotten the opportunity to see tear up the track with Team Awesome. Hot Flash, Miss Fortune’s mom, skated on the same home team (the Sockit Wenches) with her – could you imagine skating on a team with your mom? I would get so pissed if some one hit her  . . . just saying. It was a cute dynamic though.

All in all Blood on the Flat Track is a must see for any skater. I do think it is about high time for a new derby documentary to surface though. I feel like a lot of what I have been seeing and reading is about five years old and this sport, like it’s players, moves fast.

You can purchase Blood on the Flat Track from Strand Releasing.

Be sure and check out the preview here.
Photo credit: Leaky-Sleazewell Productions

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