Rollergator Be Positive

A Film by Donald G. Jackson
Produced by Donald G. Jackson and Scott Shaw
Starring: Joe Estevez, Conrad Brooks, Sandra Shukar, and Baby Gator

Film Facts:

Rollergator is a film originally conceived by Donald G. Jackson and Scott Shaw.

The evolution of Rollergator began shortly after
Donald G. Jackson was fired from directing the film, Pocket Ninjas AKA Skate Dragons, (original screenplay title). Donald G. Jackson conceived Pocket Ninjas as a young adult tribute to the Zen Film, The Roller Blade Seven. When he was hired to direct this film he had Mark Williams compose the screenplay for this movie. Though Jackson was serious in his planned attempt to recreate the cinematic imagery of The Roller Blade Seven and pay tribute to the film, he also possessed a hidden agenda as he did with all of his filmmaking endeavors. He cast certain people in this film who he wanted to exasperate and diminish. Thus, the adult leads of this film were treated to a style of filmmaking and an attitude of a director that they had never encountered. Eventually, Jackson was let go as director of Pocket Ninjas as the producer saw the film as never being completed, in a marketable manner, if he allowed Jackson to continue forward with his haphazard style of filmmaking.

Very soon after this, Jackson was courted by a film financing company that wished to capitalize on Jackson’s success with such films as, Hell Comes to Frogtown. From this, and as a believed means of retribution to the producer of Pocket Ninjas for his being relieved from his director duties on the movie, Jackson set about making three cult film orientated movies, seemingly geared towards the younger audience. The first of which was, Rollergator. This film was also loosely inspired by The Roller Blade Seven. The other two films were: Little Lost Sea Serpent and Baby Ghost. Though there were and maybe still are some people who claim these movies to be children’s films, for anyone who watches these movies they will clearly see the hidden, very adult orientated themes.

The concept for Rollergator was conceived by Donald G. Jackson and Scott Shaw. The screenplay for Rollergator was written by Mark Williams. Thus, Rollergator is not a Zen Film like many people believe is the case. It is a script-based cinematic experiment. As such, it cannot be considered a part of the Zen Filmmaking catalogue.

The reason Donald G. Jackson commonly based his films upon screenplays is that he wanted the framework of a proposed completed production to present to his investors, his cast, and his crew. This is in stark contrast to the films he created with Scott Shaw at the helm, where no screenplays were ever employed. Though, in truth, many viewers fail to see a more concrete storyline being presented in these script-based movies.

The production of this film took place in the style of pure guerrilla filmmaking. There were no filming permits or stagnant set locations. This movie was filmed in many of the locations commonly see in the films of Scott Shaw and Donald G. Jackson, located around the Southern California area.

As the female lead of this film was under the age of eighteen at the time of its production, her mother was constantly on the set when her character was being filmed. This kept the crazed reactionary behavior of Donald G. Jackson in check during, at least, those stages of this production.

It is stated on several places on the internet, and even on the Internet Movie Database, that Donald G. Jackson did the voice of Baby Gator in Rollergator. This is not the case, however. The voice in both Rollergator, and where Conrad Brooks revises his Rollergator role in Max Hell Frog Warrior, was performed by a production assistant who worked for Jackson and Shaw during that period of time.

It has often been questioned, does the Rollergator still exist? The answer to that question is, "No." At one point, Jackson when into one of his rages in his production office and he pulled Rollergator apart. Thus, it is no more.

Since its completion, Rollergator has come to be embraced by a very wide audience. It was distributed to many countries across the globe where it initially found a home in the then thriving video tape market. Today, it remains at the centerpoint of cult film criticism; receiving both praise and scorn.

In 2015, the creative team at Rifftrax licensed this film and have created one of their amusing verbal parodies of the movie, thereby cementing Rollergator into the archives of the cult film elite. Many more thousands of people have viewed this movie via the Rifftrax version than those that have seen the original rendition of the film.

The original shooting title for Rollergator was, Baby Gator.

Rollergator was filmed in September and October of 1995.

This movie was filmed on a Canon L1 Hi8 Camera.

The character Conrad Brooks portrays in Rollergator also appears in the Zen Film, Max Hell Frog Warrior.

There is a reference to Hell Comes to Frogtown made in this film in that a frog mask, actually used in Hell Comes to Frogtown, was utilized as costuming in a scene of this film.

Rollergator was licensed by Rifftrax where they did a fun parody of the film.

At the point in 2021, when stopped distributing DVDs from independent distribution companies like Light Source Films, the DVD distribution of Rollergator was moved to a new company. The link to purchase a DVD is below.

In 2021, Rollergator was uploaded to be viewed on YouTube. The link to view the film on YouTube is below.

Watch Rollergator:
Rollergator DVD
Rollergator DVD
Rollergator on YouTube

Rollergator Rifftrax
Rollergator on Rifftrax
Rifftrax Rollergator on YouTube

Rollergator Patch

There is a company who did a fun patch, I Survived Rollergator. At different times you can find this patch being offered for sale on Etsy and eBay.

Production Stills:

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Scott Shaw and Joe Estevez 2023.