Rockers – 25th Anniversary Edition (1979)

by | Aug 29, 2005 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Rockers – 25th Anniversary Edition (1979)

Starring:  Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace, Richard “Dirty Harry” Hall,
Jacob Miller, Gregory Isaacs, Burning Spear, Kiddus I, Robbie
Shakespeare, Manley “Big Mouth” Buchanan
Studio:  MVD Music Video Distributors
Video:  1.85:1 Widescreen
Audio:  DTS 5.1, DD 5.1, Stereo
Extras:  Director Interview (22 min); Director Commentary (16 min
over parts of the film); Rockers Music Videos (We A Rockers, Waiting
For The Bus); Theatrical Trailer; Poster Gallery and Radio Spot (2
min); Biographies (32!); Rasta Patois Glossary; Rockers TV (5 min—out
of phase for some reason); Rockers Clothing
Length:  95 minutes
Rating:  ***

There is a lot of hype about this movie and some even claim that it is
the greatest reggae film ever made (and compare it to The Harder They
Come).  Well, I don’t know how many reggae movies are out there,
but one thing that sets this film apart is the music.  It features
music from Burning Spear, Bunny Wailer, Third World, Peter Tosh, Jacob
Miller, Gregory Isaacs, Kiddus I, Junior Murvin, Inner circle, the
Heptones, & Abyssinians.  The film starts with a bunch of
Rastafarians playing music, smoking pot, and enjoying life. 

This is in contrast to the plot of the film.  It’s a Robin Hood
story of Jamaican musicians stealing back property and distributing it
to the masses.  Horsemouth, the protagonist of our tale, collects
money from various sources to buy a motor bike in order to ride around
and sell records.  Everything is going well till his bike is
stolen.  As luck would have it, the daughter of the club owner
where he was hired to play drums spots it being loaded into a
warehouse.  He gets the bike back with some friends, but is badly
beaten by the hoods involved.  He plans to extract his revenge and
gets the musicians and his friends all involved.  Most of the
action happens towards the middle to end of the film and helps with its
pace.

Thankfully, there are subtitles included during the film.  Even
with the subs, it wasn’t always easy to understand exactly what the
characters were saying.  In the booklet and on the DVD itself is
an extensive glossary for the Rasta phrases throughout the film and it
was enjoyable to look up some commonly spoken phrases and words. 
Some of the acting in the movie is a bit substandard, but the complaint
is primarily aimed at the secondary characters.  Make sure you
select one of the multichannel audio mixes as the stereo mix is very
mediocre and the sound/music is what makes this film worth watching.

-Brian Bloom
 

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