Blood on the Flat Track (DVD Review)16 Feb, 2010 By: Angelique Flores
Rolling in on the coattails of the fun feature film Whip It comes this documentary about some real roller derby women.
Blood on the Flat Track follows the rise of Seattle-based roller derby league the Rat City Roller Girls. The league completed their inaugural season in 2005 and have since gained a popular following, selling out good-sized arenas.
The Rat City league has four teams — DLF, Throttle Rockets, Sockit Wenches and Grave Danger — each with its own personality. There’s the party team, the lesbians, the short team and the nice team that bakes cupcakes.
For anyone unfamiliar with roller derby, the doc explains in an easy way the object and the rules of the sport, which is a mix of athleticism and theatrical antics. Like many athletes, these women have their share of injuries, from torn ACLs and dislocated shoulders to bruises and fishnet burns.
While these women are tough, they’re also feminine. And the league has a strong sense of camaraderie. It doesn’t hurt that there are couples, a mom and daughter, and three sisters who are all on Rat City teams.
As if roller derby itself isn’t fascinating enough, it’s interesting to hear a little bit about the women, their families and their day jobs. There’s an accountant, PR executive, breast cancer researcher, real estate broker, jeweler, bartenders, writer, environment engineer, road engineer and several moms.
There’s plenty of footage of the bouts, the brawls and the babes skating around in their short skirts. Unless you just can’t bear to see women getting a little rough with each other, I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t like this film.