September 22, 2001
|Format||DVD - Region Two|
|Languages||Patois / English|
|Length||Approx. 100 minutes|
Rockers is the Trenchtown variant on Robin Hood, telling the story of drummer Leroy 'Wallace' Horsemouth, who wants to step up in life, buys a bike and becomes a record seller. His bike gets stolen and he desperately tries to get it back. Finally, with lots of help of his musical bredren, he stages an uprising which benefits all of the people from his community.
In this 1977 movie, not only do the classic roots reggae artists sing and perform, but they are the actors as well, and that's whats make this classic reggae movie so interesting. The film stars the actors Leroy 'Horsemouth' Wallace and Richard 'Dirty Harry' Hall and guest stars Jacob Miller, Gregory Isaacs, Burning Spear, Kiddus I, Robbie Shakespeare, Leroy Smart, Big Youth and Dillinger.
From his childhood Leroy 'Horsemouth' Wallace had been fascinated by movies, and 'Rockers' fulfilled a lifelong ambition. Richard 'Dirty Harry' Hall, a lifelong friend of Horsemouth, portrays Horsemouth's sidekick. I think he plays a fascinating role and in one of the best scenes of the movie he takes over the D.J. booth at a middle-class nightclub and starts deejaying over the riddim track of 'Queen Majesty'. Gregory 'Jah Tooth' Isaacs is seen in the movie both as a vocalist performing his own composition Slave Master, and as a tough motor bike salesman, lock specialist, and cracking safes. Here you'll see a young Burning Spear delivering an a acapella version of Jah No Dead on the ruins of Jamaica's first colonial jailhouse. Featured here are performances of the producers Joe Gibbs and Jack Ruby, the latter seeing producing Kiddus I's roots anthem Graduation In Zion. With Joe Gibbs Horsemouth bargains for records to distribute and much of the movie's music was recorded in his studio. Also featured is Junior Byles's Fade Away, written by guitarist Earl 'Chinna' Smith, who appears on screen backing up Kiddus I and Gregory Isaacs.
The musical score of the film is impressive : Book Of Rules from the Heptones, Money Worries by the Maytones, Junior Murvin's Police And Thieves, Jacob 'Killer' Miller with Tenement Yard and Peter Tosh with Stepping razor, to name but just a few. Furthermore the DVD offers 7 previously unreleased bonus audio tracks -complete with still-shots taken during the making of the movie- from The Rockers All-Star Band: Satta Amasagana - Man in the Street - Waiting for the Bus - Honeyball - The Beating - Rockers - The Raid. Additional features are : The Culture (Glossary, Rastafarian Culture, Jamaica and its music) and artists and actors bios.
Rockers provides authentic and humorous insights into the life of the struggling ghetto people of Kingston, thick in dialect, delivered in a rich pastiche of overwhelming sounds and vital colors. Brilliant !