The Film

A feature documentary from Red Queen Productions.

“Your body is the puck. Your body is the target. It’s the kind of sport that if you look the wrong way, someone’s going to come smoke you.”

Smack Daddy, of Montreal’s New Skids on the Block

Derby Crazy Love takes viewers inside the adrenaline-filled world of women’s roller derby.

Meet Smack Daddy, Suzy Hotrod, Raw Heidi, Kamikaze Kitten, Bonnie Thunders and other badass warriors who are changing how we look at women in sport and femininity, one booty block at a time.

Maya Gallus and Justine Pimlott’s newest documentary takes viewers into the heart of the emerging roller derby phenomenon, a vibrant DIY community of third wave feminist empowerment.

The fastest-growing women’s sport in the world is not for sissies. But it is a sisterhood, with over 100 leagues in Canada and 1,400 worldwide. But beyond the spectacle are human stories, women who’ve finally found their own tribe, and a healthy outlet for aggression, which women are usually discouraged to express.

As Derby Crazy Love begins, the most anticipated rematch in the new derby era looms. Montreal’s New Skids on the Block, a team of tattooed misfits, take on UK powerhouse London Rollergirls for a coveted shot at the international championships, while reigning world champions New York’s Gotham Girls (and derby superstar Suzy Hotrod) defend their title.

Punk rock glam queen Plastik Patrik (a contributor to the movie’s soundtrack) provides additional flash and drama as the official game announcer and behind-the-scenes den mother.

Some of the extraordinary personalities include Smack Daddy, MVP at the inaugural roller derby World Cup, who must recover from a broken leg in order to compete; her glamorous girlfriend, former figure skater, Apocalipstick; Trash ‘N’ Smash, who overcame an inability to skate to become one of the Skids’ most potent physical presences; as well as international stars such as the Gotham Girls’ Suzy Hotrod and Bonnie Thunders; and the unforgettable London Rollergirls’ Kamikaze Kitten and Raw Heidi.

Featuring music by Montreal’s Plastik Patrik et les Brutes, Lesbians on Ecstasy and New York’s Kissy Kamikaze.

Derby Crazy Love. A smart, fun, sexy ride through an extraordinary subculture.

 

Filmmaker Statement

As documentary filmmakers, we strive to take people inside a world they otherwise might not have access to, whether it be a young person transitioning to the female she always felt herself to be (Girl Inside), behind-the-scenes of restaurants, high and low, where servers dish about what it’s like to be a woman in the service industry (Dish – Women, Waitressing & the Art of Service), or the hidden world of feral cats in urban centres (Cat City).

At Red Queen Productions, we shed light on people and subjects outside the mainstream, with a special interest in women and/or themes of gender and sexual identity. Our goal is to put more stories of women and marginalized groups on the screen that illuminate, educate, and inspire. And in doing so, we work against the traditional, mainstream stereotypes we are all inundated with.

Our first foray as partners at Red Queen Productions was Punch Like a Girl, a six part documentary series about women’s amateur boxing. We followed several women who were pushing the limits of their physical and mental endurance, both in and out of the ring. The series proved to be so popular, and so inspiring to a new generation of women, that we also adapted it to an hour-long film.

Several years and many films later, people suggested we make a documentary about roller derby. We didn’t know much about the sport; our impression was the old-style wrestling inspired theatrics on television in the ‘70s. So we attended the inaugural World Cup in Toronto in 2011, which featured thirteen participating countries from around the world. We were blown away by the fresh, raw energy of this newly revived sport, and, especially, the extraordinary subculture at its core. We knew we were witnessing something very special – a female dominated, player-owned and operated sport, driven by a third wave feminist, DIY spirit.

Then, in Montreal, we met Canada’s top team, The New Skids on the Block, including World Cup MVP Smack Daddy and glam derby announcer Plastik Patrik. Once we met them, and the rest of the team, we knew we had a great story – a group of tattooed misfits who were also kick ass players, taking on their nemesis, UK powerhouse London Rollergirls, at the regional playoffs. The drama was palpable as only one team would have a shot to become the first international team to play at the championships.

At the playoffs, we also met New York’s Gotham Girls, the world’s reigning champions, and were struck by the true star power of players like Suzy Hotrod and Bonnie Thunders. During shooting, we discovered how truly empowering roller derby could be for so many, inclusive of all shapes, sizes, genders and sexual orientation. And as the only full contact sport dominated by women it encourages players to discover their true physical strengths and power.

Our goal was to capture the passion, the spirit and heart of the sport, to show the amazing and powerful women who inspire us, and challenge traditional notions about femininity, and to present a snapshot of a subculture and sport at a crossroads. “The heart of this sport is the women,” says Plastik Patrik in the film. “They’re athletic, they’re agile, they’re tough. That makes them beautiful. On the track they’re majestic, they’re Amazons.