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  • 1991movierewind

Episode #59: Rolling Thunder

Listen to Episode 59 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.

SUMMARY - In Rolling Thunder, it is the year 2040 and only a handful of people around the world have survived due to poisoned skies and seas. Uncle Robbie (played by Ian Abercrombie) gathers the kids around a campfire to regale them with stories of what life used to be like traveling the world as a professional surfer.

Screenplay by Scott Dittrich; Directed by Scott Dittrich, and released on June 4, 1991.


The release date we found may be wrong. There are images of promotional posters online and the earliest date listed on those is June 4, but there may have been an earlier showing.

Take a look at the music list as well. A great selection of bands for a movie that is sort of like a series of mini-music videos.

To introduce the different surfing segments, you have Uncle Robbie at the campfire telling stories to, and answering questions of, several younger children. These scenes are pure orange.

Thankfully, the cinematography of the surfing scenes is fantastic.

There's a nice variety in these scenes at first. Only a few aerial shots, as most of the camerawork brings you closer to the action.

It is pretty remarkable to see the underwater camera tech available in 1991 to allow for these shots.

When there's no surfing, Robbie and his friends are exploring various locations and showing off some of the scenery through a quasi-home movie.

A lot of this is in 16mm film (with dirty cameras filled with gate hairs) and it adds a nice charm to the movie.

We wish they would have explained who each of the people were. There are a ton of famous surfers to be found, but if you didn't know them already, this will not teach you at all.

To avoid too much repetition, there are also segments for snowboarding and body boarding.

The moral of the story is that we should take care of our planet and it talks about how things got ruined and showed some graphic examples later on

The preachy aspect was a tiny bit tone deaf as it shows them using jeeps and jets to get from place to place just to surf in undisturbed places

Still, if you can ignore the children's story aspect, you have an entertaining movie that showcases a lot of interesting surfing cinematography and beautiful locations across the world.

Awards Talk: None to speak of this time.


This week our true crime segment covers the arrest of the movie's star: Robbie Page

Looking at TV, here's what you may have been watching, since most people wouldn't have had the opportunity to see this movie anyway

Here's a little more information on that C. Everett Koop, M.D. mini series we mentioned

Moving on to music - we look at the Bottom 5 Billboard songs as of June 8, 1991

100. Bitter Tears - INXS

99. Sadeness Part 1 - Enigma

98. Something in My Heart - Michel’le

97. One More Try - Timmy T.

96. How Much Is Enough - The Fixx

During the episode, we stated we didn't know Michel’le but afterwards we did a little more research and found her connection to Dr. Dre and Suge Knight -


Nikki 1-5 star scale - 2 out of 5

Jon 0-4 star scale - 2 out of 4

Would you watch it again? - We would have preferred more home movie moments over some of the cheesy campfire storytelling. The cinematography is great, the music is awesome but the lackluster story makes it feel like a good background movie where you can listen a good playlist and watch solid surfing action in spurts.

If you want to watch Rolling Thunder, as of this recording in April 2022, it’s available on The Surf Network, VHS?. Check your local listings.


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