Rockers (1978 film)

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Rockers FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byTheodoros Bafaloukos
Written byTheodoros Bafaloukos
Produced byPatrick Hulsey
StarringLeroy "Horsemouth" Wallace
CinematographyPeter Sova
Edited bySusan Steinberg
Rockers Film Corporation
Distributed byNew Yorker Films
Release date
  • 1978 (1978)
Running time
100 minutes
Jamaican Patois

Rockers is a 1978 Jamaican film by Theodoros Bafaloukos. Several popular reggae artists star in the movie, including Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, Burning Spear, Gregory Isaacs, Big Youth, Dillinger, Robbie Shakespeare, and Jacob Miller.[1]

Rockers was originally intended to be a documentary but blossomed into a full-length feature showing the reggae culture at its peak.[1] With a budget of JA$500,000 (about $40,000[2]), the film was completed in two months.[1]

The film features authentic culture, characters and mannerisms. The main rocker Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, for example, is shown living with his actual wife and kids and in his own home.

The recording studios shown are the famous Harry J Studios where many roots reggae artists recorded during the 1970s including Bob Marley. The film includes Kiddus I's recording of "Graduation In Zion" at the studio, which he happened to be recording when Bafaloukos visited the studio.[1]

Rockers premiered at the 1978 San Francisco Film Festival and had a theatrical release in the US in 1980.[1]

Samples of the film's dialogue were used in the early 1990s jungle track, "Babylon" by Splash, "Terrorist Dub" by Californian ragga-metal band Insolence, in the track "Zion Youth" from the 1995 album Second Light by Dreadzone and in 2012 in the song "Smoke" by Inner Terrestrials.

In 2018, Wallace, Kiddus I, and Big Youth came together to perform two shows in São Paulo, Brazil, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the film.[3]


Horsemouth, a drummer living in a ghetto of Kingston plans to make some extra money selling and distributing records. He buys a motorcycle to carry them to the sound systems around the island. The film starts as a loose interpretation of Vittorio de Sica’s The Bicycle Thief and turns into a reggae interpretation of the Robin Hood myth.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Campbell, Howard (2013) "Still Rocking at 35", Jamaica Observer, 18 August 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2013
  2. ^ "1978 JMD to USD".
  3. ^ Campbell, Howard (2018) "Feeling Rockers in Brazil", Jamaica Observer, 26 August 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2018
  4. ^ "Rockers - 25th Anniversary Edition". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2011-04-13.

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