A Film Lost in 1975
TV SERIES REVIEW
The Amusement Park
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Year Released: 1975, 2022 (DVD)
Director(s): George A. Romero
Writer(s): Walton Cook
Cast: Lincoln Maazel, Harry Albacker, Phyllis Casterwiler, Pete Chovan, Marion Cook
Where To Watch: Available now on Blu-ray and DVD, as well as on Shudder
RAVING REVIEW: A George A. Romero film that was “lost” for almost 30 years resurfaces from the dead and gives us a weird ride that I wasn’t ready for.
When you think of director George A. Romero, you likely will think of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, DAWN OF THE DEAD, or other similar films. This isn’t any of those, and in fact, it’s the only other film I’ve ever seen in my life that has this type of story. 2013’s ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW almost feels like a modern-day retelling and expansion of this story. While I can’t find any reference to this film being an inspiration (and the fact that it hadn’t been seen by many from 1975-2017), I have to assume it’s just a fun coincidence.
The film, which at times felt more like a documentary than a thriller, was an experimental film that set out to show the mistreatment and undervaluing of the elderly. Ironically the film was commissioned by the Lutheran Service Society of Western Pennsylvania. Apparently, the film was used by them for a short period, but according to Romero’s wife, they probably found it too edgy and put it away.
Situations like this give me hope that other “lost” films will resurface. Ironically, this was screened at a film festival in 2001 and then sent to Romero; the rest is history. Hopefully, there are countless other films that are just sitting on a shelf somewhere, where either no one knows about them or the person who does, doesn’t realize their value to cinematic history.
- Audio commentary with Michael Gornick
- ‘Re-opening The Park’ with Suzanne Desrocher-Romero
- ‘Bill & Bonnie’s Excellent Adventure’ with Bonnie Hinzman
- ‘For Your Amusement’ with artist Ryan Carr
- Panel interview with Suzanne Desrocher-Romero, Sandra Schulberg, Greg Nicotero, and Daniel Kraus, moderated by Shudder’s Samuel Zimmerman
- The Amusement Park official brochure
- The Amusement Park script
- Behind-the-scenes photo gallery
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