Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rollercoaster (1977)

Wow, the things that I have found on TV. All of the films have been able to take me back into my youth and remind me why I love this genre so much. First Night of the Comet on Thursday, now Rollercoaster. While this is more of a mystery/suspense/thriller than horror film, I can honestly remember the terror it planted in my mind as a youth as I was just venturing onto the bigger roller coasters of the day.

Plot/ In a series of amusement parks, something deadly is happening. Rollercoasters are flying off their tracks, and people are dying. It soon becomes apparent that these are not a series of coincidences, but the work of a psychopathic extortionist who is placing explosives on the tracks. The FBI is called in to investigate and traces the crimes to a young man. But even after the man gets his ransom, he plans to blow up another rollercoaster...this one at a well-known park in California. Will the FBI be able to arrest him before he can carry out his murderous plan...or will another rollercoaster go off the rails?

Rollercoaster remains one of my favorite films from my youth. The movie remains quite impressive and visually diverse considering the era that it was filmed in. While, it was unfortunately grouped with the disaster movies of that period, this film was much more. Having gone to some of the amusement parks in the film during that period I can honestly say that the movie definitely had you thinking twice before entering a ride. Even today, as I only ride coasters, the thought of the chilling scene when the cars go flying out of control still reverberates in my mind. That is due in large part to a storyline and script that is 100 percent believable and tangible. This type of terrorist could and probably does exist in the world today. Couple that with outstanding acting and you have a formula for a movie that will span generations. If there is one downfall it is that, the movie has uneven pacing, minimal characterization and drags at times. However, none of those ailments truly detracts from this often-underrated flick. If you have not seen it, it is definitely worth checking out!

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