Rollercoaster (1977)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  

USA, 1977.  .  Story by , , , Screenplay by Richard Levinson, William Link, suggested by a story by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .

 plays a madman who plants a bomb on a rollercoaster and watches happily as the cars fly off the tracks and into the innocent crowd below, killing dozens.  Safety inspector  realizes that amusement park owners have a serious problem on their hands when a second accident occurs and a ransom demand comes in.  is downright hilarious as the “YOU’RE OUTTA LINE” FBI agent who takes over when it becomes a federal matter, while  has an inexplicably short cameo as Segal’s boss.  Also featuring an early cameo by Steve Guttenberg and an appearance by a fourteen year-old  as Segal’s daughter, this one is cut from the plainest of seventies disaster film cloths, at times intense but for the most part uninspired and shallow.  A great deal of the violence was excised to maintain a PG rating, which robs the film of a more than a few thrills (the second act of terrorism is entirely off camera), but there’s great footage of the rides, and after this many years it does provide a nostalgic thrill for the look of amusement parks of the past.

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