Currently on Bluray, DVD and Digital from director George A. Romero and RLJE Films comes a story that is just a poignant today as it was in 1975 with THE AMUSEMENT PARK.
With an introduction by Lincoln Maazel, the viewer is reminded that senior citizens in society are not valued by society. His point about watching the film is that the park itself is the confusing and sometimes dangerous world senior citizens live in.
Maazel is an elderly man sitting in a room by himself covered in bandages and looks as if he has been abused. Entering the white room is another man who is friendly, jovial and not interested when Maazel tells him that there is nothing out there for him.
Yet, the man decides to go find out what is behind the door himself. When he opens the door, he is confronted with an amusement park. It is loud, noisy, and boisterous with people going every which way. He immediately comes face to face with swindlers for his money by overcharging for ride tickets.
The before getting on to the ride, he reads signs that are not in his favor because of his age. When the ride is over, he begins to see the treatment of the elderly with death, losing a drivers license, car accidents, price of food, trying to be kind and basically ignored when he truly needs help. When he starts to see what the man told him earlier, it is to late as he is beaten, and his tickets taken by bikers.
When a child shows him kindness, the man thinks that perhaps the world might have a heart, but it is all quickly taken away from him. Returning to the room, another man comes in.
Cast includes Harry Albacker, Phyllis Casterwiler, Pete Chovan, Michael Gornick, Bob Koppler, Jack Gottlob, Sally Erwin, and Marion Cook.
Special Features include 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 and Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery.
Shudder is an American over-the-top subscription video on demand service featuring horror, thriller and supernatural fiction titles, owned and operated by AMC Networks. For more information, please visit www.shudder.com.
THE AMUSEMENT PARK was shot over a three-day period in West View, Pennsylvania and originally produced in 1973. The film was actually thought lost until Romero received a copy of it in 2017. Desrocher-Romero saw to the restoration in 4K along with the George A. Romero Foundation.
The interesting thing about THE AMUSEMENT PARK is that the issues brought up in the film may have been devastating in 1975 but, they are the same issues that are present today with our senior community. What does that say about our society?
Forty-seven years later every issue brought up in Romero’s piece is alive and well and affecting senior citizens in devastating ways. From the affordability of a place to live to the cost of food and medical care, it is not a surprise that there is quite a community of elderly that are homeless.
That is probably the one issue not directly addressed in the film.
This is a very sad film to watch yet an important message. Romero had something to say about these issues and used his platform to bring it to light. I am sure he never imagined that all these years later, those same issues would be present in our world.
In the end – his world is still our world!