One of George A. Romero’s long-lost titles is finally coming to Shudder after being held from its initial release. After a Lutheran society decided that they wanted to make a movie about elderly abuse, for some reason they decided to contact George A. Romero to put their message across. What they got wasn’t what they were expecting, so The Amusement Park was held from release because it was considered too gruesome, however it certainly does get its message across.
Introduced by actor Lincoln Maazel, an actor who could be considered to be elderly, he addresses the audience as many other public information would start. He tells the audience just what they may expect from the forthcoming events of the film and it certainly comes across as sincere.
However, Romero’s interpretation of what he was asked to do is given his original spin and what follows is a cautionary tale about the dangers of old age, all set in an amusement park.
A clever idea which enables Romero to tell his stories about the difficulties that elderly people face every day, Romero’s public information film shows things that happen to the elderly that are just as relevant now as they were in 1973.
However, there’s no real linear story as Romero’s subject has to cover many issues and this is where the setting of an amusement park is used to its advantage. Maazel wanders from one scene to the next experiencing incidents of elderly abuse first hand and often witnessing it in others, although at times these incidents could often be attributed to anybody that faces abuse due to their race, gender or disability.
Fans of Romero will be happy to see a film that’s been lovingly restored in 4K so that they can get a further insight into such a great and influential horror director. There may even be a curious fascination from those passing horror fans who want to know what happens when a horror director is asked to do something so out of his comfort zone.
Whoever you are and whatever reason you may want to watch The Amusement Park, the film will please Romero completionists and serve as an oddity for those interested in film history.
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