Plot- A blackmailer threatens to sabotage roller coasters at various American amusement parks if he isn’t paid a huge ransom – Rollercoaster.
Director- James Goldstone
Released – 1977
Rollercoaster is most assuredly one of those films where checking your brain at the door is advised, because the more you think about it, the more plot holes you will find. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Based around a rather simplistic story about a man looking to extort money out of the nation’s amusement parks through murder and terror. The sequences on the rides are slick and filled with tension right up until the point we see the inevitable disaster take place in front of our eyes. George Segal is charismatic and entertaining as the park safety inspector who unwittingly gets drawn into the killer (Bottoms) plan.
Cumulating in a hugely entertaining sequence centred around a money drop off, in which the killer makes Segal’s character Harry Calder get on and off a series of different rides with the money, just to prove how much power he has over the situation and the FBI. One aspect I found quite interesting is that the killer’s motives are never revealed other than he wanted money, there’s never any explanation as to why he targeting theme parks, allowing you to think up your own ideas.
Of the Supporting performances, two of the most memorable proved to be Richard Widmark as an initially standoffish FBI agent and Henry Fonda as Segal’s hardass boss. The problem is, these characters are memorable due to how unlikeable they are. Still, Rollercoaster is a fairly entertaining movie, with a couple of great visual touches including one lovely piece of camera work that makes you feel as though a ride has come off its tracks.