By James Brundage
At a certain unnamed Six Flags, somewhere in the country, I once had a girlfriend. She worked at the giant teepee at Frontier Land. When we first met, we ended up talking for something close to four hours, during which time the subject of the conversation inevitably turned to work, and she explained a certain ritual called the Swimsuit Relay. The Swimsuit Relay takes place in the diving pool, and occurs as part of a series of pre-park-opening events during the last days of the season.
Recalling the rules from memory, each team has 20 people on it, 10 of each sex. There is one female's one-piece to a team. It starts on one girl, who swims to the opposite side, places it on a boy, who then swims back and places the suit on the next girl.
Despite watching the painfully long, drawn out, and over plotted Rollercoaster, that is and probably always will be the most interesting story I have ever heard/witnessed (which one it is happens to be my little secret) at an amusement park.
Rollercoaster is a story of five troubled Vancouver teens who head to an abandoned amusement park to smoke dope and fulfill a suicide pact... so that the love between Chloe (Crystal Bubble) and Darrin (Kett Turton) is remembered for all time as part of a new wave of suicide urban-legends. Along for the ride are the homophobic homosexual (Brendan Fletcher), the wannabe animator (Brent Glenen), and the loser just along for the ride (Sean Amsing). Oh, yeah, and there happens to be a pedophile watching over the park (David Lovgren).
Rollercoaster is a classic case of a movie with too much plot and too little tension (psychological or otherwise). The movie meanders its way through 90 minutes, during which time I slotted the next two days worth of movies to see at the Cleveland International Film Festival, balanced my checkbook, checked my watch at least three dozen times, finished the worst Lo Mein in the world, and drafted this review to boot. Needless to say, this film was absolutely boring. The cast is unable to draw the viewer in, and the plot is so terrible that you wish gun-wielding terrorists would take over the park just to make the film get better.
Avoid at all costs.
Rollercoaster. Of love.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 17th June 1977
Distributed by: MCA Universal Home Video
Production compaines: Universal Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 50%
Fresh: 3 Rotten: 3
Cast & Crew
Starring: George Segal as Harry Calder, Richard Widmark as Agent Hoyt, Timothy Bottoms as Young Man, Henry Fonda as Simon Davenport, Susan Strasberg as Fran, Helen Hunt as Tracy Calder, Dorothy Tristan as Helen, Harry Davis as Benny Neilson, Stephen Pearlman as Bert Lyons, G.F. Rowe as Wayne Moore, Wayne Tippit as Police Captain Christie, Michael Bell as Demerest, Bruce Kimball as Bomb Squad #1, Robert Quarry as Mayor