1977 / Director. James Goldstone.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
Cinema in the 70s was dominated by disaster movies. Titles such as EARTHQUAKE, THE TOWERING INFERNO and AIRPORT were champions of the box office and they were accompanied by dozens of imitations. Amongst them was ROLLERCOASTER, a home-grown terrorism film about a homicidal man who holds theme park owners to ransom by placing bombs on the attractions of their parks. Typically the film boasted a cast of big Hollywood players including Henry Fonda, George Segal and Timothy Bottoms... with Fonda's role being little more than a 2 minute bit. I think this is a hugely underrated movie and it was one that suffered from being overshadowed by STAR WARS. The story has George Segal's health-and-safety officer character being lead around a theme park as he follows the bombers instructions. It is a typical Hickcockian convention that has been exploited countless times over the years and yet it works marvellously in this formula film. Segal is great and I consider this amongst his best performances. Sadly for viewers, much of the film's violence was toned town for it's release. A confronting rollercoaster detailing originally featured severed limbs and flailing bodies and the bomber's ultimate demise was originally very graphic and bloody. But even still, ROLLERCOASTER is a thrilling, exciting and well paced film that delivers a good story, decent script and a wonderful exploit of a common fear.