THE AMUSEMENT PARK
George A. Romero, USA, 1973, DCP, 53′
An elderly man goes for what he assumes will be an ordinary day at the amusement park, only to find himself in the middle of a hellish nightmare instead. Filmed for a Lutheran charity in 1973 as a public service announcement but never released, the long lost newly restored The Amusement Park is an angry denouncement and a surrealist horror take on the dangers of ageism, directed by none other than the father of the modern zombie film. The 4K digital restoration was commissioned by the George A. Romero Foundation and carried out by IndieCollect.
“It’s only fitting that George A. Romero, who created the zombie movie as we know it, would release a film from beyond the grave. Nearly 50 years after it was completed, shelved and thought to be lost, The Amusement Park has returned to the land of the living – and, just as important, proven worth the wait. Romero died four years ago, but the strength of this posthumous work – to say nothing of his existing corpus – ensures that his legacy will live on. /…/ Though it’s unfortunate The Amusement Park couldn’t be seen for so long, there’s something undeniably punk rock about being paid to make an educational feature decrying the perils of ageism and going so off the rails that your benefactors refuse to release it – and then following up the project with two stone-cold classics of the horror genre. The timing of it all makes it even more tempting to think of the film as being in conversation with Romero’s Dead series: Getting old sucks, but it beats the alternative.”
– Michael Nordine, Variety