It Came From the Drive In: Rollercoaster
Throughout the course of Film Viewing history, weâ€™ve always tried to find ways to help enhance our viewing experience such as IMAX, Scratch and Sniff Cards, Motion Seats, and the extremely annoying use of 3-D being used today. William Castle practically had a Career with enhancing his films by adding things in to his films. All of these and many more can be pretty much described as a way to either make the experience of watching a film better, or just paying extra for it. (The latter being the most obvious choice.) Which brings me back to one such experiment of enhancing films, Sensurround.
It was developed by Universal in the 1970â€™s and was a way of enhancing the audio of the film by adding an extended range of Bass for Sound Effects and it also vibrated your seat at certain parts of the film. It was only used in for four films before having other studios created similar style of audio enhancers. I already looked at the first one (Earthquake) and so I decided to take a look at another one which also takes the form of a Disaster film called Rollercoaster.
Throughout many different theme parks in the United States, a series of “accidents” have been occurring on rollercoasters and many other rides which have been caused by a mysterious bomber and the FBI are relying on the help of a ride inspector to stop the bomber from causing more incidents.
The odd thing about this was that film was a victim of False Advertising.
In almost all the reviews Iâ€™ve seen for this, itâ€™s constantly being referred to as being a Disaster movie. (Probably because of Sensurround.) To be honest, thereâ€™s very little â€œDisasterâ€ as people claimed it as. It seemed to be more like a Suspense movie since the whole film is mostly seemed like a Cat-Mouse game between the Bomber and the Ride Inspector. Actually, thereâ€™s very little of the â€œCat-Mouseâ€ bit since itâ€™s mostly just the Bomber somehow listening to the conversation of the Inspector and the Police. I guess it would just be a very dull thriller. (I was expecting it to be just Ninety minutes of the Rollercoaster incident in Final Destination 3.)
With that being said, the suspense of the film was rather Lackluster. Throughout the film, they all consisted of just wondering when the bombs are going to go off on the rides they were placed on and it ended up being very predictable. I guess the first incident was interesting, but after that we donâ€™t see any more of them.
The Bomber is a bit of an odd character.
He mostly lurks around the theme parks he visits as he set off his bombs with a detonator he has in his jacket pocket. He was actually one of the problems I had with the film, mainly because he was extremely dull. He doesnâ€™t show any emotion in the film and it really makes him stick out and easy to spot in a crowd (and yet they couldnâ€™t find him for almost Two hours of screen time.) I also wish they gave him a better motive to do it aside from wanting Money. It really renders him very generic and forgettable. Plus he somehow knows EXACTLY where the police are and when they are talking about him and what they next plan is. Itâ€™s either that the character read the script or that heâ€™s psychic because that is simply impossible that he knows every step theyâ€™ll take.
Aside from the Bomber, everybody else in the film was very generic. The Ride Inspector seemed like an average guy whose only character trait aside from knowing about rollercoasters was that he wanted to quit smoking. The FBI characters were standard cop characters and they do include the Inspectorâ€™s family but they seemed like background characters. The band Sparks showed up in the film, but they didnâ€™t do much expect play some songs at a rollercoaster premiere. It becomes obvious the characters arenâ€™t really the strongest part of the film.
The only thing left I could talk about is the Rollercoasters.
Thereâ€™s not much to say expect that several scenes are filmed on the rides. The Sensurround would have probably been used on the Ride Sequences and not much else I guess it would be cool at the time of the filmâ€™s release, but now-a-days we have plenty of Youtube channels dedicated to On Ride POV videos. So it rendered the scenes to be boring for me since I’ve seen many of them.
Final Thoughts: I thought it was okay. I wasnâ€™t really what I was expecting, which I guess is a good thing, but in the end I would much rather watch a film that was a disaster film on Rollercoasters instead. Maybe I’d watch the first five minutes ofÂ Final Destination 3 instead. Itâ€™s probably more fun to just go on any rollercoaster that was in the film.