Posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 by Jacob Hall
I was never a huge fan of Jackass, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get it. Because I totally get it – there’s something special about performers who are literally willing to put their personal safety on the line for a gag and there’s an invisible cord connecting the Jackass crew to the likes of Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. They literally suffered for their art, pushing themselves to physical extremes for the sake of a laugh. It’s stupid and insane and immature and it may, somehow, loop back around on itself and become high art.
So the news that Jackass headliner Johnny Knoxville is planning a movie that will involve him getting battered by unsafe theme park rides has me intrigued, mainly because I wonder with morbid curiosity if this will be the project that finally does him in.
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Growing up in the Tri-State area during the ’80s and ’90s, you had two real options if you wanted to head to a big theme park. Drive a few hours to Six Flags, or go a few minutes to the border of New Jersey and New York. There is located the small town of Vernon, NJ, which housed the insane and mythical Action Park.
I grew up about 30 minutes from Vernon so, every few weeks over the summer, we’d hop in the car and head to Action Park. There we could be shot out of a waterslide like a cannonball, race down an almost 80-degree angled slide, or swing on a rope in front of dozens of people. But walking around the park, you always had a sense of dread. Maybe it was because of the kids crying having burned themselves on the Alpine Slide. Maybe it was the kid coughing up water having almost drowned in the deep end of the massive wave pool. Or maybe it was the whispers about the that black slide with the cobwebs on it…and an ominous loop.
Mashable has posted a two part documentary on Action Park appropriated titled The Most Insane Amusement Park Ever. For anyone who’d ever went to the park as a child, this is a great trip down memory lane. If you never had the privilege, you almost won’t believe this place existed. Read More »