Posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 by Jacob Hall
(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Movie: Class Action Park
Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max
The Pitch: For an entire generation of Americans raised in the New York and New Jersey area, Action Park was the wild and crazy amusement park where the lack of rules and safety regulations forced you to grit your teeth through injuries as you endured water slides designed by maniacs. For another generation, it’s become one of the internet’s most astonishing urban legends. This place wasn’t real, was it? Everyone was exaggerating, right? The new documentary Class Action Park, from directors Chris Charles Scott and Seth Porges, gathers former employees and visitors to tell their stories, alongside tons of astonishing footage from when the park was open. And it turns out Action Park was as nuts, and as dangerous, as you’ve heard.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: The COVID-19 pandemic means most of the world is unable to visit theme parks or water parks right now. And Class Action Park does a fine job of making “staying in your home and not doing anything at all” feel like a great choice. The film’s look back at this monstrous, unregulated amusement park is both hilarious and chilling, a portrait of a terrible park that could have only existed in one time and in one place. Even when the film missteps, it’s impossible to deny that the footage shown and the stories shared will leave your jaw on the floor.
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Usually, the genre-heavy Fantasia International Film Festival is held annually in Montreal, but with things the way they are this year (terrible), the festival has gone virtual. This year, Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato are covering Fantasia for /Film, firing off dispatches featuring capsule reviews of the titles we’ve watched from the safety of our own homes, all while dreaming of poutine.
In this edition: a documentary about a deadly theme park, a horror-comedy about organ harvesting, an unconventional vampire tale, and more.
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In the 1980s and ’90s, New Jersey’s Action Park amusement park was seen by many as a beacon of freedom. The rides were totally nuts – there was literally an enclosed water slide that sent riders blasting through a full loop-de-loop! – and every rule was more like suggestion that could be easily laughed at or brazenly ignored. But that freedom also meant things were incredibly dangerous – so dangerous, in fact, that multiple people died in the park while it was operational.
Class Action Park, the first-ever feature length documentary about this magical, horrifying place, is heading to HBO Max in just a few days, and the streaming service has unveiled a new trailer with more see-it-to-believe-it antics that have us eager to watch the full movie. Check out the trailer below.
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Back in 2018, Johnny Knoxville starred in the poorly received comedy Action Point, a movie inspired by Action Park, a real life theme park in New Jersey which was notorious for poorly designed, unsafe rides, and inexperienced and often under-the-influence staff. But now you’ll get to hear the story of Action Park from the people who survived it.
Class Action Park is a new documentary series that will take a look back at Action Park through newly unearthed and never-before-seen documents and recordings, original animations, and interviews with the people who were (un)lucky enough to be there. HBO Max has just grabbed the worldwide rights to the film, which will debut on the streaming service late this summer. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 by Ben Pearson
Last summer, Jackass star Johnny Knoxville headlined a mid-budget Paramount film called Action Point, which was loosely inspired by a real-life New Jersey amusement park called Action Park where so much insane stuff happened, you’d think most of the stories were made up. The Knoxville movie tanked hard at the box office, but now the real Action Park is being immortalized in a feature-length documentary called Class Action Park, which hails from the same filmmakers who have already made a short film spreading the word about this almost-mythical place. Check out the full trailer below. Read More »