Tuesday, August 4, 2015

ROLLERCOASTER (1977)

A lone psycho is setting up small bombs at various amusement parks across the nation and if he doesn't get a million smackeroos quick he's gonna keep on doing it...and that's about the extent of the story.  The film opens with a small set-up and explosion that launches some roller coaster cars off the tracks killing a number of people.  After that it's a strictly cat-and-mouse affair with the nameless bomber (Timothy Bottoms) using a structural engineer (George Segal) as the go between for him and the amusement park owners.  Of course, the FBI is hot on the case with agent Richard Widmark trying to apprehend the bomber.

There's really not a lot of excitement in ROLLERCOASTER, but at the same time the story just keeps on plugging along at a steady pace.  No big ups or downs, just enough drama to keep you interested.  One thing that I did find interesting was the crowd scenes of the people back in 1977.  The fashions and the way the people acted was just so foreign to me.  Everybody seemed sociable and happy.  No cell phones.  I know it's a just a movie and not a documentary, but it was still interesting.

Is ROLLERCOASTER worth watching?  If you're not into older films then probably not, but if you like classic cat-and-mouse style films then I say go for it.  Solid acting all around, nice supporting cast, quick pace, a young Steve Guttenberg and Helen Hunt, plot holes, tons of smoking, lots of telephone conversations and even a performance by Sparks.

Uncredited Steve Guttenberg.

A young Helen Hunt with Susan Strasberg.