Thursday, July 31, 2008

Can Anyone Stop The Death Of Ocean View Park?

What do you get when ABC attempts to rip off JAWS, ROLLERCOASTER and THE EXORCIST...in the same movie?



THE DEATH OF OCEAN VIEW PARK, starring Mike Connors as Roy Scheider and Martin Landau as Murray Hamilton, was one of a handful of TV-movies produced by Playboy magazine. Just like in JAWS, it's the Fourth of July at Ocean View Amusement Park, and something really hinky is going on. Connors (MANNIX) is the guy who says, "We have to close the park," and Landau (SPACE: 1999) is the dumbass who claims, "There's no shark...uh...I mean, no ghosts in Ocean View Park!" Director E.W. Swackhamer filmed at a real amusement park in Norfolk, Virginia, and the actual wooden rollercoaster there was blown up on camera and used in the film.

Like dozens of made-for-TV movies of the 1970s, THE DEATH OF OCEAN VIEW PARK would be probably fun to see again and is almost impossible to see. I'm still unsure why Hollywood has been slow to release these pictures on DVD, because there is an audience for them.

3 comments:

Robert said...

Part of the treat with those old TV movies was how the networks showcased them. Those opening ABC graphics made it look like something special. Remember the great ABC Movie of the Week slit-scan opening? Even if the movie itself was nothing special (as often the case) you at least felt you were sitting down to something nifty.

Count me among the audience members that night OCEAN VIEW was broadcast. I mostly remember Martin Landau's maniacal zeal as he rode the coaster. Maybe this will turn up one day in an E.W. Swackhamer box set.

Amanda By Night said...

OMG. I love you forever for mentioning this oft-forgotten TV Movie.I have it and have only seen bits, but it's good stuff...

Anonymous said...

I just watched in on channel 13 in IL on the 25th of Jan 09! They showed it last week, too.