Horror streamer Shudder adds another feather to its cap — and a curiosity object to its “Summer of Chills” programming — with George A. Romero’s The Amusement Park. The film is a 52-minute oddity the director shot between Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, and thought lost for nearly 50 years.
Made as a commission for the Lutheran Society, The Amusement Park stars Lincoln Maazel — who played Tateh Cuda in Romero’s Martin, and, fun fact, lived to be 106 years old — and takes a look at the plight of America’s elderly through a lens that appears to be appropriately horrific if this completely unsettling new trailer is anything to go by.
Here’s the official description, courtesy of Shudder: “Recently discovered and restored 46 years after its completion by the George A. Romero Foundation and produced by Suzanne Desrocher-Romero, The Amusement Park stars Martin’s Lincoln Maazel as an elderly man who finds himself disoriented and increasingly isolated as the pains, tragedies and humiliations of ageing in America are manifested through roller coasters and chaotic crowds. Commissioned by the Lutheran Society, the film is perhaps Romero’s wildest and most imaginative movie, an allegory about the nightmarish realities of growing older, and is an alluring snapshot of the filmmaker’s early artistic capacity and style and would go on to inform his ensuing filmography. The ‘lost’ film was restored in 4k by IndieCollect in New York City.”
The Amusement Park hits Shudder on June 8. The rest of the streamer’s “Summer of Chills” looks intriguing as well, with 12 Shudder Originals — including creepy-sounding Russian import Superdeep, which takes place at a mysterious, long-shuttered facility located seven miles below the surface; and Vicious Fun, which has us hooked with this description: “Joel, a caustic 1980s film critic for a national horror magazine, finds himself unwittingly trapped in a self-help group for serial killers” — rolling out through June, July, and August.