What is it with me and Traumafessions from 1977?
In the summer of '77, I was 8 – a great age for enjoying carnivals and amusement parks. My interest in rollercoasters was just beginning to blossom, and I probably would have gone on them had I not seen the movie ROLLERCOASTER, starring TIMOTHY BOTTOMS as a mad bomber of said funrides.
The scene in the following clip is what traumatized me so much that I didn't get on a rollercoaster until I was 14:
It's not enough that BOTTOMS' character attacks what should be a safe haven of fun for kids, or the horrifying images of the rollercoaster snapping in pieces, carts and bodies flying everywhere — what scarred me the most is the scene of the cart flipping upside down and dropping its passengers directly on their heads.
Yes, if you squint or freeze-frame, the passengers in all the carts are obviously dummies. But when you're 8 and you see something like this without the benefit of a pause or slo-mo button, it affects you. Deeply.