What is it with me and Traumafessions from 1977?
First it was SASQUATCH: THE LEGEND OF BIGFOOT, then it was ORCA, and now I come to you with ROLLERCOASTER.
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.
Oh man…I forgot about this little nightmare. I saw this on TV in the 80’s and it started my love of disaster movies and fear of rollercoasters.
The summer after viewing this – I went to Knott’s Berry Farm with my Mom and Sister. I think I was 12 at the the time. I rode a coaster with one enormous loop. Long story short, my harness popped out about halfway on the trek backwards up the hill. I drew in a large breath to scream “STOP THE RIDE”!!! and the @#$%^& ride took off and I rode the loop barely hanging in my seat. I screamed like a banshee and was positive I was going to die.
I was white as a sheet and shaking really bad when I got off. I couldn’t even talk about it. My Mom thought I was just scared of heights.
I went to Disneyland with a ton of family last summer and rode a few easy rides – Did Space Mountain and was VERY sorry I went on it.
I still can’t do those rides – I was warped for life.
I do however want to see this again 🙂
Man – I saw this so many times on TV late at night! I could never pass it up! It didn’t scar me though – I love roller coasters! My boyfriend – who doesn’t like them – just watched the clip and said he’s really never going on a roller coaster now.
I watch this film every 4th of July. SO great. Also, the Revolution is still there!
I love this movie! I worked at Six Flags St. Louis on the big coaster there and we had to inspect the tracks each morning. I was always paranoid about finding a bomb under the rails. Also, I had heard somewhere along the line that the first bomb/derailing scene was originally longer and more gruesome but was cut. If that’s true, where can we find that footage???