Rollercoaster 1977 ***


The always worthwhile George Segal provides a strong centre to this delightfully cheesy 1977 disaster movie, in which a mad bomber (Timothy Bottoms) leads the authorities in a merry dance with a series of radio-controlled explosions in amusement parks across the US. The authorities, in the form of Richard Widmark and Henry Fonda, are stumped, but Segal’s chain-smoking detective Harry Calder is quick off the mark in reading the situation and tracking the killer down. Rollercoaster peaks far too early with gruesome carnage as a packed rollercoaster smashes into an unsuspecting crowd, but there’s plenty of minor pleasures in the police procedural that follows. Helen Hunt plays Calder’s teenage daughter, and James Goldstone directs methodically.


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