Although it may sound cliche, few directors have had the influence on the horror genre that the late George A. Romero had. The man almost single handedly revolutionized the zombie film, turning it into what it is today (arguably the most popular subgenre of horror). While most known for his zombie flicks, Romero has also done a ton of other movies. He took a shot at the vampire subgenre with his movie Martin, and also stepped out of the horror box with 1981’s Knightriders. The filmography of the Pittsburgh native is quite impressive, and it’s about to get a little bigger.
Last month Romero’s widow, Suzanne Desrocher-Romero revealed that not only did her husband leave behind between 40-50 unmade scripts, but that there is also a completed film made in 1973 that has never seen the light of day. On the film, Desrocher-Romero said
We have a film that he shot in 1973 that most people haven’t seen. A handful of people have seen this film. We’re gonna restore it, and we’re gonna show it to Romero cinephiles. It’s a scary movie, but it’s not a horror movie, and it’s about ageism. Anyway, he has a cameo in it, and it’ll be fun. And we’ll show the movie, or get it distributed. It’ll be a project that the foundation’s gonna do. I think it’s the first project we’re gonna do actually.
Thanks to the comments of New York Times bestselling author Daniel Kraus, we have some information about this movie. This film, titled The Amusement Park, was completed in between Season of the Witch and The Crazies. This was originally a 60 minute made-for-tv feature concerned with the topic of age discrimination. While perhaps not explicitly a horror film, the consensus seems to be that it is horrifying. After viewing the film, Kraus commented that “With the exception of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD—maybe—THE AMUSEMENT PARK is Romero’s most overtly horrifying film. Hugely upsetting in form & function.” Continuing, Kraus had this to say
The people who funded it wouldn’t allow it. And no wonder. It’s hellish. In Romero’s long career of criticizing American institutions, never was he so merciless. Where can you see this savage masterwork? You can’t. But I’m dedicating myself to changing that. Can you help? Yes, probably. Give me some time to figure out what’s what.
While no further details are given in terms of what it would take to see some sort of release for this long lost film, it is important to note that fans can contribute to this work by visiting the George A. Romero Foundation website. The information out there concerning The Amusement Park is pretty scarce at the moment, but we will update this as we go. Below is a simple plot description that has been revealed, along with some screenshots from Kraus.
An elderly gentlemen sets out for what he thinks will be a normal day at an amusement park and is soon embroiled in a waking nightmare the likes of which you’ve never seen.