THE DEATH OF OCEAN VIEW PARK (1979)
Article 3903 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-11-2012
Posting Date: 4-21-2012
Directed by E.W. Swackhamer
Featuring Mike Connors, Diana Canova, Perry Lang
What it is: Amusement park disaster movie
A woman is having premonitions of a disaster at the amusement park where her husband works. Meanwhile, a former owner of the park believes that there is some real danger at the park because of a recent hurricane, but the new owners don’t take him seriously.
If I have the backstory on this movie correct, the park where this was made was bought by Playboy and was to be torn down. They decided to make the park’s destruction a part of a movie, and the script for this one was chosen. I’m glad I discovered this; I was initially thinking of praising the movie for its excellent special effects, but knowing that the destruction scenes were other than the usual movie magic makes it somewhat less impressive. Some of the plot descriptions I’ve found of this one talk about the accidents at the park being due to some supernatural force, but the movie doesn’t bear that out; in the movie itself, all that is discussed is the juxtaposition of various natural phenomena, whereas from a visual point of view, the culprit seems to be a damaged gas line. Still, the presence of the precognition subplot does add the necessary fantastic content, but overall, the script is trite and predictable. Occasionally, the acting and professionalism go a way towards alleviating the script’s weaknesses, and that helps a little. Overall, the movie is only so-so.