June 17, 1977 in US cinemas: Rollercoaster

“Somewhere in the crowd is a killer who can turn their smiles into screams.”

In a series of amusement parks, something deadly is happening. Rollercoasters are flying off their tracks, and people are dying. It soon becomes apparent that these are not a series of coincidences, but the work of a psychopathic extortionist who is placing explosives on the tracks. The FBI is called in to investigate and traces the crimes to a young man. But even after the man gets his ransom, he plans to blow up another rollercoaster…this one at a well-known park in California. Will the FBI be able to arrest him before he can carry out his murderous plan…or will another rollercoaster go off the rails? [IMDB]

Rollercoaster-1977Rollercoaster is an American disaster-suspense film starring George Segal, Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda and Timothy Bottoms, and directed by James Goldstone. It was one of the few films to be shown in Sensurround, which caused audience seats to vibrate during certain periods during the “thrill scenes” on the rides.

This was the third film to be presented in Sensurround. Special low-frequency bass speakers were used during the roller coaster sequences. Sensurround was employed in only three other films released by Universal: Earthquake (1974), Midway (1977), and the theatrical version of Battlestar Galactica (1978).

Cinema-US-06-17-1977

The film features an appearance by the band Sparks for the roller coaster’s opening concert, playing the songs “Fill ‘Er Up” and “Big Boy” from their 1975 album Big Beat. This appearance was rumored to have been offered to Kiss who turned it down. Sparks later cited their appearance in the film when asked about the biggest regret of their career. [Wikipedia]

Watch the trailer on the Shout! Factory YouTube Channel.

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