Lost George A. Romero film, shot in Pittsburgh's North Hills, acquired by Shudder | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Lost George A. Romero film, shot in Pittsburgh's North Hills, acquired by Shudder

click to enlarge Still from The Amusement Park - SHUDDER
Shudder
Still from The Amusement Park
George A. Romero was so much more than the man behind Night of the Living Dead. This has been pointed out by the archivists behind University of Pittsburgh's George A. Romero Archival Collection, who have discovered materials pointing to the filmmaker's interest in genres beyond horror, and in projects with a more arthouse feel.

Now the horror streaming platform Shudder has acquired the lost Romero film The Amusement Park and plans to release it in the summer of 2021. After being dug up by the George A. Romero Foundation, the film premiered as part of the 2019 Romero Lives! celebration.

The acquisition, which was announced on Feb. 25, was negotiated between Shudder and the film's distributor, Yellow Veil Pictures.


The 53-minute film was shot in the former West View Park in the North Hills and the movie was released in 1973. What was originally intended as an educational film about elder care commissioned by the Lutheran Society became something completely different with Romero at the helm.

A press release from Shudder says The Amusement Park stars Lincoln Maazel (who also appeared in Romero's vampire film Martin) as an elderly man who “finds himself disoriented and increasingly isolated as the pains, tragedies and humiliations of aging in America are manifested through roller coasters and chaotic crowds.”
click to enlarge Poster for The Amusement Park - SHUDDER
Shudder
Poster for The Amusement Park

The release goes on to call it “perhaps Romero’s wildest and most imaginative movie, an allegory about the nightmarish realities of growing older,” and regards it as an “alluring snapshot of the filmmaker’s early artistic capacity and style and would go on to inform his ensuing filmography.”

The Amusement Park received a 4K restoration by IndieCollect, a film conservation outfit in New York City. Shudder also released the film’s poster, created by Polish artist Aleksander Wasilewski.

The filmmaker's widow, Suzanne Desrocher-Romero, who serves as the founder and president of the George A. Romero Foundation, sees the Shudder deal as an important step in preserving and introducing new generations to her late husband's more obscure works. Shudder also streams Season of the Witch, a film Romero made a few years after Night of the Living Dead.


“Shudder understands that this film adds an important element to the Romero oeuvre,” says Desrocher-Romero. “We are grateful.”

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