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‘The Amusement Park’ Review: George A. Romero Releases One Last Classic From Beyond the Grave

 Courtesy of Shudder

Long thought lost, this restored curio finds the 'Night of the Living Dead' director at the height of his abilities.

It’s only fitting that George A. Romero, who created the zombie movie as we know it, would release a film from beyond the grave. Nearly 50 years after it was completed, shelved and thought to be lost, “The Amusement Park” has returned to the land of the living — and, just as important, proven worth the wait. Romero died four years ago, but the strength of this posthumous work — to say nothing of his existing corpus — ensures that his legacy will live on.

The film begins with a fourth-wall-breaking monologue from its star, actor Lincoln Maazel, who walks through damp, empty streets while bemoaning the ways in which the elderly are prevented from fully participating in society. “Remember as you watch the film,” his soliloquy ends, “one day you will be old.”

If this seems a little overt for a filmmaker as inclined toward allegory as Romero, there’s a reason for it: “The Amusement Park” was commissioned as a kind of anti-ageist PSA by the Lutheran Society, who were so displeased with the dizzying final result that they shelved it. This odd set of circumstances is what led to it being lost for so long.

 

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