Anyone who grew up in a small community in the UK probably has fond and rather terrifying memories of a travelling fair coming to town. The excitement of the rides was often heightened by the lack of safety features or the tendency for doors to randomly come open. Our local ‘egg cages’ were legendary for their lack of maintenance. Imagine this amplified into a whole theme park? That was the case with Action Park.
Located in Vernon, New Jersey, Action Park attracted thrill-seekers from across the New York metropolitan area. Billed as one of the largest water parks in the US, it’s fair to say that there was more emphasis placed on fun than safety. Indeed, tackling the ‘rides’ almost became a competition to show how brave you were with the local kids. Due to the high injury rates, it picked up the nicknames of ‘Class Action Park’, which is the title of Seth Porges and Chris Charles Scott’s new documentary.
It’s astonishing to think that only a few decades ago Action Park was allowed to happen. Class Action Park tells the tale of a wild and wonderful journey involving a crooked owner, a theme park basically run by a group of teenagers and a host of unsafe attractions. It’s a rollercoaster ride of a documentary, with lively testimonies from former staff and visitors alike. Class Action Park is so mad it’s true.
Class Action Park screened at Fantasia Festival.