George A. Romero’s long-lost horror movie The Amusement Park has been rediscovered. The late, great Romero needs no introduction, with the writer/director leaving a huge impact on the horror genre with 1968’s Night Of The Living Dead. In addition to being a dark, intense horror ride with some biting social critiques, the movie also introduced flesh-eating zombies as a horror staple. Romero would on to direct 5 sequels, with his final movie being 2009’s Survival Of The Dead.
The success of Night Of The Living Dead somewhat typecast the director in the horror genre, where he would on to direct several other classics like Martin and Creepshow. The filmmakers' influence can be seen everywhere from the loving tribute of Shaun Of The Dead and The Walking Dead, down to Jordan Peele’s social satire disguised as horror flick Get Out. While the great man himself might be gone, he left behind a large number of unproduced screenplays that may yet get produced.
While some of George Romero movies are more obscure than others, fans had assumed all of his work was freely available. This turns out not to be the case, with author Daniel Kraus revealing on Twitter that he just watched the filmmakers 60-minute horror movie The Amusement Park. This movie was produced by a religious group as a PSA about the way society treats the elderly, but apparently, they found it so disturbing they never allowed it to be released and it's been under lock and key ever since.
I’m about to watch George A. Romero’s virtually unseen 1973 movie THE AMUSEMENT PARK (shot between Season of the Witch & The Crazies). Been trying to find this for 20 years. pic.twitter.com/ng6WqOeR6y— Daniel Kraus (@DanielDKraus) November 10, 2018
The Amusement Park soon became so obscure it doesn’t even appear on Romero’s IMDb page, and the filmmaker himself seemingly never referred to it. Daniel Kraus labels the long project a 'revelation,' with its power rivaling that of Night Of The Living Dead itself. While The Amusement Park is currently unavailable to the public, Kraus is hoping to raise funds via the George A Romero Foundation to restore and release the movie so fans can see it.
With the exception of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD—maybe—THE AMUSEMENT PARK is Romero’s most overtly horrifying film. Hugely upsetting in form & function. pic.twitter.com/BmyS5iTIyU— Daniel Kraus (@DanielDKraus) November 11, 2018
While it’s not unheard for famous filmmakers to work on projects that don’t get finished or released, The Amusement Park is a very rare case. Even the biggest fans of Romero’s work had simply never heard of it prior to Kraus’ reveal, and if his comments are anything to go by, it might be one of Romero's most powerful works. The rediscovery of The Amusement Park comes shortly after the release of Orson Welles previously unseen The Other Side Of The Wind on Netflix, and while Jerry Lewis’ infamous Holocaust drama The Day The Clown Cried has yet to be seen, The Library Of Congress intend to screen a donated copy of the unreleased movie sometime in 2024.
Source: Daniel Kraus