7.0/10
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26 user 35 critic

Class Action Park (2020)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 27 August 2020 (USA)
Trailer
2:33 | Trailer
A documentary that focuses on a dangerously legendary water park and its slew of injuries and crimes along with child safety concerns.

Writer:

Seth Porges
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Pilon ... Self - Financial Journalist
Jim DeSaye ... Self - Director of Park Security
Jessi Paladini ... Self - Vernon Newspaper Editor
Andrew Mulvihill ... Self - Action Park CEO
Matthew Callan ... Self - Park Guest
Alison Becker ... Self - Park Guest
Chris Gethard ... Self - Park Guest
Mark Johnson ... Self - Security Guard
Seth Porges ... Self - Journalist
Daron Fitch ... Self - Park Employee
Ed Youmans ... Self - Park Operations Manager
Bob Krahulik ... Self - Head Lifeguard
Bill Benneyan ... Self - Park President
Faith Anderson ... Self - Lifeguard
Joe Hession ... Self - Park Employee
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Storyline

A documentary that focuses on a dangerously legendary water park and its slew of injuries and crimes along with child safety concerns.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

water | See All (1) »

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie "Action Point" starring Johnny Knoxville was inspired by and named after the real park. See more »

Goofs

An early establishing shot ostensibly showing New York in the 70s shows the downtown skyline before the World Trade Center was built. Since the WTC began construction in 1966, it should be in any shot of that area from the 70s. See more »

Connections

Featured in AniMat's Crazy Cartoon Cast: A Little Too Wild (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

All the Madmen
Lyrics by David Bowie
Music by David Bowie
Produced by Tony Visconti
Performed by David Bowie
Courtesy of Island Records Limited
See more »

User Reviews

 
Gripping Documentary on America's most Dangerous Water Park
29 August 2020 | by elicoppermanSee all my reviews

From the late 1970s to the mid 1990s, entrepreneur Gene Mulvilhill ran his own water park in Vernon, New Jersey called "Action Park". Often known as the most dangerous water park in North America, the park was known for its casualties as it was known for its bizarrely constructed rides. It was so controversial that it led to a documentary called "Class Action Park", which details the history before the park was even opened, its runtime, and the aftermath. Described mostly from the people who either attended or worked at the park, this might be one of the more fascinating amusement park documentaries out there.

As this park was known for its recklessness, the documentary details how much the owners utilized that as a gimmick, from the insanely designed rides injuring attendees to even the employees joining in on the reckless behavior. All of this was because "uncle Gene" was fulfilling his dream of creating his own fun-filled utopia without any rules. Many of his frankly crooked schemes would include engineering rides that sometimes wouldn't even make it past the testing phase, daring kids to ride these unsafe rides with money, and not even reporting on any action no matter how deadly. And yet, all this mayhem was what drove people to the park given how much freedom they had around the parks in the first place; everyone interviewed in the documentary has a story to last a lifetime. Probably the more fascinating stories come from the former employees, who were mostly dumb juvenile teenagers with little concern for morality and would spend their time drinking and partying more than anything. If that lifestyle doesn't sum up teen life in the 80s, let alone in New Jersey, I don't know what does.

In terms of filmmaking, a good chunk of the footage is older stock material of the park itself, which helps put into context just how crazy the park really was in terms of its lack of rules or unguaranteed safety. Considering a lot of the attendees were the youth or young adults, one could almost cringe at the sight of these people going around these parks despite not caring for their overall safety. In addition, some of the more painful slapstick moments are shown in animated form, which only adds to how cartoony a lot of the antics behind this park really were. In a way, the documentary is both a recap of the general events that went on in the park's runtime, and an 80s teen movie meets a gritty horror movie. Two of the interviewees who went to the park, comedian Chris Gethard and actress Alison Becker, even pointed out how much the Jersey-bravado motivated the people wanting to get hurt for fun on the ludicrous rides. But even then, they got to enjoy the rides in hindsight, compared to people who actually died at the park, which would become the park's ultimate downfall.

So in the end, not only is Class Action Park an intriguing documentary that showcases the fascination nostalgia can bring back to an adult, but it's also a reminder of how what you once thought was fun was really more of a miracle you even survived such a wacky ordeal. It's ok if some things are just left as a memory, because there's no way you'd want to revisit near death anytime soon. If you're still on board to check this documentary out, it's on HBO Max just waiting for you. It may make you cringe, it may make you feel unsettled, but it will never stop shocking you, like the park did to people for 18 long years.


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Details

Official Sites:

HBO Max | Official Facebook | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 August 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Class Action Park See more »

Filming Locations:

Vernon, New Jersey, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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