It somehow feels right that George A. Romero, the king of the zombie movie, is still putting out new films four years after he passed away.

Okay so technically, this is not a “new” film. George Romero, who died in 2017, shot The Amusement Park in 1973 — about five years after Night of the Living Dead and five years before Dawn of the Dead. It was commissioned by the Lutheran Society, who hired Romero to make a film about elder abuse. But, at least according to the film’s IMDb page, they were “so shocked and horrified from what they saw they never showed it to anyone.” Yep, that sounds like a George Romero film.

The Amusement Park was only rediscovered in 2018. It received a 4K restoration and is now ready to be seen. The horror streaming service Shudder announced today they’d acquired the rights to show the film, and will premiere it later this summer. Their press release says the film “stars Martin’s Lincoln Maazel 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” and called it “perhaps Romero’s wildest and most imaginative movie, an allegory about the nightmarish realities of growing older.” Clearly, it was not quite what the Lutheran Society had in mind when they paid Romero to make it.

It’s worth noting that The Amusement Park isn’t a standard-issue commercial feature film, and runs less than an hour. Still, it’s not every day that a lost film work a great director is found, or made available, so this is welcome news for horror fans.

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