Attendees referred to the place as “Traction Park,” among other things. The infamous amusement and water park in Vernon, New Jersey proved to be a rite of passage for kids in the New York area—a lawless land of poorly constructed rides and accidents waiting to happen, all of which are captured in the upcoming HBO Max documentary on the facility, Class Action Park. Today, the streamer revealed that the debut of the doc is right around the corner, as it will hit the service on Aug. 27. A new trailer also arrived, highlighting the carnage and the rampant irresponsibility that led to multiple deaths and numerous injuries at the park throughout the 1970s-1990s.
Class Action Park is directed by Seth Porges and Chris Charles Scott III, and features testimonials from numerous actors and comedians who were scarred by the park both mentally and physically during their own childhoods. Those appearing to give testimonials include Chris Gethard, Jimmy Kimmel and Johnny Knoxville, whose 2018 movie Action Point also functioned as a parody of the park. But the real footage, as seen in the trailer below, is considerably more disturbing.
“As an 8 or 9-year-old, I could tell there was something different about this place,” said Porges. “There was just something chaotic in the air about Action Park and it stuck with me.”
The park first opened in 1978, and made it all the way to 1996 before it closed for good, but along the way it was linked to countless injuries and more than a few deaths. Lawsuits were also very common, which becomes not at all surprising when you see some of the helter-skelter rides that appear in the trailer below. I mean really, a water slide with a loop in it? You’re just asking for horrors at that point. Park owner Eugene Mulvihill eventually faced charges and fines after it was revealed that he had established his own insurance company to provide protection for the park, and his son Andy Mulvihill went on to write a book about the legacy of the park, entitled Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides, and the Untold Story of America’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park. That book is currently in the process of being adapted into a half-hour comedy series at Hulu, but HBO’s documentary will obviously beat it to the punch.
Just how bad will the negligence get? We’ll find out on Aug. 27, but in the meantime check out the harrowing trailer below.