If you grew up in the Northeast (or are a fan of rickety regional theme park history), then you are probably aware of Action Park the bone-breaking-est amusement park on the east coast, which welcomed unlucky guests from 1978 to 1996. Action Park, formerly located in Vernon, New Jersey, has inspired countless YouTube videos, the Johnny Knoxville-starring feature Action Point, a recently released nonfiction book, a killer Sports Illustrated feature, and now, a new HBO Max documentary called Class Action Park. And the best part is, you won’t incur any serious head or neck injuries while watching it.
Class Action Park, which is based on one of the nicknames visitors would give the park (another good one was Traction Park), is officially described as “the first-ever feature-length documentary to explore the legend, legacy, and truth behind a place that long ago entered the realm of myth.” It’ll be interesting to see how they handle the true danger and negligence of the park, which resulted in countless injuries and at least six people deaths (many of them drowned in the super intense tidal pool) with the more outwardly fun and outrageous elements of the park’s operation and infamy (there was an early-90s episode of MTV’s Headbangers Ball with Alice in Chains filmed at the park, amongst other kitsch relics). As far as amusement parks go, the only one more dangerous is probably Jurassic Park.
“Shirking the trappings of nostalgia, the film uses investigative journalism, newly unearthed and never-before-seen documents and recordings, original animations, and interviews with the people who lived it to reveal the true story for the first time,” the official statement reads. Class Action Park, which doesn’t have a release date yet, is produced and directed by Chris Charles Scott and Seth Porges. Whether you know the history of the park intimately or are just hearing about it for the first time, this documentary will undoubtedly shake you (but, you know, not to the point of a brain bleed or stress fracture or anything else).