For fun: Dumb Rollercoaster movie question

I was watching the film Rollercoaster again tonight. I've seen it a bazillion times since it was on tv when I was a kid.

The opening assault at Ocean View park. This is a coaster I've always wanted to ride because of this film, I know..weird. But the explosive on the turn: Would that really derail a train over the edge? I'm thinking with guide wheels and given the steepness of the drops, there's probably upstop wheels on that train. Wouldn't it just slow or stop the train rather than derail it?

Well, I'll be. Here I always thought disaster movies could only comply with totally realistic situations.

Tommytheduck's avatar

Depends on how many people ate the fish... Or something.

waynethexplorer's avatar

Big Boy by Sparks made the movie

Sounds like this would have been a question for Adam and Jamie before they quit ;)

Realistically the train probably wouldn't have gone flying off the track because the bomb was only on one side of the track.Another weird aspect was that the bomb was on the underside of the rail-wouldn't the bomb be dislodged or destroyed prematurely?

ericthewanderer said:

Another weird aspect was that the bomb was on the underside of the rail-wouldn't the bomb be dislodged or destroyed prematurely?

That's a good point. If there were upstops they would messed it up earlier in the day.

On a more realistic note: I wouldn't have waited all that time to ride the Revolution on it's first day. But definitely would have gone to Magic Mountain to check out the Sparks show!

Timber-Rider's avatar

This is an interesting question. A roller coaster train isn't that much different than a regular train, if one of the rails were suddenly missing, and not the other, the train would certainly slow it's speed, and like the film, the first few cars would jump the track, though I don't think the entire train would be affected. It really depends on how fast the train is going. Though the rear trains may collide with the front cars and be pulled off the tracks as the first few fall

Movie studios used actual roller coasters in many movies where cars jumped the track. There was one that featured some kind of dragon eating the coaster track, and another where a coaster derailed and caught on fire just after it was tested by a guy who rode it at maximum speed, to show that it was safe enough to open.

You also have to remember that coaster trains were built differently when the rollercoaster movie was made. I would also think that a bomb would have a different reaction with steel vs wood. I would think the steel coaster would just slam into it and cause the cars to collide, people would be hurt, maybe even suffer broken necks, but I don't think the train would leave the track, but it would not be a pretty sight. People would be more likely ejected from their seats just from the force, no matter how they were restrained.

I didn't do it! I swear!!

What was different in the late 70s compared with today? It's not like it was a side friction coaster.

Gorgo (MGM 1961) If I recall, the coaster was in Britain and the monster tears it and some power lines up. Back then scenes like that were shot with models and animated creatures.

Your second reference (I'll go along and say your recollection is accurate, but I got doubts) cracks me up and illustrates everything wrong with roller coasters in movies, disaster related or not. How does one crank a coaster up to maximum speed? (Loosen trims?) And how does a coaster car catch fire after it crashes? (Maybe it was full of guys with cigarette lighters in their pockets.) Depictions like that are so inaccurate it's laughable. To people like us, anyway. The rest of the viewers include those that buy the whole thing then question ride safety for the rest of their lives.

I know, it's only a movie.

I know Roller Coaster Tycoon has instilled a fear of water slide explosions.

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