Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Six Flags Great Adventure's Legacy of Death

Usually the subjects covered here are light and fun. This one isn't and I am sorry for that.

When I talk about theme parks around the country people invariably bring up "that really dangerous park in NJ." They are always talking about Action Park, an amusement park in Vernon, NJ. The internet is full of photos of the dangerous looking water slides and the park's poorly run and dangerous conditions inspired a film by Johnny Knoxville.

However, there was a far more dangerous park in NJ. Action Park was opened for less than 20 years (1978-1996) and there were a least six deaths that occurred there. 

Six Flags Great Adventure once killed 8 teenagers in less than 20 minutes.

I don't mean to be glib or make light of this. Theme parks deaths are avoidable. No one should go to a place of entertainment and never return home.

Currently Six Flags Great Adventure is promoting 30-hour Six Flags Coffin Challenge. This is an event where they see if guests can spend 30 hours in a coffin. 

Remarkably tone deaf for a park responsible for the deadliest theme park accident of all time.

Great Adventure opened in 1974, Six Flags took over the park in 1977. According to a few articles attached there were TWO roller coaster fatalities, three days apart, in 1977 - likely under the previous ownership. I haven't found much on these deaths other than mentions in articles on other deaths at the park

Then in 1981 an employee fell 42 feet from a roller coaster called Rolling Thunder in a routine morning test.

1984 saw the horrific fire at the Six Flags Great Adventure.

Wikipedia sums it up "On May 11, 1984, a fire destroyed the attraction, trapping and killing eight teenaged visitors. Six Flags Great Adventure and its parent company Six Flags were indicted for aggravated manslaughter and accused of recklessly causing the deaths by taking inadequate precautions against a fire. In the trial, the prosecution argued that repeated warnings by safety consultants to install sprinklers or smoke or fire alarms had been ignored. The defendants denied any culpability, and contended that the fire was arson and that no amount of precautions would have saved lives. The trial jury found the defendants not guilty.

The two park executives charged separately with manslaughter avoided trial and possible imprisonment by entering a pretrial intervention program that allowed them to perform community service.
The families of four of the victims filed civil suits against Bally Manufacturing, the owner of Six Flags; Six Flags Great Adventure; and the Castle's builder, George Mahana, the owner of Toms River Haunted House Company, charging manslaughter and aggravated manslaughter. New York City Board of Education, the State of New Jersey, Ocean County and Jackson Township were also included in the various suits.[31] Seven of the eight families later settled out of court for $2.5 million each; the eighth family chose to go to trial and was awarded $750,000."

Many criticized the park for blaming the victims.


Three years later Six Flags made the news again after gunfire and stabbings:

Then in 1987 Six Flags Great Adventure caused the death of a teen when they started a roller-coaster before she was harnessed in.

There hasn't been a roller coaster death at Six Flags Great Adventure since then, but it sounds like one was narrowly avoided in 2015:

"On September 13, 2015, a girl from Gibbstown, New Jersey was injured when her safety restraints came undone as the ride started. As she exited the ride, it was shut down for technical difficulties. Two years later in 2017, her family filed a lawsuit to the park claiming that the staff didn't check them before they were secure" source Wikipedia.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Limited Edition: Presidential Hutch Box


A super deluxe set crammed full of Presidential foolishness! Be the envy of all your Presidential lovin pals when you open this delightful parcel.

Includes: signed copy of Letters to the Hall of Presidents!
Ever wonder what happens when people write letters to the robots in The Hall of Presidents? Of course not! But you'll still want to revel in the good humor of Guy Hutchinson's newest book Letter's to The Hall of Presidents! Read about the time Nixon ate a Big Mac! Learn Warren Harding's middle name! See the contents of The Hall of Presidents' mailroom trash!

Be the envy of all your friends with this sweet Garfield sticker! Yes, stick this on your Trapper Keeper and everyone will know that you HATE Mondays. #NoHate #ExceptForMondays

Plus an adorable Drunk on Disney button that tells the world 'yeah, I like a cocktail... but I am also whimsical!"

Now here comes the big stuff! First, a Ross Perot 1992 bumper sticker! Relive the failed third party candidacy of diminutive business man Ross Perot! Put this on your 2018 car to make people think you are a time traveler!

In 1968 The Louis Marx company released the The Marx Presidents of the United States series! These figures have all the accuracy and detail of a groom cake topper and can be used to tell your GI Joes which war they need to fight!
I will randomly select one of these (new in package) figures for each order!

Remember the stereoscope in the Carousel of Progress? Where the kid gets to see Little Egypt doing the hoochie coochie? Well, I have several original William McKinley stereoscope cards! These depict important events in his life and death.
I will carefully choose the perfect William McKinley stereoscope card for each order!

Historians say that Abe Lincoln wrestled for money. The current US President is also a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. Thus, no movie is more closely tied to the office of the presidency than Russell Madness. From the makers of Air Bud, this film tells the tale of a dog that fights humans... in the ring.
A new DVD copy will be included in each Presidential Hutch Box!


Guy Hutchinson
Guy Hutchinson

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Trapped in Paradise filming locations

One of my favorite Christmas movies is Trapped in Paradise. It's what some people would call a guilty pleasure, but I feel no guilt.

Recently I stumbled across a pretty neat YouTube video. Parts of the film were shot in Niagara on the Lake in Canada. The video was taken by a resident and he shows some of the fake store fronts and signage. I tracked down the locations on Google Maps and then I figured, why not update this blog for the first time in about a year?

Here's the bank from the film. You can see in the inset shot from the video that they had added a false front to an existing building:

The Paradise Theater, aka The Royal George in real life:

Lastly, this shot. Not sure how prominent this co-op sign is in the movie. The Greyhound station plays a big part. I assume that beautiful building on the left is in the place of the parking lot that was used for the Greyhound station. Odds are they didn't have an actual Greyhound station there, because movies are fake.
See ya next year or whatever.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Drunk On Disney 153: Total Eclipse of Your Face

LINK (right click to save) 0:51:13

Dana and Guy visit the Keen's Chophouse in NYC! Also Guy discusses possible names for a new Disney Hollywood Studios!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Cinderella’s Christmas Crisis

Digging through some old newspapers on Google News Archives I stumbled across "Cinderella’s Christmas Crisis" in a November 30th 1981 edition of the Reading Eagle.

According to Mouse Planet this strip ran from November 30th to Christmas Eve 1981 and had the following staff: Carl Fallberg (writer) Tony Strobl (pencil) Steve Steere (inker)

It doesn't look like anyone else compiled this little gem online so I will do it here.

The story is told in serial fashion and has to do with Cinderella trying to get letters from orphans delivered to Santa. The story features a fun surprise cameo from another Disney movie.

The strip ran daily skipping 12/7, 12/13 and 12/20.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Searching for Michael Nirenberg

I rewatched Searching for Bobby Fischer last night. It's a superb film about kids playing chess. It's like the Rocky of kid chess films.

The villain of the film was a little kid played by Michael Nirenberg. He was great in the film. Looked a little like Elijah Wood:

According to IMDB he has one other film credit.

Find a grave has a page for him:

Many pages on the internet list him as having died of cancer in 1996.

IMDb also has another person same name, born on the same day who is a documentary director.
Her confirmed on twitter that it isn't the same guy.

However, it also brings to question the birth date. It says this actor was born in 1978. That would have made him a teenager playing a 9 year old. Which doesn't add up at all.

So, the birth date of the director is probably incorrectly listed as the actor's birth date.

In the IMDB message boards we have the following:
Someone claiming to be his brother, saying he was born on Aug. 3rd 1983. He also claims he is now a chef:

A poster claimed to be his mother and says he is alive.

Someone in the comments of this blog:
Posted this:
"Max Pomeranc and Michael Nirenberg actually went to high school together! I was in Michael’s year (2001) at the Bronx High School of Science, and Max was a year behind us. I’m Facebook friends with Mike, so I can tell you he’s very much alive!"

If that's true then he is a chef: