You know what’s a lot better than you might expect? Rollercoaster (’77), a Jennings Lang-produced disaster thriller, made near the end of the big-budget disaster-flick cycle.

Rollercoaster was promoted as a drop-your-socks Sensurround experience, and it was that to a certain extent. But it was mainly an intelligent, low-key, logic-driven chase thriller.

You’d figure with the disaster-flick promotion there would be at least two or three scenes of rollercoaster cars flying off the tracks and people being killed, etc. There’s only one such scene, however, and it happens during the first half-hour and that’s it.

The rest is all cat-and-mouse stuff with amusement park inspector George Segal on the trail of psycho yuppie bomber Timothy Bottoms.

I would’t necessarily call it Hitchcockian but it uses elements of suspense to engaging effect.

Rollercoaster was written by Richard Levinson and William Link, the guys who created Colombo. It’s nicely (as in carefully, patiently) directed by James Goldstone (The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight —-’71); Goldstone’s big-screen career was unfortunately killed when he directed When Time Ran Out… (’80).

Here’s a link to the whole film.