Hilarious And Terrifying Documentary On Max Will Make You Cancel Your Next Theme Park Trip

By TeeJay Small | Updated

class action park

These days, there are plenty of high-tension documentary films premiering which scare the viewing public to their very core. While some focus on true crime and unsolved murder mysteries, others offer compelling conspiracy theories, tales of generational trauma, or even deep dives into the absurd world of business regulations. One such documentary, 2020’s Class Action Park, showcases the horrors of an unregulated 80s theme park, which will surely make you clam up next time you lay eyes on a set of bumper cars.

Class Action Park

Class Action Park was written and directed by the documentary filmmaking duo of Seth Borges and Chris Charles Scott. Together, the pair investigated the origins, business practices, and many lawsuits surrounding Action Park, a New Jersey theme park with essentially no rules that operated throughout the 1980s.

The film includes interviews and confessionals with real park patrons, former employees, and a handful of comedic actors who have had first-hand experiences at Action Park in their youths.

The Hosts

The documentary’s cast includes John Hodgman as the narrator, as well as Chris Gethard and Parks and Recreation‘s Alison Becker, alongside a host of journalists, lawyers, and even the parents of one unfortunate park patron who lost his life.

Before pivoting to reveal just how dangerous the New Jersey locale truly was, Class Action Park opens on a man named Eugene Mulvihill. Mulvihill is said to have become obscenely wealthy through the sale of pump-and-dump finance scams, as well as unregulated penny stocks, which were sold at a tremendous commission mark-up, similar to those utilized in the film The Wolf of Wall Street.

Action Park

class action park

Once the alleged con artist made his money, he set out to create a wonderland of danger and high-speed rides, which later came to be known as Action Park. The theme park opened in New Jersey’s Vernon Township in 1978, and rapidly became a safe haven for young teens looking for Summer employment, cheap thrills, and a general lack of parental supervision. As Class Action Park outlines, this very quickly became a recipe for disaster.

Bribes And Neglect

For starters, the rides were shoddily built, contained very few safety measures, if any at all, and frequently saw guests breaking bones. As photo and video records show throughout Class Action Park, there was a general laissez-faire attitude towards injuries and employee misconduct, and some people even claim that Mulvihill had been paying off police and city officials to prevent investigations into the park’s business licensure and insurance standing.

Stream It Now


While the early acts of the documentary explore the unfiltered fun that kids were able to have at the park, things continue getting darker and darker as the film progresses. Eventually, Class Action Park reveals that multiple employees and guests had died because of the unsafe rides, with park executives such as Mulvihill lying to the authorities to escape consequences.

As mothers and fathers mourn the deaths of their children, the film slowly changes its tone from a fun look back at the absurd era of the 80s to a very real and dramatic look at why stringent regulations exist today.

Class Action Park premiered to massive streaming figures on the now-defunct HBO Max back in 2020, securing the top spot for films on the library upon release.

Today, the documentary has a near-perfect Rotten Tomatoes score of 96 percent. If you’re interested in checking out Class Action Park for yourself, the film is available to stream through Max.