Theme and amusement parks tend to be great backdrops for films – unfortunately, so many of them are well, lackluster.
This is one of them.
Shortly after the production wrapped up on “Beverly Hills Cop III,” then Paramount’s Great America took a second swing at being in the movies, with the Macaulay Culkin comedy, “Getting Even With Dad.”
At the time, Culkin was the hottest thing in Hollywood. His “Home Alone” series made him an instant sensation. Literally every studio was willing to pay big bucks to have him appear for them.
They probably should have thought about that a little bit harder…
Fun fact: “Fiddler’s Fling” at the park was renamed and rethemed to “Centrifuge” for the film – and the theme has stuck to this day.
Unfortunately, just like it’s counterpart filmed at the same park, “Beverly Hills Cop III,” this film was also a commercial bomb at the box office, losing nearly $12 million for MGM back in 1994 (That’s nearly $20 million today). On Rotten Tomatoes, it’s overall rating reflects that.
So the next time you ride Centrifuge, know you’re riding a piece of Hollywood – at least a small piece of it. Just don’t expect Macaulay Culkin to be riding next to you…
If you’ve been to Universal Studios in Hollywood, the odds are pretty good you’ve taken the famous “Studio Tour.” A mainstay of this attraction since 1988, “Earthquake: The Big One” allows unsuspecting tourists to experience a simulated magnitude 8.3 tremor.
Speaking from experience – it’s more like a solid 5.0 to me – but I digress.
Anyone who’s lived in the Bay Area however, will take note that the show in Soundstage 50 show might seem a bit TOO familiar to them. That’s because the designers of this attraction took many pains to recreate a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station.
Now, by today’s standards – the effects are okay, but dated. Maybe it was just me as a kid, but I seem to remember things happening a LOT faster back in the day. What I’ve always wanted to do, though – is experience the show like this video depicts, with full cinematic effects going and a cast. Oh, and at 24 frames per second, so it’s more dramatic. Cost prohibitive? Most definitely. Bad ass and awesome? You better believe it:
Notice how they got the train right, and the station’s “Brutalist” style architecture? Heck, they even got the BART horn just about right, too! Note all the similarities in this, the SFO station built in the 1990’s:
So the next time you’re at Universal Studios Hollywood – take a CLOSER look at Earthquake: The Big One. And the next time you’re in a BART station in the Bay Area – pray for no major quakes.