Saturday, September 22, 2007

Good Times on Drugs

Unlike Bill Hicks I'm not too keen on drugs in real life, but I've sure seen enough drug movies to be something of an expert in theory. The mother of them all is still Reefer Madness, the 1936 call to arms against the threat of marijuana - the evil weed that is making youngsters go insane, have sex, kill each other, and play the piano really fast. I can also recommend the very entertaining musical adaptation of this "true" story, Reefer Madness the Movie Musical, which adds finger poppin' tunes, showstopping dance numbers, intentional humor and lots of gore to the mix. Here's a genuine 1950's poster for a typical marijuana scare flick, Narcotics Story. "Scene after scalding scene" of "sordid depravity" - sounds great!

And it seems they had the same killer weed problems in Mexico! Apparently, the Lujuria de Marihuana made youngsters go sex and violence crazy in Acapulco - and isn't that the spitting image of Robert Mitchum smoking bottom left, fitting as he was arrested for holding in 1948? Thanks to Peter M at NSFGE this has now been identified as an alternative title for 1968's Esclava del deseo - Slave of Desire - from prolific director/producer Emilio Gómez Muriel, the man behind such classics as Neutron Battles the Karate Assassins (a title I hope to find a reason to return to).

On to the harder stuff - our friend Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. The Trip is the quintessential drug movie, and it presents a surprisingly balanced view of LSD for a sensational 1960's AIP production. It is a well known fact that super-straight producer/director Roger Corman took a real trip to "research" the topic - now that's dedication. With a stellar exploitation cast including Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, a classic Jack Nicholson script, and genuinely psychedelic colors, The Trip still holds up well today. In fact, Nicholson became something of a drug script expert; he also wrote The Monkees' totally far out Head. Here's the classy US one-sheet.

But that's not all! Check back tomorrow for the Swedish drug connection...

1 comment:

Michael said...

I'm not keen on drugs myself. even prescriptions bother me! But I am keen on Scandinavia. Just say No(rway)!