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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Trip (1967)

A television commercial director (Peter Fonda) in the midst of a divorce from his wife (Susan Strasberg) takes his first LSD trip under the watch of a "guide" (Bruce Dern). The film follows his psychedelic journey through the following morning. Written by Jack Nicholson (yes, the actor) and directed by Roger Corman. Unlike another American International youth exploitation film WILD IN THE STREETS (1968) which was a satire (and a good one), today THE TRIP plays out like a satire in spite of itself. We get "Wow!", "Groovy!" and lines like "Man, I can see right through to my brain" and "I wish there were a hip way of telling you this, baby!" so you just can't help yourself from grinning. Still, I'm glad films like this exist even if they're not very good because they encapsulate a specific period in our history. Fonda is pretty dreadful here but it's not the kind of film where the acting matters much. It's essentially an LSD trip for those who don't want to take LSD and see what it's like and the film places its emphasis on imagery. It's a like a full length feature film of the Jupiter And Beyond sequence in 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY. A lot of the "trip" looks like outtakes from Corman's Poe films. The score by The American Music Band is very good. With Dennis Hopper, Luana Anders, Dick Miller, Salli Sachse, Michael Blodgett and in the film's most memorable scene, Barboura Morris as the lady in the laundromat.

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