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ENERGY!!! THE MOVIE (1993).

Any pic that stars aging Acid Guru Timothy Leary (unlike his embellished cameos in indie fare like ROADSIDE PROPHETS) is worth unearthing. But after enduring this drivel, it's no big surprise it was never released in the States. Without question, director Andreas Marfori (EVIL CLUTCH; DESPERATE CRIMES w/Traci Lords) is one french fry short of a Happy Meal, turning an underbaked script "in collaboration with Timothy Leary" into a fiasco that"s best enjoyed for its eccentric, cinematic idiocy. Dr. Tim stars as Prof. Robert Pearce, a noted NY lecturer on geothermal energy, who is stuck in an empty Italian hotel with his sultry wife for five days, awaiting a conference of bigwigs. He's also the proud owner of a matchbox-sized power cell that'll run a city for two years -- but that plot device becomes a secondary concern when a robed, ex-mental-patient "cyber-dude" starts manipulating the cast with his Virtual Reality powers and bank of low-tech TV's (hmmm, sounds like the plot of an old Monkees episode). Meanwhile, Leary's sexy missus (Carmen Burcea) is schtupping the hotel staff and plans to steal her hubbie's Energy Papers--even if she has to murder the guy (as if this movie hadn't already killed his acting career). Not ridiculous enough for you? Did I forget to mention that at any given moment, Leary suddenly breaks out of character and yells "Cut!" when a scene isn't working? Then he might chat with the crew, give advice to his co-stars, or talk to real-life wife, Barbara. Sure, it's all a goof, but it's also the best reason to check out this otherwise idiotic snooze. Needless to add, Leary looks lost throughout (the fact that few of his Italian co-stars spoke English couldn't have helped), but the script gives him room to roam, such as when he makes reference to "my friend and teacher, Prof. Stanley Kubrick." Hard to believe, but craggy ol' Leary even plays the romantic lead, when a fetching young hotel employee drags him into bed and turns the plot into a February/December romance. Understandably dedicated to Ed Wood Jr., this pic fails at being a thriller, a drama, a sci-fi piece, whatever... Still, it's fun to see Leary working his LSD-ravaged charms to the max.

© 1996 by Steven Puchalski.