HALLUCINATION GENERATION (1966).
Run for your lives! The drug fiends are coming!! Someone shoveled the dust off of this laughable relic, and oooh what a stinker it is, kids. Directed and written by Edward Mann, this is the type of flick in which Drugs make you run down the street, screaming at the top of your lungs (and come to think of it, paying to see this movie would probably elicit the same response). Don't go into it expecting hippie cliches or kitschy kicks (such as in THE TRIP or PSYCH-OUT) -- it's pure b&w Euro-dreck set in trendy Barcelona and blandly narrated by Bill Williams (Danny Stone), an innocent who's quickly indoctrinated into the drug-drenched nightlife of bohemian beatniks. There's heroin, opium, morphine, epinephrine, bennies, airplane glue, ether, and best of all, L.S.D. cocktails! "This contains a glimpse of eternity," Eric the Pusher (George Montgomery) beckons to Bill while spacing out on acid to Eternal Concepts, such as comparing the universe to a lemon jaw breaker. Bill soon falls for a doe-eyed German girl ("She wasn't a great dancer, but she turned me on.") and before we know it, the two are man and wife, and it's domestic Soap Opera Time (zzzzzz). Bill becomes a disillusioned writer (is there any OTHER kind in this type of bad drama?) while his wife tries her best to support his quickly escalating temper and bar tab... And all this time, the viewers are asking themselves, "Where the HELL are the hallucinogenics?" But don't fret. Eric eventually doses Bill and we get a few minutes of long-overdue Pharmaceutical Phun -- colorized flashes, gyrating clock mechanisms, myriad reflections, white mice scampering, and a gun in his hand turns into a bat (special credit should go to "Abstract L.S.D. effects by Paul Radkan and Fima Noveck"). Meanwhile, the local Beats turn out en masse to groove on his crazy visions. He's Flying a Giant Bird. Crossing over on The Train. Swimming the High seas. But as every good propagandist knows, just one taste of L.S.D. leads directly to permanent addiction and terminal overacting... Except for this trippy interlude, the plot crawls along and for awhile it even turns into a heist caper, with a zonked-out Billy following Svengali-Eric's orders. (Trying to pull off a robbery while you're on acid? Good idea!) Montgomery is pretty fun, playing the cool cat connection, but the majority of this movie is leaden (in addition to being moralistically straight-arrow). Grainy photography, flat direction, amateurish acting -- hey, this is the type of boring flick that could give illegal psychedelic drugs a bad name! Fun for the tolerant Acid Flick completist though.
© 1989 by Steven Puchalski.