Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Alice Doesn't Trip Here Anymore, Man: "Alice in Acidland" (1969)

This simple black and white quasi-documentary is full of softcore sex and illicit narcotics, and it is absolutely hilarious.

There is no cast or crew credited here. Alice and Kathy are typical Los Angeles high school teens who are invited to a pool party by the French teacher Frida. At the party, more male teachers take advantage of Kathy while Alice goes for a bath with ooh-la-la Frida. Well, that did it. Now Alice is a full blown hippie, picking up pot in Sunset Strip gas stations, and hanging out with adults.

Alice recruits virgin Betsy to go to yet another party, where she is raped by a man known as "Animal." Meanwhile, Frida gives Alice a sugar cube soaked in LSD, and Alice trips out. We find out Alice's best friend, Janice, had taken acid and hung herself. The drug was provided by a "known lesbian" named Sheila, and Alice's trip features both women, lots of lights, and cheap film effects. The ominous narration tells us Alice is now a mental vegetable, forever living in the summer of love.

Why the skimpy plot? The film is only sixty minutes. The two main party scenes feature sex scenes that are at least ten minutes long. Alice's initial trip takes a whopping fifteen minutes of screen time!

The high schoolers here all look twenty four. They are cute and curvy, in the age before implants. The male teachers all look like entertainment reporters, with their slacks hiked up to their nipples.

Blaming the entire LSD market in Los Angeles on a couple of lesbians is hilarious. The film is black and white, so it is difficult to associate with Alice's trippy statement that she can taste colors.

The film ends as quickly as it begins, and I was exhausted. Why am I recommending this? It is hilarious. The film makers tried to make an anti-drug statement, but really had a ready made excuse to show a LOT of sex and nudity. Never have drugs seemed so fun! I always wonder what happened to the casts and crews of these types of films. Middle aged housewives and career women somewhere must cringe whenever someone asks them what they did in 1968. I hope you like narration, there is no dialogue in the entire film. One question: how can Alice narrate some of the scenes when she is a "mental vegetable"?

"Alice in Acidland" is badly shot and badly acted. It is seriously disturbed, boring, and cheap. I also enjoyed watching it more than the Best Picture Oscar winner of that year- "Oliver!"

If you like exploitation and anti-drug films, this is your cup of spiked punch. I recommend it. (* * * *) out of five stars.