Monday, May 2, 2011

Pot Makes You Horny!: "Aphrodisiac!: The Sexual Secret of Marijuana" (1971)

This quasi-documentary shows the viewer that, hey, pot ain't as bad as booze, man...oh, and here's some nudity.

Did you know that marijuana is an aphrodisiac? Really? Well, thanks to "documentary dramatization," we get three situations where pot loosened up some frigid men and women, and turned them into love machines. The first story involves a virgin and her husband on their wedding night. For two years, the husband and wife make love in the dark, and hate every moment of it. Finally, in a strip club, with the world's worst exotic dancer bouncing in the background, a psychiatrist advises the husband to use pot to thaw out his wife. It works and everyone is happy.

The second story had an uncredited John Holmes playing a businessman who releases stress by smoking a joint and giving his secretary "dictation" right there on his desk. The third story has a hippie chick protesting war who sleeps with an African-American ("my first black!" she proclaims) who is protesting smog. As she narrates a stream of consciousness speech equating sex to candy, the couple make love just off some campus quad after sharing a joint. Interspersed among the sex scenes is actual documentary footage shot on Hollywood Boulevard as normal folk are stopped and asked about marijuana. We also get a history lesson about marijuana, and plenty of speechifying about how pot is not as bad as liquor, tobacco, or coffee, and the film makers somehow manage to work in footage of the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald.

The film I saw ran only forty-two minutes, and according to IMDB.com, the full version of the film runs seventy-seven minutes, complete with hardcore sex inserts. I doubt all the sex would have made the film much better. This is pretty funny. Its earnestness about the benefits of marijuana, and how no one has ever died or graduated to harder drugs or caught cancer from pot is naive now, considering what is known about it. I laughed out loud when John Holmes showed up. His drug abuse and possible involvement in the Wonderland murders is as legendary as his giant penis, and he doesn't make a credible spokesperson singing the praises of pot. I don't care whether you light up a bowl or not (I don't), but I do know of people under the influence of pot killing the innocent, harder drugs being taken up when pot was not enough, and that marijuana smoke does contain carcinogens. This film pretends none of this could ever happen, boldly wearing its ignorance like a badge.

I am sure the full hardcore version of "Aphrodisiac!: The Sexual Secret of Marijuana" is out there somewhere. I found this version on Something Weird Video's "Alice in Acidland"/"Smoke and Flesh" double feature. I guarantee it's one documentary they didn't show you in high school health class. (*) out of five stars.