Directed by Robert Ground
Something Weird VHS
Now here’s a film that we can all relate to. Admit it — at one time or another, you’ve fallen in love with a tree, right? Right! Although I’ve never indulged in the title-drug itself, if I had, I’m sure all of my adventures whilst under the influence would occur in black and white, complete with free jazz score and regular speed actors trying to fake slow motion. Realism, my friends, it’s all in the realism.
Ok, this is unbelievable. Not so much a feature film, but an hour long series of unrelated dramatizations illustrating the purported effects of LSD on its users, The Weird World Of LSD has to be one of the most left-of-center films I’ve ever seen. What in the world were the filmmakers trying to achieve? As a documentary, it boggles the mind. As an educational film, it’s hilarious. Was the intent to warn against the evils of LSD or simply exploit it? The derangement displayed here veers this film far away from anything resembling normal or linear. Dire ineptitude morphs into total artsy-ness, and the world is better off for it.
I’m going to try and offer up a description of what you can look forward to during the duration of this movie. There’s no plot or continuity, so bear with me. After a shot of the cosmos, a pre-credit sequence unfolds. An LSD indulged young man is flapping his arms on a couch. A deadpan narrator informs us that this guy believes he’s flying on the wings of a large bird. Superimposed over the man’s face is a cheap cartoon drawing of a chicken. Attention: the bar has been set. From here on out you can expect several variations on people’s reactions to LSD, usually based on their innermost anxieties and fears. Sometimes a couple of strange drawings and transitions appear between vignettes. Highlights here include a woman frolicking with kittens, another woman fantasizing in a mannequin factory, a large middle-aged man gorging himself on a gigantic spread of food (really just a ham sandwich, but you know how that sneaky LSD works), a restaurant table strip tease with scissors, a woman performing steamy, tiger-themed interpretive dance on a jungle set, and some drag racing stock footage. I also forgot the chocolate syrup gore, rubber monster mask spooks, and the guy who eats dirt. Soon enough, “The End” shows up onscreen for a second, before we’re left with an abrupt cut to black.
Despite a couple of slow spots (trust me, you can only take so much of a couple rolling in the grass), I’d have to say that The Weird World Of LSD is one of the most curious and ludicrous films I’ve seen from the Something Weird library. It’s hilarious, impressive in its naivety, and not of this earth. I mean, it’s a BLACK AND WHITE film about the dangers of psychedelic drugs! The best!
AUDIO AND VIDEO
This print is pretty much a mess. Tons of jump cuts, scratches, and lines just refuse to take a break. It’s also dark and fuzzy at times. Strangely, these imperfections seem to improve on the arty charm of the film. The narrator is often cut off mid-sentence and it works…at least for me. The mono sound was easy to hear, as the only elements appearing on the soundtrack are sparse sound effects, narration, and the free jazz-conga score.
Nope. I was expecting a few trailers, but no such luck.
Something Weird must release this masterpiece on DVD, warts and all, pronto. Until then, see it all costs. Insane!