Hippie exploitation films

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Poster for the hippie exploitation film Psych-Out

Hippie exploitation films, sometimes also known as hippiexploitation[1] films, are 60s exploitation films about the hippie counterculture[2] with stereotypical situations associated with the movement such as marijuana and LSD use, sex and wild psychedelic parties.

Overview[edit]

"From almost the beginning, Hollywood also got in on the action and produced a number of extremely lurid hippie exploitation films masquerading as cautionary public service announcements, but which were in fact aimed directly at feeding a morbid public appetite while pretending to take a moral stance. Often depicting drug-crazed hippies living and freaking out in “Manson family” style communes, such films as The Hallucination Generation (1967) and Riot on Sunset Strip (1967) depicted “hippie” youths running wild in an orgy of group sex, drugs, crime and even murder."[3] Other examples include The Love-ins, Psych-Out, The Trip, and Wild in the Streets.

One of the strangest of these films is the horror film I Drink Your Blood. Loosely inspired by Charles Manson's "family", the film follows a group of nomadic Satanist hippies when they ride into a small town and terrorize the inhabitants. The town has largely become a ghost town thanks to a large mining project nearby, and all but a couple of houses are abandoned. A young local girl is badly beaten. Her grandfather confronts the group but is attacked and dosed with LSD.

Main examples[edit]

  • Hallucination Generation is a 1967 film by Edward Mann. Purportedly intended as a warning against the dangers of pill-popping Sixties hedonism along the lines of 1936's Reefer Madness, the film's primary purpose appears to have been titillation, thus landing it in the genre of exploitation cinema. The film is a drama set in Spain where a small group of American young adults is living. The leader of the group is a drug dealer. The others are there living carefree lives as beatniks. The leader has more nefarious aims in mind, and uses drugs to lure the others into lives of crime. Most of the film is in black and white, but there is a psychedelic sequence depicting the purported effects of the group using LSD which was filmed in color.
Promotional poster of the filmThe Love-Ins
  • I Love You, Alice B. Toklas is a 1968 film released by Warner Brothers. Attorney Harold Fine (Peter Sellers) is set to marry his longtime girlfriend Joyce, but is having deep second thoughts. He encounters his brother, a hippie living in Venice Beach, and falls for an attractive flower power hippie girl (played by Leigh Taylor-Young) who has a knack for making pot brownies. Harold ends up running out of his wedding to live with the hippie girl and attempts to find himself as well with the aid of a guru.
Promotional poster for the film The Trip
  • Wild in the Streets is a 1968 film featuring Christopher Jones, Hal Holbrook, and Shelley Winters. The movie, described as both "ludicrous" and "cautionary," was nominated for an Academy Award and became a cult classic. As teens either take over or threaten the reins of government, the Old Guard (those over 30) turn to Max to run for President, and assert his (their) control over the changing tide. Max again agrees, running as a Republican to his chagrin, but once in office, he turns the tide on his older supporters. With youth now in control of the United States, politically as well as economically, and similar revolutions breaking out in all the world's major countries, Max withdraws the military from around the world (turning them instead into de facto age police), puts computers and prodigies in charge of the Gross National Product, ships surplus grain for free to third world nations, disbands the FBI and Secret Service, and becomes the leader of "the most truly hedonistic society the world has ever known".

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