Hippie exploitation films
Hippie exploitation films are 1960s exploitation films about the hippie counterculture with stereotypical situations associated with the movement such as marijuana and LSD use, sex and wild psychedelic parties.
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." 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.
- 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.
- Riot on Sunset Strip is a 1967 low-budget exploitation movie, released by American International Pictures, and filmed and released within six weeks of the actual late-1966 Sunset Strip curfew riots. Along with the attempt to capture the essence of the period around the Sunset Strip riots, a subplot of the movie revolves around a young girl (Mimsy Farmer)'s troubled relationship with her divorced parents (Ray and Hortense Petra). Her dosage with LSD by a would-be seductor, the subsequent 'acid trip' she experiences, and her later discovery by Ray (a police sergeant) as the victim of gang rape, are among the movie's peak moments.
- The Love-Ins is a 1967 exploitation film about LSD that was directed by Arthur Dreifuss. The film is loosely based on the 1960s American figure, Timothy Leary and represents the 1960s San Francisco scene, particularly that of the Haight-Ashbury district. The plot basically centers around a Timothy Leary-type figure becoming the head of a cult-like following of hippies who all enjoy the effects of LSD. The production seems to be a typical representation of the producer Sam Katzman's work. The film featured a number of different musical acts popular at the time. The themes dealt with drug use and martyrdom. The film was generally poorly received, with a few exceptions.
- Psych-Out (1968) is a feature film about hippies, psychedelic music, and recreational drugs, produced and released by American International Pictures. Jenny (played by Susan Strasberg) is a deaf runaway who arrives in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, searching for her brother Steve. She encounters the aptly named Stoney (Jack Nicholson) and his hippie band "Mumblin' Jim" in a coffee shop. The group discovers an artist friend, Warren (Henry Jaglom), the man who designs the psychedelic posters advertising the band, freaking out badly in his gallery, apparently on STP.
- 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.
- The Trip (1967) is a cult film released by American International Pictures, directed by Roger Corman, written by Jack Nicholson, and shot on location in and around Los Angeles, including on top of Kirkwood in Laurel Canyon, Hollywood Hills, and near Big Sur, California in 1966. Peter Fonda stars as a young television commercial director, Paul Groves. In this drama, Paul Groves (Peter Fonda) takes his first dose of LSD while experiencing the heartbreak and ambivalence of divorce from his beautiful but adulterous wife, played by Susan Strasberg. He starts his trip with a "guide," John (Bruce Dern), but runs away and abandons out of fear.
- 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".
- The Big Cube is a 1969 Warner Bros. thriller directed by Tito Davison and starring Lana Turner, Karin Mossberg (in her first and only role), George Chakiris, Dan O'Herlihy and Richard Egan; it was one of Lana Turner's last movies. It is notable for its aggressive portrayal of LSD use and the 1960s youth counterculture as vicious evils.
- I Drink Your Blood is a cult horror film originally released in 1970. The film was written and directed by David E. Durston, produced by Jerry Gross, and starred Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury and Lynn Lowry (who is uncredited in the film). 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.
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- "The Summer of Love Breeds a Season of Hate: The Effects of the Manson Murders on Public Perceptions of the Hippie Lifestyle" by Curt Rowlett
- Jeff Stafford (2009). "The Love-Ins". Turner Classic Movies. Turner Sports and Entertainment Digital Network. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
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