A lovely list of psychedelic movies

In order to celebrate the brilliant Mad Men’s entry into 1967, I decided to share with you some of my favourite psychedelic/hip/groovy movies.

Some good, some great, others just bizarre, feast your eyes on this list of eye-wateringly colourful (except for the black and white one) offerings. If there’s any I’ve forgotten, please add in the comments:

1. The Trip. Directed by Roger Corman, written by Jack Nicholson (I know?), Peter Fonda takes acid, is victimized by a man with a chair, drinks with a dwarf, watches painted boobs jiggle around and visits some seriously psychedelic houses. Dennis Hopper wins award for the amount of times he fits the word ‘man’ into one single speech:

2. More. Rather more downbeat, I like the European feel of this one; the director and main actor are German. He meets a lady in England and they go to Spain. She’s a hippie but she pulls him into heroin addiction. She also wears great clothes.

3. The Strawberry Statement. Rather sweet and funny film about a student slowly getting involved with the protests. Harold of Harold and Maude (Bud Cort) also makes an appearance.

4. Psych Out. Very silly romp through late sixties San Fransisco as Jack Nicholson (again?) helps a square deaf chick look for her brother and plays in a terrible band. Groovy:

5. Joe. Dark look at one man’s bitter take on the free love and drug scene. The screenplay was by Norman Wexler, the man reputed to be the insane Mr X in Bob Zmuda‘s biography on close friend Andy Kaufman.

6. Smoke and flesh. Nothing happens in this film. I really mean it. I think one of the main reasons I like it though is my endless nosiness for what people might get up to behind closed doors.

Basically, a bunch of groovy swingers have a party, wait for the weed to arrive, get stoned, talk about stuff and then complain about the bikers who arrive later. One of them spikes a biker with acid, which I think is a bit mean.

7. Performance. Part film part art installation, gangster James Fox goes on the run and finds himself staying with Mick Jagger and his two hippie girlfriends. Sex, drugs and identity crises ensue:

8. Magic Trip. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest author Ken Kesey went on a road trip in 1964 with The Merry Band of Pranksters, Neal Cassedy (inspiration for Dean Moriarty in On the Road) and a few attractive ladies, and this documentary was born.

Whether you like them and agree with them or not is irrelevant, this is a slice of life and history which also includes Kerouac, Ginsberg, Timothy Leary and the World’s Fair.

So there we are, my list is currently at an end though I’m sure there are more to be added. I shall leave you with a song, swinger-tastic nineties offering Mr Excitement by Tipsy:

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3 thoughts on “A lovely list of psychedelic movies

  1. I lived in San Francisco and Berkeley in the 50s and 60s. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. The music was great then, but too bad about the “Berkeley burnouts” that took the trip too far. It was a kick looking at our favorite old actors when they were young. The visuals in ‘Mr. Entertainment’ are excellent.

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