With this one I really just want to say two things;
1. Watch the trailer on You Tube or Grindhouse Releasing's website
2. Buy the damn film while you can. There are only 2000 of these bad boys.
That should conclude my review but it won't. Because that would be getting off the hook too easy.
An American Hippie in Israel is a long lost film from an age of cinema long forgotten. An age where anyone with passion and a few bucks could make something out of nothing. While it may, at first, seem like a stretch to compare An American Hippie in Israel to the likes of THX 1138, American Graffiti, Schlock, A Kentucky Fried Movie and Dementia 13…These films were all made by a pool of auteurs who all had a passion to create something different, with limited resources. I know I am comparing Amos Sefer, who really only made this one film, to George Lucas, John Landis and Francis Ford Copolla, who have had thriving careers. Amos Sefer had the misfortune of making an Israeli movie in a time when it wasn't marketable in any country. Had this not been the case I wonder just how many more memorable films this guy could've made. The fact that Mr. Sefer never got to see just what a phenomenon his film turned out to be -The Rocky Horror-like screenings and such, is saddening to say the least.
But on the positive he left us with an inspiring 'Hebrew Road Pic' to watch, over and over now thanks largely to Grindhouse Releasing.
At it's core this film is about the exploits of an American Vietnam Vet as he pursues a life of true freedom. Having been disillusioned by war he travels to Israel, another country not a stranger to conflict, to find all the freedom, weed and free love he can handle. Along the way he picks up like-minded folks, some of which do not even speak english and he doesn't speak Hebrew, but that doesn't stop him from being a, sort of…Hippie leader. But exactly what does he lead his small band of deodorant fearing buddies to? That I won't spoil. Watch it for yourself.
At 93 minutes the film is very easy to watch. Quite engaging are the many anti war monologues, rampant nudity, drug induced delirium and so forth. The acting is better than one would expect from a director's first outing. Filled with memorable lines, crazy imagery and scenic locales. There were a lot of films made in the late 60's-early 70's that one can draw parallels to but none of them as grossly engaging as An American Hippie in Israel is. Grindhouse Releasing has done a commendable job in cleaning up the transfer in both the audio and visual departments. This is quite evident when watching the un mastered raw cut of the film on the bonus disc.
This release is chalk full of extra goodies…All of them worth repeated viewings.
Long story short…An American Hippie in Israel is FAR OUT COOL! If you love retro cinema or any cinema that breathes new life out from a creators lungs of passion (Seriously you will see what I mean when in my earlier comparisons once you watch), you owe it to yourself to own this important film.
La heim brothers and sisters! La heim!!!!
- Orlando G Acosta, for Cinema Bizarro