"Something Weird Video" had the right idea when they began to put their finds onto DVD. "The Hooked Generation" and "The Psychedelic Priest" are fun flicks, but if I paid full price for either of them on VHS, I would feel like I shelled a little too much dough for one Psychedelic-Camp movie. Many of SWV's DVD releases not only hand you a double feature, but lots of other fun tidbits that makes me feel like my purchase was a good choice.
"The Hooked Generation" is a boat-chugging, drug-running romp where no-goodniks named Daisey, Dum-Dum, Acid and Charlie are making their first big money dope deal with a boat full of Cuban soldiers, who they decide are trying to rip them off. So....they kill the soldiers, make off with both the money and the drugs, only to be encountered by a boat full of Coast Guards, who they easily outsmart, and also kill. Really, these guys are incompetent drug-runners, yet they can outsmart and out butcher any skilled militia out there!
Which is always the fun of a movie this bad. So many holes in the plot, even for a B-Movie Fest! It gets old after 45 minutes, but some of the psychedelic colors & strobe lights are fun eye candy!
"Psychedelic Priest," originally titled "Electric Shades of Grey," gets old a little faster than "The Hooked Generation" but does have a really good premise. A young priest/schoolteacher catches some of his pupils being truant and smoking weed, and gives them a stern lecture on right and wrong. They issue thanks by giving him a cup full o' Coke while he reads them the riot act. The Coke is spiked with acid, of course, and the trip begins to take when the priest is in the church. The scenes of him trippin' amongst religious motifs and candles is actually really well done, and had the rest of the movie been so quality, there's a stray chance this would actually be a really good film!
The LSD trip has God sending the Priest to leave the comfort of his church and do a modern day Buddha-Trek across the U.S.A. He takes one of the most dismal adventures where he befriends a suicidal teen, racism and murder.
The acting in this flick ranges anywhere from very good to outright awful. The other thing that turns this film into bad camp instead of a good indie flick are the numerous drawn out sequences. The opening concert footage goes on for so long that you wonder if you accidentally picked up a bootleg concert tape instead of "The Psychedelic Priest." There are endless driving scenes, where Father John is driving down the highway...and driving....and driving...and you watch him drive for such long sequences, with no dialogue or plot development, that I found myself wanting to ask "Father, are we there yet?"
This movie does get long fast, but it does have its moments. The only frustating thing about "Psychedelic Priest" is there is actually a good plot there, and it would be cool if somebody developed took this story and turned it into a bonafide film! And a heavy film at that. The actual storyline, if not filled with drudgery and lame acting, would make "Last Exit To Brooklyn" look heavy as "Welcome Back, Kotter."
This DVD is worth picking up. The films have their moments, and the extras truly rock, being previews for other psychedelic B-flicks like "Acid Dreams," "The Hippie Revolt," "The Hard Road," and more. Like I said before, since the coming of DVDs, "Something Weird Video" has packaged their B-Movies into cool compilations. They get a Five-Star Salute for their efforts!