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"Itís a 5 oíclock world when the whistle blows..." and blow it does at the beginning of this mind-crushing anti-time capsule of a movie. (What do you say? Letís wait a hundred years, and then bury it!)
Led by blonde-breastathon PAT BARRINGTON (star of Harry Novakís Agony of Love) and sawed-off runt comic BUCK KARTALIAN (the future star of Please Donít Eat My Mother, who also appeared in Cool Hand Luke this same year!), a group of middle class ípaisley-collarí working stiffs hop on their choppers and head for The Lake -- where thereís nude body-painting leading to a catfight which turns into a knife fight until one girl disappears into quicksand, flipping everyone the bird on her way down.
Down in Hell, a big bearded guy plays checkers with an Indian. Back on Earth, the gang tells Buck to take a cold shower and, luckily, a nearby tree sprouts a faucet.
The Acid Eaters eventually begins to resemble "Abbott & Costello Go to Hell" as the gang discovers a giant LSD pyramid which also happens to be the gateway to Hades. Buck becomes da Devil, a black guy plays bongos while a topless Miss Barrington dances Orgy of the Dead-style, and we also get some Alice-in-Wonderland types and a great big Dante-esque psychedelic sex orgy. And did I mention the snappy burlesque bits in a hay field (years ahead of Hee Haw)?
As you can probably tell, no mere mortal words can capture the true awesomeness of The Acid Eaters. Though there ainít a genuine hippie in the bunch, the first group of acid-heads I knew in high school (when the drug was still legal) were more like this band of sub-Cassavetes misfits. As out of whack as this film seemed in í68 (I was there opening week at the Pussycat Theatre!), I knew it could only look better with time, and thirty years has helped considerably.
Produced and photographed (!) by the young and untamed DAVID F. FRIEDMAN and directed by BYRON MABE (Space Thing) under his "B. Ron Elliot" moniker. Tune in, push play, and prepare to disintegrate...
From the 35mm tit-trippiní negative.
-- Johnny Legend
Buck KatalianOther cast:
Lila Lamont, Sharon CarrDirected by:
Byron Mabe (B. Ron Elliott)