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Hippies! Incest! High-School Hookers! Drug parties! lesbians! Free-love! Suicide! And. .. well, psychiatry. Put it all together - with an especially heavy hand - and you’ve got The Wild Scene, a cinematic stew of sex and sociology that gleefully exploits the most overused phrase of the late-sixties," the generation gap" ("It’s more than a gap, it’s a void") with a variety of lurid case studies ....
"Your idiot father committed suicide: rich bitch Faith Bennington (RITA LUPINO, Ida’s sister) coolly informs daughter Andrea, little aware that Andrea took such pity on her emasculated daddy that she had an incestuous affair with him: "You are a man ... :
Fueled on speed ("it really turns you on!"), sisters Felicia and Ella go to a psychedelic party in the Hollywood Hills where everyone is stoned and everything is groovy, baby, until drugged-out Felicia falls off a cliff ....
High-schooler Annabelle asks her physician father to get her birth control pills which she shares with her two galpals. All three then spend their afternoons with Paul the pimp turning tricks as teenage prostitutes! But doctor daddy has really just been giving her sugar pills and surprise! - all three promptly get pregnant.. ..
"Rich truck driver" Tim (the wonderfully slimy BERRY KROEGER of The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant) keeps ice-princess Clarette (Wild Guitar’s NANCY CZAR!) as his mistress in a fancy apartment. But she’s not only bored with him ("You’re such a drag in the sack!"), but currently engaged in a lesbian affair. Unable to cope with losing her, Tim gets on his knees and begs to at least be allowed to watch ....
All of which are case studies related by Dr. Virginia Grant (ALBERTA NELSON of numerous AlP beach movies), a shrink using the above stories as the basis of a book she’s writing. But Virginia’s got problems of her own, namely Diane, her college dropout daughter who shacked up with a hippie radical named Hal Conners (who’s spent the past few years "finding his place in the spectrum" but is "where it’s at now’). Together, they’re organizing their own political party "for the millions under 26:
But Hal isn’t exactly what he seems and, eager to learn more about him, Dr. Grant poses as a rich dilettante anxious to contribute to The Cause. She’s almost fooled by him ("He’s absolutely electrifying!") until the creep tries to blackmail her for $25,000 ....
All this from WILLIAM ROWLAND, the producer of Black Rebels and director of (believe it or not) Tobo the Happy Clown. Of course, coming from the older side of the much-discussed generation gap, Rowland really stacks the deck. Sure, a coup!! of the adults on display are idiots, but all the youngsters are misguided, idealistically impaired, easily-duped fools. And can we really trust any film whose heroine is a shrink? Nevertheless, The Wild Scene is not only a twisted little time capsule, but it’s great to listen to dialogue in which practically every other line is a marvelously dated buzzword from those outtasight Sixties. But remember: "Once you are past 26, you’re too old to think young!"
From a 35mm happenin’ print.
- Handsome Harry Archer
Alberta NelsonOther cast:
Gary Pillar, Anita Eubank, Berry KroegerDirected by: