Trip, The (1967)

The Trip (1967), directed by Roger Corman.

Written by Jack Nicholson.

A director of TV commercials (Corman: "they always called me a commercial director even though I made feature films") does his first acid trip under experienced supervision. Some of it is good and some bad. Much of his hallucinatory journeys deal with the women in his life. Corman: "the LSD trip is fundamentally erotic".

Quite a few nudity and passion scenes, although they are obscured by body paint (for dancers) and psychedelic image projection (for lovers). Which is indeed kind of erotic.

We also drift into Cormanesque Poe medieval sequences which must mean something. Or not. The trip incidents and imagery are not at all coherent.

The presence of the acid "guide" is supposed to be reassuring, but in retrospect seems ominous and creepy. Later we have one of the more unsettling moments I have seen recently: the runaway tripper wanders into a strange house in the middle of the night, has a conversation with a little girl in her pajamas and gets her a glass of milk. Then her Dad gets up. Yikes.

The guide keeps a hypo of Thorazine (!) handy. "Brings you out of a bad trip instantly".

In the end, well it doesn't have much of an ending. The trip is over. "Ask me tomorrow".

Peter Fonda was an important cult film actor during this period, but for some reason I've never warmed up to him. He's well-suited to this role of a "straight" character taking a walk on the counter-cultural wild side. The hippies accept him as such.

Dennis Hopper, is -- of course -- quite believable as a druggie patriarch. He's often kindly here.

In the commentary track Corman says:

Available on DVD with Psych-Out (1968) on the same disc.