The Acid Eaters/Weed [DVD]

Two dope-spolitation flicks from the late Sixties and early Seventies get paired up on this mind-expanding DVD from Something Weird Video. The infamous LSD-themed sex comedy The Acid Eaters and Alex DeRenzy's documentary on the international marijuana trade Weed are featured on this disc. Both films have been transferred in their original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The Acid Eaters looks especially good on disc, with the bright colors of David F. Friedman's cinematography vividly captured and the source materials looking superb. Weed isn't as visually appealing, and the source print has periodic bits of emulsion abrasion, but the flaws are rarely distracting, and given the film's rarity, seeing it on DVD at all is a welcome surprise. The audio for both films has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo (retaining their original monophonic sound mixes); both are in English, with no multiple language options, and both sound quite good, though Weed occasionally suffers from some rough location sound recording (not uncommon for a documentary). Something Weird have piled on the bonus materials as usual, including two "educational" films on drug use, LSD: Insight Or Insanity? and A Crutch For All Seasons (the former narrated by Sal Mineo, and the latter featuring actor David Gurian, who went on to play the ill-fated manager Harris in Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls. Also on board is the trailer for The Acid Eaters, and previews for four other drug-themed flicks, The Hard Road, Smoke and Flesh, Sign of Aquarius (aka Ghetto Freaks) and Have You Ever Been On A Trip?. Finally, a gallery of press book materials from the films of David F. Friedman rounds out the disc. Something Weird have given this disc their usual degree of care, and folks looking for more in drug-fueled cult movie action than Reefer Madness can give them would do well to check this out.
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Overview

Special Features

  • Digitally remastered!
  • Original theatrical trailer for The Acid Eaters!
  • Bonus acid-tinged trailers fo: The Hard Road, Have You Ever Been on a Trip?, Sign of Aquarius, and Smoke and Flesh!
  • Sal Mineo narrates the Psychedelic Truth about Acid in Classsroom Scare-Film #1: LDS: Insight or Insanity!
  • Beyond the Valley of the Doll's David Gurian is among the victims of druga & alchohol in classroom scare-film #2: A Crutch for All Seasons!
  • Gallery of David F. Friedman exploitation art!
  • Total running time: Over 3 1/2 hours of grass & ass!

Synopsis

Weed
Noted adult filmmaker Alex DeRenzy traded sex for drugs with this documentary about the international marijuana trade, one of his few efforts outside the world of hard-core porn. Book ended by footage of a congressional commission formed by then-president Richard M. Nixon discussing America's laws regarding marijuana and other recreational drugs, DeRenzy and his crew travel across the United States and around the world to study attitudes about marijuana and laws against it's use. In Missouri, DeRenzy interviews a game warden who shows pastures where wild marijuana plants provide home and cover for game birds. A visit to Nepal includes a stop at a shop where hashish is openly sold with government approval. A busy drug market is discovered in Cambodia, with high-grade weed available at bargain prices, and in nearby Saigon, American servicemen talk about the easy availability of marijuana, with factory-rolled joints (complete with cellophane wrapper and tax stamp) sold as "Park Lane Cigarettes." Mexican farmers are filmed cultivating illicit marijuana farms in the hills, and American customs agents discuss their efforts to prevent pot from being brought into the country. And a drug dealer in New York City discusses the pros and cons of his trade and his personal attitudes about marijuana. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

The Acid Eaters
A gang of weekend revelers gear up for a few days of fun on the edge in this over-the-top exploitation picture. The clock strikes five on a Friday afternoon, and a gang of part-time bohemians hop aboard their motorcycles and hit the highway looking for kicks. After smoking marijuana, knocking back beers, enjoying nude swimming and engaging in body painting, one of the women sinks to her death into a pit of quicksand following a fight with another gal over the attentions of her boyfriend Artie (Buck Kartalian aka Buckie Buck). After ripping off a hapless motorist to replenish their reefer supply, the partiers pair off for some sexual shenanigans while Artie is able to bring his gal back from the dead with the help of an Indian chief (who works his magic in exchange for $27 and a trading stamp). Finally, the hipsters find what they've been looking for -- the White Pyramid, a twenty foot high monument constructed of sugar cubes dosed with LSD, where Satan (also played by Kartalian) cheerfully feeds them acid from the end of his pitchfork. The Devil encourages them to let go of the last of their inhibitions, leading to a crazed orgy while one of the gals (Pat Barrington) dances frenetically to the accompaniment of a bongo drummer. Cheerfully incoherent and casually amoral, The Acid Eaters also features Lila Lamont, Sharon Carr, Camille Grant and Ernie F. Orsatti (billed as Brick Wahl); Byron Mabe directed under the pseudonym B. Ron Elliott, and exploitation icon David F. Friedman handled the cinematography as Milo Gore. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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