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Wild in the Streets/Gas-s-s-s [DVD]

Release Date:02/15/2005
MGM Home Entertainment have been doing a great job bringing the American International Pictures library to DVD with their Midnight Movies series, and this release is one of their more inspired double bills, pairing up two classic youth culture flicks on one two-sided disc. Wild in the Streets has been given a letterboxed transfer in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which has also been enhanced for anamorphic play on 16 x 9 monitors; the image is bold and colorful, and the widescreen image is far roomier than on the washed-out VHS edition. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono and sounds fine, if not remarkable. The dialogue is in English, with optional subtitles in English, French, and Spanish. Gas-s-s-s has been mastered in the same ratio and format, and while the film has never been available on home video before, this transfer looks a lot cleaner and more colorful than the print that popped up on pay cable in the '90s. The audio is also in Dolby Digital Mono, and viewers can choose between the original English track and a dubbed version in Spanish, while optional English, French, and Spanish subtitles are on board. The only bonus item included for either title is each film's original trailer, which seems a bit of a lost opportunity - it would have been especially nice to have director Roger Corman talk about AIP's pre-release editing of Gas-s-s-s on a commentary track, which made a loosely plotted film seem all the more disjointed, and there has to be some great stories left to be told about the making of Wild in the Streets. But this DVD makes these movies available at a bargain price while looking better than they have since their original release, and any devotee of oddball cinema should put this disc on their shopping list.

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    Special Features

    • Gas-s-s-s:
    • Original theatrical trailer
    • Wild in the Streets:


    Wild in the Streets
    A rock star decides he'd rather rule the free world than just sell records in this ambitious fusion of political satire and teen exploitation. Teenage rebel Max Flatow (Christopher Jones) has grown tired of life in suburbia with his domineering mother (Shelley Winters) and weak-willed father (Bert Freed), and, having saved up 800 dollars he earned by selling home-brewed LSD to his schoolmates, he blows up the family car with a makeshift bomb and strikes out on his own. A few years later, Max has adopted the name Max Frost, and is one of the world's biggest rock stars, selling millions of records and earning a fortune from concert appearances and music publishing. Max has learned firsthand about the buying power of America's youth, and when Sen. John Fergis (Hal Holbrook) asks Max to appear at a "youth rally" to mobilize younger voters, he realizes the kids could also sway an election if they wanted. At Fergis' rally, Max debuts a new song, "Fourteen or Fight," which demands the voting age be reduced to 14; the youth respond by rising up in support of Max's demands, reducing many American cities to a standstill. As political leaders bow to public pressure, the age of suffrage is reduced to 15, but rather than choosing candidates to support, Max decides it's time he and his inner circle took control. After Max doses Washington, D.C.'s water supply with LSD, congress votes to make any registered voter eligible to hold federal office, and before long Max Frost has become president of the United States. Once in office, Max unveils a bold plan to once and for all do something about people over 30 -- including his parents. Wild in the Streets features an early screen appearance from Richard Pryor as drummer and political activist Stanley X, while media personalities Dick Clark, Walter Winchell, Army Archerd, and Melvin Belli portray themselves. Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil wrote the songs for fictional rockers "Max Frost and the Troopers," including the hit single "The Shape of Things to Come." ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

    They used to say "don't trust anyone over 30," but there's no one over 30 left to distrust in this loosely plotted satirical comedy directed by Roger Corman. During the opening ceremonies for a chemical and biological weapons facility in Alaska, an experimental gas is accidentally released which has an unusual effect -- it rapidly advances the aging process of those over 25, while those under 25 are left untouched. Soon, the world's elders are dead, with the planet left to the youth. Wisecracking hippy Coel (Robert Corff) and his girlfriend, Cilla (Elaine Giftos), discover that rookie cops and conservative frat rats have taken over their hometown of Dallas, TX, so they hit the road in his vintage Ford Edsel in search of a friendly commune in New Mexico. Along the way, they pair up with music-obsessed Marissa and her radical boyfriend, Carlos (Ben Vereen), and as they look for their new home, they encounter Hell's Angels-turned-country club members, a neo-fascist football team, a pack of painfully shy would-be sexual predators, rock star and self-proclaimed "godhead" A.M. Radio (Country Joe McDonald), and Edgar Allen Poe (Bruce Karcher), who roams the highways on his motorcycle. Gas-S-S-S! (aka Gas-s-s-s...or, It May Become Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It) proved to be the last of Roger Corman's many projects for American International Pictures; according to Corman, AIP subjected the film to severe prerelease cutting without his consent, and the interference was one of the factors that inspired him to start his own company, New World Pictures. The film also provided early supporting roles for Bud Cort and Talia Shire, the latter billed as Tally Coppola; psychedelic rock band Country Joe & the Fish appear in a concert sequence and provide the film's musical score. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Shelley Winters
      Shelley Winters - Mrs. Flatow
    • Christopher Jones
      Christopher Jones - Max Flatow/Max Frost
    • Diane Varsi
      Diane Varsi - Sally Leroy
    • Ed Begley, Sr.
      Ed Begley, Sr. - Senator Allbright
    • Hal Holbrook
      Hal Holbrook - Sen. John Fergus

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.