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Paul Groves (Peter Fonda), a television commercial director, is in the midst of a personality crisis. His wife Sally (Susan Strasberg) has left him and he seeks the help of his friend John (Bruce Dern), a self-styled guru who's an advocate of LSD. Paul asks John to be the guide on his first "trip". John takes Paul to a "freak-out" at his friend Max's (Dennis Hopper) pad. Splitting the scene, they score some acid from Max and return to John's split-level pad with an indoor pool. Paul experiences visions of sex, death, strobe lights, flowers, dancing girls, witches, hooded riders, a torture chamber, and a dwarf. He panics but John tells him to "go with it, man." Would you trust John? Written by
I wish there was some hip way of telling you this, baby, but, ah... you're one with and part of an ever-expanding, loving, joyful, glorious, and harmonious universe.
Yeah, in a way. But, you play your personal games.
Alright, I know. Everybody knows. But nobody lives that way.
Is that your defense, man?
Yes. I mean, no. I'm guilty. I'm guilty.
Right! But don't wallow, because it's fake and disgusting!
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Once again, like many films of the same time, The Trip is often misunderstood for a campy, cheap exploitation of a once vibrant time 'too often reduced to nostalgic simplicities.' The Plot goes as follows: Peter Fonda plays a film director that is bummed out by his wife (Susan Strasberg) and pending divorce. So to cool out, he takes LSD from a psychologist-type who is making records of 'controlled' LSD experiments (played by Bruce Dern). The film seems to hold it together during the first 30 minutes or so, but loses it's place when the weird acid trips happen (note the creepy scene where Fonda dies and goes to some kind of hell inhabited by horsemen, knights, and dwarfs). Overall, this is an entertaining little time capsule filled with twists and old film techniques. But I still cannot stress enough the arrogance of a man who tries to capture an LSD trip on camera for the silver screen. Even though the film did do moderately well at the box-office (for 1967, that is), mind expansion enthusiasts, like myself, might find the LSD depictions to be a bit funny at times, and the dialogue to be typical for a film of its kind. But for all personal shortcomings, I recommend this film because it is a true original.
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