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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
Roger Corman, king of b-grade Science fiction, horror, juvenile delinquent and biker movies, tunes in, turns on, and helps create a classic piece of psychedelia. Scripted by Jack Nicholson, and co-starring his future 'Easy Rider' collaborators Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, as well as the always great Bruce Dern ('The Wild Angels', 'Bloody Mama', 'Silent Running'), the late Susan Strasberg (with Dern and Nicholson in 'Psych-Out' the following year - another psych classic), Corman regular Dick Miller ('A Bucket Of Blood',etc.), Luana Anders (Coppola and Corman's 'Dementia 13'), and even blink and you'll miss them cameos from Peter Bogdanovich and cosmic cowboy Gram Parsons.
Fonda plays a disillusioned director of TV commercials who decides to drop acid for the first time in the hope of finding some meaning in his life. Dern plays his guide. Fonda's trip includes stroboscopic lights, quasi-medieval scenes including dwarves and hooded horsemen, naked go-go dancers, fast cuts, and his own funeral. Apple juice and a visit to the laundromat also play quite significant roles. This is a must see for anyone interested in 60s pop culture, and is still one of the most entertaining psych movies. Take 'The Trip' or you'll regret it forever!
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