The Monkees are tossed about in a psychedelic, surrealist, plotless, circular bit of fun fluff.The Monkees are tossed about in a psychedelic, surrealist, plotless, circular bit of fun fluff.The Monkees are tossed about in a psychedelic, surrealist, plotless, circular bit of fun fluff.
If you haven't seen it, you should definitely watch it. Not to say it's good - because it most certainly isn't, but it should definitely be seen, if only as a fascinating window into the time.
It has some great cameos, including Frank Zappa with a talking cow, Annette Funicello, a gigantic Victor Mature, and this time I even caught a very brief glimpse of the writer of the movie, Jack Nicholson (yes, THE Jack Nicholson).
It also has some genuinely good music.
There's a certain irony to this movie. On the one hand, it was the Monkees' attempt to break away from their teenybopper image and "legitimize" themselves, but on the other, it's hard to think of a more extreme example of Hollywood's move at the time to make a buck by bringing counter culture mainstream - albeit a badly failed attempt in this case. People who were trying to "stick it to The Man" discovered that for the right price, The Man was more than happy to stick it to Himself, or at least pretend to.
That said, the movie had more of a "wink" than I remembered, so I don't think it took itself all that seriously. For example, when Frank Zappa refers to Davie Jones' dance number as "pretty white", Jones responds "I'm a pretty white guy.". At another point, Peter Tork can be clearly heard whistling Strawberry Fields, as if to say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
One thing I'd completely forgotten was how much Vietnam footage there is in the movie, interspersed with shots of the band performing. That was a pretty standard sort of "statement" at the time, but I was surprised how graphic some of the footage was, given the film's G rating. It even included that infamous clip of the soldier getting shot in the head.
- Mar 4, 2019