Hallucination Strip

Production Year: 1975
Release Date: 04/29/14
Studio: Raro Video

1975's Hallucination Strip was the first and last film Lucio Marcaccini would helm. Understandably, as the film feels a bit convoluted; ripe with social commentary, subplots that go no where, and a few forgettable characters. With all of that said, I found it oddly enjoyable. Unfortunately the Lucio passed away in the early 80's, making a commentary track a bit hard to get (Ouija board anyone?) Too bad as I'm sure he'd have more than a few interesting stories behind the troubled production.

The film is centered around Massimo (Bud Cort) a small time drug dealer/activist and the insanity that insues thanks to drug use and a bit of thievery, Massimo is stuck in the right in the middle of a world of hallucinogenics, nosy police offers, and political unrest.  As I mentioned earlier, the film is extremely convoluted and it's hard to tell you what exactly Marcaccini and company were striving for. Is it a psychedelic film? Sure. A film about the upset youth of 1975? Sure. A dash of social commentary? Check. Unfortunately it doesn't really stick to one of these topics long enough and a lot of what the film has to say is lost in the mix. It's hard to say if it's an issue with the writing or possibly the perils of a first time director.

As the film does drift from subject to subject it also does a good job in keeping the viewer entertained. A nice big chunk of the film is dedicated to one of the strangest (possibly also the longest) trip scenes ever put on celluloid. The film is called Hallucination Strip so I guess a scene like this was to be expected. Unfortunately for me the scene also hit right around my 24th hour of zero sleep. I really began to wonder if someone had slipped a little somethin' in my Monster energy drink. Such a strange, strange little film.

Raro Video gives Hallucination Strip an extremely nice looking transfer. I think it's more than safe to say this is likely the best this film will ever look on any format. There's a nice natural color along with the detail one would expect from a high definition film. The sound is also on par with the transfer which is a nice change of pace (check out my review for their other April release). There is a bit of age related noise heard throughout, but it's barely audible. An extremely nice looking and sounding film.

Video interview with editor Giulio Berruti (19:21 SD) - Finally a few answers as to what happened with the production.  Sure enough it was in fact the perils of a first time director.  Giulio Berruti goes into great detail about the film's tumultuous production.  He also mentions it was rumored the director sold his factory to help fund this picture...Geez.  I guess that explains why Hallucination Strip was the director's first and last film.

Original Italian theatrical trailer (03:06 HD)

I love Raro Video, they're a very fan-centric label. I'd love to stand on the top of some building and yell out my recommendations for this film. But alas, I cannot. While the label did their job in presenting the film to the best of their ability, this one is an Italian oddity and only something I can recommend to fans of such.  Do you like weird Italian films?  Great, this one is fit for your viewing pleasure.  Everyone else others should keep their distance.


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