Alice in Acidland


No idea how this piece of exploitation from 1968 evaded my attention for so long but going by the IMDB reviews it’s probably safe to say that any obscurity is well-deserved:

this movie is very accurate, as every girl i have met that smokes weed instantly becomes a bisexual nymphomaniac. scientific studies have actual proved this many times over. the accuracy is phenomenal and i think i speak for every man out there when i say i leave my boxers on while having sex. the parties look like any other raging party in the 60’s where people sit together in a well lit room smoking weed and immediate have sex with everyone as soon as they walk in.

The director and writer were evidently embarrassed enough to use pseudonyms (Gertrude Steen…yeah, right) so the poster and title card (below) are probably as good as it gets unless tepid soft porn is something that really turns you on (baby).

Another fabulous Chateau Thombeau tip.


Alice has been in the news again this week with a new trailer turning up for Tim Burton’s forthcoming film and also this lengthy article in New Scientist which looks at the Alice books through an interpretative lens of algebra and geometry. While it’s nice to play with a fresh interpretation of the stories, essays like this are invariably subject to considerable strain as they attempt to wring hidden meanings from every quirk of the text.

The trouble with the Alice books is that their origin is almost as famous as the stories themselves, and it’s well-known that Dodgson wrote down Alice’s Adventures Under Ground as a present for Alice Liddell with no intention of seeing it published. Aside from the addition of extra scenes, the published book doesn’t radically differ from the handwritten original so you have to stretch your credulity to accept that Dodgson managed to improvise an entertaining story for a child whilst simultaneously authoring a critique of developments in contemporary mathematics. As usual in cases such as these it helps to refer to an earlier logician, William of Ockham, whose famous declaration that “Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily” is given on this mathematician’s page as “when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better.”

Previously on { feuilleton }
Return to Wonderland
Dalí in Wonderland
Virtual Alice
Psychedelic Wonderland: the 2010 calendar
Charles Robinson’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Humpty Dumpty variations
Alice in Wonderland by Jonathan Miller
The Illustrators of Alice

9 thoughts on “Alice in Acidland”

  1. I doubt Tim Burton’s filme will be faithful to the trips taken by Lewis Carroll in the two books about Alice. And I would like to see that documentary, although I have the feeling it must be something extremely moralist.
    And I doubt Carroll wasn’t tripping on something when he saw Wonderland!

  2. From the look of the trailers, Burton’s film appears as accurate as most screen adaptations, which is to say it isn’t. Hollywood dislikes the fact that there are two books presenting different sides of Wonderland so they tend to adapt the first while stealing characters (usually Tweedledum & Tweedledee) from the second. Burton’s film is more Wonderland-esque than anything, it’s riffing on the familiar characters whilst having to invent a conflict between two queens from separate books in order to have a story. That doesn’t matter really. One thing this series of Alice posts demonstrates is how durable and open to interpretation the stories have been and will continue to be.

  3. Alice in Acidland is a truly dreadful film, and thats coming from someone with a very high tolerance for “bad” films. Far better is “Mantis in Lace”, which is similar soft porn painted psychedelic but at least attempts some sort of depiction of the acid experience.

  4. Have to say, John, that two gay men (you and i) finding the film boring might be because we are missing the point somehow……..
    (Actually, i doubt ANYONE could get thier rocks off watching it!)

  5. Id love to see the film version of “Song of the Loon” to see if its as trippy as the novel – if it was done properly it would have made a great psychedelic gay exploitation western!

  6. Yes, scenes of fake lesbianism are profoundly dull.

    Song of the Loon is another one I haven’t seen, it doesn’t get reviewed at Outrate either. One to look out for in the future. Sometimes the older films are more erotic, Pink Narcissus remains one of my favourites despite its low budget and resources.

  7. Pink Narcissus is amazing, a truly beautiful work of art.I have a deep fondness for pre AIDS gay culture,maybe because it seems both innocent and subversive. Or maybe it just feeds my retro obsessions.
    Song of the Loon is a monstrously obscure film, and probably not really very good, but the pulp novel its taken from was an underground hit in the sixties- mountain men and native americans getting together in the wilderness whilst undergoing mystical initiation rites and taking hallucinogens.

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