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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Documentary > Counterculture > Sex > Drugs > Crime > VCI Drive-in Grindhouse DVD Set (Psychedelic Fever (1968/aka Like It Is)/Up Yours (1979)/Summer School (1978/aka Mag Wheels)/The Farmerís Other Daughter (1975))

VCI Drive-in Grindhouse DVD Set (Psychedelic Fever (1968/aka Like It Is)/Up Yours (1979)/Summer School (1978/aka Mag Wheels)/The Farmerís Other Daughter (1975))


Picture: C+/C+/C/C†††† Sound: C†††† Extras: C†††† Films:


Psychedelic Fever C+

Up Yours D

Summer School C-

The Farmerís Other Daughter D



Though the actual Grindhouse feature film by Tarantino and Rodriguez bombed in theaters, not only did it do better on Blu-ray and DVD, but the entire home video industry is still capitalizing on it.This new DVD set from VCI has four such films, all bad, but sometimes interesting.You likely have not seen these before or for a very long time.


Easily the best is Psychedelic Fever, which is more interesting for its archival-level footage of Haight-Asbury and San Francisco in the thick of the counterculture than the interviews, drug use, nudity and hilarious attempts to portray drug trips (namely LSD use) in terms of good and bad trips.It is also interesting for capturing what was on some minds at the time and is not all bad.


Up Yours is the worst of the four films even beyond anything you could imagine by being such a dumb, unfunny comedy with no laughs that has Cindy Morgan (Caddyshack, TRON, TVís Falcon Crest) as some kind of haunted ghost host telling us bad jokes and adding to the inept writing and directing.Chuck McCann also shows up as several characters, as do other usually-unknowns in the cast, but it wants to be on the counterculture comedy bandwagon as it was by then and missed the wagon, boat and everything else.Actor/co-star Eddie Ryder co-wrote this co-star Chris Warfield and co-directed with John Hayes in one of the most uncohesive collaborations I have seen in a long time.


Hayes did almost as bad 14 years before with The Farmerís Other Daughter (aka Haystack Hooker) in the oldest and phoniest film on the list.A salesman comes to the farm to do business when the farmer wants to sell his other littleÖ er of age girl.The sets are phony and badly lit, the acting the worst, they shove more hick stereotypes in this mess than I could have ever imagined and it is just a total mess.This was an early writing job for William W. Norton, who would later write on the hit TV series The Big Valley, as well as films Big Bad Mama, White Lightning, Gator, Moving Violation and Day Of The Animals.For him, it was all up from here.


That leaves Summer School, not to be confused with the later hit film, this was originally entitled Mag Wheels and came out in 1978.It helped launch actor John Laughlinís career and may remind some of Dazed & Confused, but this is the real 1970s (albeit the end of it) and it is not the best such film of its time, the writing is not very good (co-written by Director Bethel Buckalew) but it has some good looking cars, women and nostalgia worth seeing.Otherwise, it pales as compared to Supervan, The Van or similar offerings that have more energy and are more a part of the era they come out of.Expect more sexual violations than usual too.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on all four come from prints that are not bad, but Fever and Yours look better than the other offerings, which seem softer and not as consistent.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is very average and aged for all four films, as expected and while VCI did their best to clean these up, they can only do so much with the low budget audio.The good news is that none are overly compressed.Extras include trailers on both DVDs, some for these films on the disc opposite of the other.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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