Gas-S-S-S!

1970, Movie, GP, 79 mins

Review

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Director Corman's legendary ability to take advantage of every small circumstance to make low-budget films that appear to have cost real money is stretched to the limit in this Fellini-like retrospection. The apocalypse arrives in the form of a nerve-gas leak from a plant in Alaska that speeds up human metabolism to the extent that all people over 25 are goners. Conservative kids take over Texas, turning the territory into a police state, in one of many anomalous occurrences. Young Corff and Giftos, faced with the betrayal of youth by youth, gather four friends and depart for a commune of the like-minded, located in an old pueblo in New Mexico. Along the way they encounter Hell's Angels turned guardians of tradition; a squad of ravaging football players determined to rape, burn, and loot; and a further threat from the upwardly mobile, led by Marshall McLuhan. Dusky in-gags abound as the group meets other onetime youth heroes in a landscape reminiscent of James Branch Cabell's Jurgen. Critics of the time thought the picture passe, just another youth-culture-oriented film. AIP apparently shared this view; the studio chopped up the original version, excising the dialog between the very Jewish God and Christ, which resulted in Corman's departure to form his own New World Pictures. This, Corman's next-to-last directorial effort and one of his few money-losers, is an excessive film, but one well worth seeing. Many of his young players went on to considerable success in cinema. Songs include "I'm Looking for a World," "Please Don't Bury My Soul," "Maybe It Really Wasn't Love," "Don't Chase Me Around," "Got To Get Movin'," "This Is the Beginning," "The Pueblo Pool," "Bubble Gum Girl," (Barry Melton), "Cry a Little," "Gas Man," "Juke Box Serenade," (Greg Dewey, Mark Kapner, Doug Metzner, Melton), "First Time, Last Time," "Today Is Where," (Toni Brown), and "Castles," (Brown, Terry Garthwaite). leave a comment

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