The Kids Are Alright
released OUT NOW! 1970 | 18 | Blu-ray/dVd Director roger Corman Cast Bob Corff, elaine Giftos, Bud Cort, Talia shire
In the late ’60s, fortysomething B-movie king Roger Corman switched from Edgar Allan Poe adaptations to counter-culture movies – even going so far, in preparation for LSD flick The Trip, as to drop acid himself. Watching this post-apocalyptic black comedy, you may wonder if it hadn’t worn off.
Set after the accidental release of a chemical weapon kills everyone over 25, it follows some hip young longhairs as they travel across the country, encountering fascistic American footballers, a country club run by Hells Angels, and a biker version of Poe. The script was rewritten during shooting, and the results are freewheeling to the point of aimlessness.
There are numerous moments of offbeat charm, like a dune buggy chase and a bloodless shoot-out which sees gunfire replaced with yelling the names of tough-guy actors. But you’ll need a strong tolerance for flower power aphorisms – and casual rape jokes. Equal parts interesting and infuriating, Gas-s-s-s is very much a product of its time.
Extras A featurette about Corman’s counter-culture films (nine minutes); two hour-long audio interviews with the director, from 1970 and 1991; gallery; trailer. Ian Berriman
The M20 slip road: flipping nightmare.