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PSYCH-OUT - 3 Slimes
Copyright 1968 American International Pictures
Reviewed by Nick Carroll - He provided the sounds and images. on 14 March 2007

The Characters:  

  • Stoney - Jack Nicholson with a clip on ponytail. Leader of the band Mumblin' Jim and very uptight usually. Seems to have a magic guitar that can play by itself.
  • Ben - Stoney's pal and keyboardist for Mumblin' Jim.
  • Elwood - Drummer for Mumblin' Jim, usually stoned.
  • Wesley - Bass player in Mumblin' Jim, lets Stoney borrow his wife.
  • Wesley's Wife - Flute and tambourine in Mumblin' Jim.
  • Dave - The weirdest of Stoney's associates, previously in Mumblin' Jim. He lives alone in a box atop a roof in San Francisco and pretends like he is a guru of wisdom. He doesn't like the success Stoney is having with the band and how its changed him. He's hit by a car.
  • Warren - The poster designer for Mumblin' Jim with strange Lincoln sideburns. He seems to be often caught in bad acid trips.
  • Jenny Davis - Deaf girl looking for her brother Steve Davis in San Francisco. She soon finds herself with the hippie crowd.
  • Steve Davis - Bruce Dern as a Jesus-like impersonator referred to as "the seeker." He wanders around strangely giving nonsensical speeches.
  • Junkyard Gang - A crew that don't like Steve the seeker and want to beat him down.
  • Harry - A Hell's Angels like vender of narcotics to the hippies running about.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Here I am back again to review the 1968 Dick Clark production entitled Psych-Out. The story revolves around the 60's psychedelic/ drug culture and takes place in the center of the scene at the time in the US, San Francisco. The movie seems overly strange and crazy at times, but has a certain charm to it that makes it unique and flat out hysterical.

Jenny, a deaf runaway, searches for her brother Steve. This leads her to San Francisco, California. She soon runs into a hippie named Stoney who is lead guitarist of a band called Mumblin' Jim. Jenny, with no place to go, stays with Stoney and his friends at a San Francisco flat. People crash in and out at Stoney's place, sleeping on the floor and falling into acid trips. Jenny continues to search for her brother with only a few clues such as a postcard he sent to her at home that says "God is alive and well in a sugar cube." From some of these bizarre tips they still can't find this strange lunatic though.

Jenny soon falls in love with Stoney, but he seems to have no problem attracting other women. Stoney soon happens to walk in on Steve Davis when he sneaks into the house. Steve came there looking for a statue he created that supposedly God led his hands to model. How it reached Stoney's pad no one knows. Steve tells a strange story about how his mother was the most evil woman on earth and this is what led his little sister Jenny to run away. He tells Stoney to give him a day to get his head straight and he'll see Jenny.

Stoney's band Mumblin' Jim gets an opportunity to play the ballroom to the disapproval of his friend Dave. After a short show there with the Strawberry Alarm Clock, Stoney pushes Jenny away looking for other thrills. Jenny becomes upset and takes a drug known as STP given to her by Dave. She goes wandering around looking for her brother with another clue, his address that Dave had written on a paper. Stoney and company go looking for her while she finally runs into her brother who is trapped in a burning house after being chased by a gang that dislikes him. Jenny is pulled away and eventually finds herself in the middle of a highway doped out of her mind. Stoney and his friends find her and Dave is hit by a car in the process of saving her.

This is probably the strangest movie Jack Nicholson or any of these somewhat famous actors have been in. This film is a take on the late 60's scene with odd characters and strange situations pieced together somewhat incoherently. Its message is against drugs but not in a way that overly screams it as Dick Clark said. Honestly, drugs might help you better understand it in the end. The cinematography is done quite well for this flick with several different artsy shots and sequences. The soundtrack is pretty solid if you enjoy psychedelic and garage music from the 60's with songs by The Seeds and The Strawberry Alarm Clock. There are also songs by presumably studio groups such as The Storybook and The Boenzee Cryque that appear to be used for the Mumblin' Jim songs. Psych-Out was released alongside The Trip, a lesser movie in my opinion, on MGM's Midnite Movie Series awhile back. Supposedly the version on the DVD has some small edits sadly.

I'm eagerly awaiting for Psych-Out the sequel which could have Nicholson reprising his role as Stoney all these years later. He'd be living as a poor homeless guy in the San Francisco area attempting a Mumblin' Jim comeback. These guys were bigger than Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead at one time. The history books just fail to mention it always and this movie clearly documents their rise to fame.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • It is possible to play a guitar without moving your fingers on the strings, just sway along and you'll see.
  • You can often see someone wandering around eating a banana, barefoot.
  • The Seeds may very well perform at a funeral if you ask kindly.
  • Jimi Hendrix obviously ripped off Mumblin' Jim for "Purple Haze." Why do the history books fail to mention this insightful information?
  • God is alive and well in a sugar-cube.
  • The Strawberry Alarm Clock are not just musicians but magicians.
  • The greatest wisdom is from guys that have long Apache like hair and speak incoherently.
  • Staring blankly at beads and crystals can always be entertaining.
  • Sleep in the hallways - sleep anywhere you can.
  • Never give a person who is tripping on LSD a hammer or saw.
  • STP users have a tendency to wander around and see things on fire.
  • Reality is a pretty deadly place if you're running in the middle of the street.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 1 mins - I'm feeling the 60's message already?
  • 2 mins - Jenny gives very strange happy reactions to those doped freaks on the street.
  • 3 mins - Nice dirty feet welcome you to Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco.
  • 4 mins - March of the strange flower children and protesters with blank signs?
  • 7 mins - Jack Nicholson chilling out smoking dope at an underground cafe with his Mumblin' Jim crew.
  • 13 mins - A shower of peace and love nonsense.
  • 14 mins - Mumblin' Jim black light posters, where can I buy one?
  • 16 mins - "Incense and Peppermints" poster pasting party.
  • 19 mins - Take whatever you'd like, it's a store rummage.
  • 23 mins - I question myself again as to what is going on.
  • 27 mins - Stoney has so many chicks they just pop out of nowhere, like under his bed...
  • 28 mins - Baby alligators in a refrigerator?
  • 31 mins - Bad acid trip for Warren as he attempts to cut his hand off.
  • 41 mins - Stoney and friends beat up an evil junkyard gang while looking for Steve.
  • 43 mins - Purple Haze backwards!
  • 44 mins - Stoney rocks out without any strain- hell he doesn't even move his fingers!
  • 48 mins - Once again I question what is going on.
  • 53 mins - A random funeral with music by garage rock legends the Seeds!
  • 55 mins - Stoney's guitar continues to play magically by itself, even in rehearsals when he walks away from it.
  • 67 mins - Steve tells a rather strange story.
  • 68 mins - A young Jenny spews out black motor-oil with eels!
  • 70 mins - The Strawberry Alarm Clock- watch their guitars and clothes magically change when the camera cuts back to them.
  • 71 mins - Mumblin' Jim with Stoney's amazing skills on guitar.
  • 88 mins - Dave is hit by a car trying to save Jenny and has a final word of wisdom. Reality is a deadly rotten place indeed.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note psychout1.wav Warren: "Yeah, I'm...I'm fine. Now I've been seeing a couple things but.. I can come out of it anytime I want to. You know all...all...all I have to do is... is snap my fingers and I come out of it."
Green Music Note psychout2.wav Steve: "You give me a day to get my head straight, and I will come."
Green Music Note psychout3.wav Stoney: "Don't turn me off! I just wanna tell you not to dirty the sheets until I get another chick to clean 'em that's all!"
Green Music Note psychout4.wav Dave: "You're righteous Stoney but you're not very hip."
Green Music Note psychout5.wav Stoney: "You don't sound so good without acid."
Green Music Note psychout6.wav Dave: "Reality is a deadly place... I hope this trip is a good one."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


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