There's nothing like a good ol' fashioned 60s-era druggie exploitation flick. They just don't mix up batches of that special LSD that made scantily clad women dance sensuously anymore. You know the kind of LSD I'm talking about—the kind that made the ladies make love to the camera and take off their clothes. I guess the men in these films took the other LSD—the manly variety, because they seemed to keep their clothes on and there was no seductive dancing whatsoever. Just an occasional violent freak out.
In celebration of the new year, let's revisit some classic sensual LSD-laced dance scenes from yesteryear. None were destined to make MGM's "That's Entertainment!" reel, but it's a lost NSFW art-form that could use a little appreciation.
Bibi (Pamela Rodgers) from The Big Cube (1969) is always looking for attention. I can't help but adore her rascally antics. If I was a drag queen, I'd model myself after Bibi—great 60s-wear, big hair, massively exaggerated line delivery, always. Here, she's got a little male competition but nips it in the bud because it's all about her. He must have taken some of that lady acid.
I've never seen Riot on Sunset Strip (1967) in its entirety but perhaps that's unnecessary—this LSD-fueled dance by Andy (Mimsy Farmer) encapsulates its exploitative schlock-factor for nearly eight minutes so well. In a piece-of-crap film like this, it's surprising how much Farmer throws herself into the moment here, during two song cycles before being ravished off-screen by a drug-dealing goon. The second half of her choreography is especially crazed—nearly transcendent. A modern-dance company worth its salt could certainly do justice to her interpretation. Or a drag-queen revue. I would pay to see either.
In an otherwise deadly dull look at LSD culture, here's Peter Fonda in The Trip (1967), about to take a headlong voyage to the bottom of a basement club full of dancing freaks, including a naked body-painted lady doing her hippie groove thang.
I'd be remiss not to include the "The LSD Story" from season 1 of Dragnet. Sure, it's television, but producers managed to sneak in a few moments of sensual-LSD dance during the brief-but-memorable party scene "up in the hills somewhere" in Los Angeles. Sergeant Joe Friday and his partner Bill are here to break up all the fun, as usual (starting around the 4-minute mark), which includes not only the family-friendly sexy dancing, but actual climbing-the-wall dancing. The party boys get more active roles, playing (and rewinding) tunes, eating paint and being mouthy. The girls merely look perplexed and pouty, yelling, "Merry Christmas!" during the drug bust like a bunch of acid-tripping dum-dums. It's an LSD-party glass ceiling is what it is.
Now it's your turn! Make up your own sensual LSD dance. Here's the Strawberry Alarm Clock in Psych-Out (1968) to get you started (young Jack Nicholson sitting in on poseur guitar). Remember to seduce the imaginary camera (male gaze). Clothing removal is optional, but in keeping with the hippie ethos. Use all-organic ingredients for your body paint—skin is our largest organ, after all.