The 1970 divide between hippies and hardhats, rather charmingly articulated as a tale of spoiled pastry and vengeful chubby brats. The Age of Aquarius has yielded to kooky Mansonites, naked and frisky before a bonfire: "Let it be known, sons and daughters, that Satan was an acidhead." The ringleader (Bashkar Roy Chowdhury) is a dedicated debaucher whose democratic troupe of cultists encompasses jiving militants, earth mothers, and aging Suzy Wongs. They pull into town in a Scooby Doo VW bus and set up Black Mass in an abandoned manse. They rape and abuse and torture, but giving an LSD tablet to the elderly veterinarian (Richard Bowler) is the last straw: His grandson (Riley Mills) injects rabid blood into their meat pies and indigestion segues into foamy, flesh-craving insanity. Shot through an inch-thick layer of grime and scored to the greasiest synthesizer in film history, David Durstonís blast of undiluted grindhouse surrealism always has a handful of jokes up in the air. ("I gotta call the Red Cross," somebody says as infected roughnecks dash toward the screen with machetes.) A pox on libertines and reactionaries both, with Arlene Farberís lewd grin turning into a skullís grimace mid-orgy, an echo of the Vietnamese self-immolating monk, and Lynn Lowryís gentle handling of an electric meat carver amid the ravishments. The debt to Romero is returned in The Crazies. With George Patterson, Rhonda Fultz, Jadine Wong, John Damon, Elizabeth Marner-Brooks, Iris Brooks, and Tyde Kierney.
--- Fernando F. Croce