I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx

Mondo Incorrecto: The Weird World of LSD

by Casey Dewey
Jan. 31, 2014

I’ve always said drug films fall into three distinct categories: fun, depressing, and boring. Somehow, The Weird World of LSD manages to encapsulate all three. Fun, because this “documentary” is hilarious. Depressing, because somebody put up the dough to make this scare film à la Reefer Madness; a cheap quickie hoping to warn would-be Timothy Learys to stay away from the funny sugar-cubes. And it’s snoresville, Daddy-O. Only the most die-hard fan of no-budget Grade Z wonders will be able to get through it.

The Weird World of LSD opens up with faux-Rod Serling narration about the dangers of the hallucinogenic drug while some spooky theremin music plays in the background. We’re introduced to an innocent Wally Cleaver-type laying on a couch in what we can only presume is a nice, upper middle class home in the suburbs. They young man has taken a hit of LSD and imagines himself as a chicken. There’s no budget here to realize the full-on effects, so we have to watch the poor kid make flying-wing motions with his arms while a chintzy animated chicken is superimposed over him. He suddenly snaps to, and blood spurts out of his nose for no reason.

Now, I’m no stranger to LSD. I don’t remember the entire summer of 1997 because of it. A good friend of mine was selling the stuff, and he used my freezer to store the goods. My payment for procuring the icebox for him was a taste here and a taste there. This became an everyday thing. Like any budding young mindtripper, one hit at a time soon became passé and dull. I started upping my dosage, much to my friend’s chagrin. It’s cool, he wasn’t that great of a dealer anyways. I soon graduated to three or more hits at a time, and never went past seven. Seven was the cut-off number, probably because we had heard as kids the urban legend that once you take eight hits or more at one sitting, you were legally insane. Not wanting to finger-paint flowers in the booby hatch for the rest of my life, I stuck to seven.

After taking my hits, I usually relaxed on the couch with my headphones on, listening to far out jazz or ambient soundscapes while I went on mini-adventures in my head. On these excursions, I was chased through a haunted house by a saxophone, discovered an ice field on Mars, and once traveled down to Atlantis, where they opened monolithic stone gates and welcomed me into a Las Vegas under the sea. Never once did I think I was a chicken, or a bird, or any other type of animal. The closest I ever came to envisioning animals was staring at the cracks in my bathtub, which under the influence of mid-grade LSD, appeared to me as brigades of ants marching up down the porcelain. But never chickens, man.

Back to the movie. The Weird World of LSD is roughly strewn together. It’s a series of segments stitched together, and I’m guessing several of these are stock footage from other Mondo stinkers. After the chicken segment, we’re treated to a young secretary who’s down on her luck. The move to the big city has been unkind to her, and she’s soon prowling lush parks in search of a new rush. She finds it when a square-john type pulls up in a brand new Cadillac. He’s pushing the newest craze on the streets — acid. While cool-cat jazz blares away on the soundtrack, the young secretary purchases a dose and rushes back to her apartment, where she instantly plays with her kittens. That’s not double-code sleaze talk, she actually gets down on the floor and tussles with her kitties. But once the Orange Sunshine hits her, she goes further than cute and innocent fun. As soon as it hits, SHE THINKS SHE’S A KITTEN TOO! Soon she’s scampering across the floor on all fours while the kitties curiously look on. The narrator (a different one from the Serling imitator at the beginning, this one sounds like Marvin the Martian on cough syrup) informs us that LSD has no bounds, and instantly reverts us to our animal-like state. Or something like that.

We’re then introduced to a lovesick girl who takes a dose and wanders into a mannequin factory. She starts gyrating to the sleazy jazz pounding away on the soundtrack, and lo and behold, a male mannequin comes alive and does the Watusi with her! A pent-up art dealer does a hit and while eating an innocuous ham sandwich, believes he’s eating a feast of ancient Rome proportions and chokes to death. Two girls have fun with the sugar-cubes and soon enough, they’re on the floor, rolling in around in a slam-bang catfight. A young man looks into the mirror, the narrator drones on and on about acid “feeding our egos” and all of a sudden, women in dimestore masks stab and mutilate the vain teen. A young lady on a date at the diner samples the drug and starts cutting off her top with scissors. Soon enough she’s on the table, doing the Mashed Potato and The Frug in a bawdy burlesque fashion while her dumbstruck boyfriend looks on. Go baby go! For no explainable reason, footage of drag races and some “Wild Women of Wongo” scenes are thrown in. The film ends with a dosed-up young lover murdering his girlfriend and some schmuck while making out on the floor.

Don’t let all of this happen to you, kids. Stay clean and just say no. Acid makes you do unexplainable things, like opening up your third eye and realizing the world around you is a hologram, and our truer selves are bonded to a deeper sense of nature and harmony. A chicken is a lovable creature that gives us the gift of protein, a mirror is just a reflection of our physical selves, and mannequin is a plastic anatomically-incorrect replica of the human body that does not come alive, no matter how lonely we might be, but we’re really not; we are all connected to each other and we are all one.

Casey Dewey resides in Tucson, Arizona. He's a film writer for the Tucson Weekly and host of "Deep Red Radio" , a radio show dedicated to film soundtracks on 91.3 KXCI FM. He enjoys tacos, cervezas and garlic in everything. He wakes up every morning to a fresh pot of black coffee and at least two hours of Dragnet on TV.