Freaks, sometimes known as Love Commune, Sign Of Aquarius,
or Wages of Sin, is one of those drug-inspired attempts
at social commentary that falls flat on its face, but not before
spitting in yours a few thousand times.
The premise is simple: Sonny and friends are hippies.
They live a simple life in suburban Cleveland, and spend their days
spreading hippie psycho-babble around town. A typical day may involve
being arrested, demonstrating against the establishment, and begging
for spare change. Evening activities include smoking the reefer,
group sex, cheating the city out of bus fare, and not bathing. The
movie flounders about this way until we meet Diane.
Diane is in many ways a typical young woman. She
doesn't get along with her parents. She's curious about drugs and
sex. She trusts an unshaven middle-aged man wearing a poncho to
teach her about drugs and sex. I guess the world was a very different
place in 1970. Anyways, she takes off with Sonny and inside a few
days is a full-fledged hippie. Diane and Sonny become romantically
involved, at least as involved as two stoned hippies with multiple
sexual partners can be.
All is well and good until an old acquaintance of Sonny's resurfaces,
wanting to bring the reformed hipster back into the drug trade. Sonny
refuses, and the bullet meant for his head ends up in Diane, who dies
immediately. The hippie death ritual that ensues is perhaps the most
entertaining bit of the film. Sonny lifts Diane's body and walks a
few feet, with the rest of the commune walking in near unison behind,
and then sets her body down in the exact same pose. Why they moved
her just a few feet is never explained, but Diane's death basically
marks the film's end.
I mentioned earlier that the film went by several
different names, which is not unusual for a low-budget picture.
What makes it worth mentioning is the slight variations in each
of the retitled versions. The Ghetto Freaks version features
"two minutes of new footage featuring the black leader of a
kinky love cult...". Where they nabbed this clip from is anybody's
guess, but it's extremely obvious that it was not part of the original
film. The new footage was slapped right in the middle of an orgy
scene, which makes sense until you consider that the location, characters,
and even the texture of the film are completely different.
There's really nothing terribly wrong with this
film, but there's also very little substance here. An interesting
psychedelic sex scene or two isn't enough to forgive the movie for
its lack of focus; there's just no point to the story.
Ghetto Freaks comes on a DVD with another
drug-related flick: Way Out. Normally neither movie would
merit a review of its own, but I fell asleep 10 minutes into Way
Out, so Ghetto Freaks got its own review. Bottom line:
It helps to be on drugs while watching a movie about drugs made
by people who were probably on lots of drugs helps to ease the pain
of sitting through this. And we probably just got blocked for "drugs"
by CyberPatrol due to that last sentence. Great.
Genre: Drama/Hippie Psychobabble
Country of Origin: USA
Video: Color; Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Plot: Sonny and friends are hippies.
How Bad Is It? - If not for the complete lack of
direction, this might be watchable.
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