Apocalypse 69 | Offscreen
Only two years after the 'Summer of Love' of 1967, the American dream turns into a nightmare. While the streets are filled with racial riots, the war in Vietnam intensifies despite the efforts of the protest movement. The hippie ideals of Woodstock are irrevocably shattered in Altamond, where Hell's Angels kill a black spectator at a Stones concert. Shortly before, there was the horrific murder of pregnant Hollywood actress Sharon Tate by the followers of self-proclaimed guru Charles Manson. With the psychedelic hippie dream of the flower children corrupted to a psychotic bad trip, satanic cults like Anton LaVey's Church of Satan emerge from the dark. In the day-to-day life of the Swinging Sixties, but even more so in the collective imagination and the popular press, apocalyptic freaks-on-acid slip into suburbia. The horror and madness of 1969 form a rich source of inspiration for directors like Kenneth Anger, John Waters and a slew of B-filmmakers.
Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper as two bikers on a druggy trip through the big American expanse, passing hippie communes and backward hick towns on their way to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The ultimate road movie whose fatalistic end note predicted the end of a generation.
Aiming for a concert film like the one made at Woodstock, the filmmakers became witness to a turning point for the hippie generation. In Altamond the vibes turn bad, and even worse when Hell's Angels kill a spectator in the crowd during a Stones concert. A highly-regarded documentary.
John Waters slaps together a hippie repellent with this perverse feast of ferocious bad taste. Divine is the savage leader of a band of freaks not unlike the Manson family, leading the troupe to a legendary and grotesque finale. For decades, this cult classic was very hard to find – now in a restored version!
Assisted by Anton LaVey (high priest of the Church of Satan), Bobby Beausoleil (of the Manson family) and Mick Jagger (who wrote the music), Kenneth Anger makes a psychedelic manifesto on the coming of the anti-christ, as a precursor to his “Lucifer Rising”.
Motor gang “The Devil's Advocates” burns rubber as its members hit the tarmac looking for kicks. When they cross paths with a satanic sect, the night is filled with alcohol, drugs and fistfights. But the next day their hangover turns to horror when they morph into... werewolves on wheels!
A hymn to paganism and the new satanism of Aleister Crowley. The music by Bobby Beausoleil carries this psychedelic work by Kenneth Anger to a near-mystical conscience, reaching far beyond the sensory horizon of the sixties generation.
Murder, drugs, rape! Set to groovy sixties’ tunes, bikers are on a manhunt lead by a psychotic Russ Tamblyn (Dr. Jakobi of Twin Peaks), his manic eyes hidden behind red sunglasses. A filthy and immoral B-film in which Al Adamson buries the love generation under several feet of desert sand!
“Look down on me, you will see a fool. Look up at me, you will see your Lord. Look straight at me, you will see yourself.” Words of Charles Manson, leader of the murderous commune that killed Sharon Tate (Roman Polanski’s wife) and her unborn child in 1969. In this documentary, we pay a visit to “the family”.
Antonioni observes the hippie youths with aloof detachment and places them in locations that are as empty as the vapid slogans they chant. Critically underrated on release, this anti-American statement is ripe for re-evaluation – if only for the breathtaking images and Pink Floyd's spellbinding music.