Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 22nd, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1975
Director: Lucio Marcaccini
Writers: Vincenzo Mannino, Lucio Marcaccini, Josè Sanchez
Cast: Bud Cort, Marcel Bozzuffi, Guido Alberti, Settimio Segnatelli, Eva Czemerys, Annarita Grapputo, Umberto Raho
BluRay Released: April 29th, 2014
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / VC-1 Video
Sound: DTS-HD Mono Italian, DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Raro Video USA
Region Encoding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: A young man named Massimo who is involved in political protests and an occasional act of burglary to help feed his drug habit. Finds himself at the center of a police manhunt to recover a valuable antique that they believe he is in possession of. Along the way he gets involved with someone connected to the mafia which further puts his and his friend’s lives in danger. Will the police find Massimo first or will those trying to end his life silence him forever?
Hallucination Strip is one of the true oddities of 1970’s Italian cinema, a when whatever trend was popular is where the focus then shifted towards until said trend was over-saturated. And though this film does dabble in one of the staples of 1970’s Italian cinema, the Poliziotteschi genre, the end result is something far more interesting then a by the numbers genre film. Others areas that this film digs into include politics and of course drugs.
Structurally though the film’s starts off as a film that is rooted in the investigation of a missing antique. As Massimo falls further down the rabbit hole, the missing antique almost becomes an afterthought. With the focus now shifted towards finding him before his destructive behavior destroys him.
As mentioned before drugs are central to this film’s narrative and about half way through this film there is a lengthy freak out sequence filled with trippy imagery and even more bizarre dancing. Also when it comes to its depiction of drugs this film does shows everything warts and all.
Visually is it hard to say just how much this film’s director actually had in this regard, since this appears to be his one and only film as a director. The cinematographer on Hallucination Strip was Gino Santini and his other notable credits include, The Strangers Gundown (aka Django the Bastard), Riot in a Women’s Prison). This is the type of film where what is being said is not as important as what is being seen and in this regard the visuals lend this film a tremendous amount of atmosphere.
Though not one of this film’s strength’s the film’s dated sounding score works well enough within the confines of this film’s plot which tries to mimic the vibe of late 1960’s counterculture cinema. The songs, especially this film’s main theme are catchy enough that they never wear out their welcome.
Actors far too often can get type casted and though Bud Cort will always be most remembered for his performance from Harold and Maude. Reportedly he took a few years off after the aforementioned Harold and Maude before returning to acting with Hallucination Strip. His remarkable performance in the role of Massimo overshadows the rest of the casts in every way.
Hallucination Strip comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. For this release a brand new HD transfer was created from this film’s 35mm negative. The source used for this transfer is great shape, there are no issues with compression and DNR is kept in check. Colors look nicely saturated, flesh tones look healthy and details look crisp throughout. Grain looks natural and black levels also look very good.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD Mono mix in Italian and a DTS-HD Mono mix in English. Both audio mixes sound great throughout. There are no issues with distortion or background noise. Dialog always comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and roust when it needs too. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include a English language trailer for the film (3 minutes 6 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen) and a interview with editor Giulio Berruti (19 minutes 21 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen, in Italian with English subtitles) who discusses, working with director Lucio Marcaccini, difficulties that arose during shooting, editing the film, audiences’ initial reaction to the film, the cast, producer Carlo Maietto and censorship in Italian cinema. Also included with this release is a slip cover that has alternative cover then what is used for the Blu-Ray covert art inside the keep case and a eight page booklet with two essays, the first one about Lucio Marcaccini and the seconds essay about Psychedelia, both essays were written by Nocturno Cinema. Overall Hallucination Strip a first rate release from Raro Video.
Note: This film is also being released by Raro Video USA on DVD.