SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2023 REVIEW! Writer/director Dimitri Coats’ WTF feature Free LSD, stars members of the punk band Off!, including Circle Jerk member Keith Morris. Keith (Morris) is a hairy geezer who runs an old-timey adult beat-off palace. One day Cici (Chelsea Debo) saunters in with pink hair and no bra, looking for a porn DVD to give as a gift. She buys a kinky alien one and invites Keith to the hipster coffee airstream she works at. However, that night Keith hosts a live online UFO show with special guest Jack (Dana Gould).
The next day Cici is waiting outside Keith’s public sperm barn with some delicious coffee. She confides how she is into older men and makes plans to meet him later. When she steps outside the store, a car with a license plate that reads Wrongdoer1 pulls up. The sinister dude inside (Chris D.) glares at Cici with his jet-black eyes. Cici’s veins start pumping. She collapses. Keith pulls her in to wipe the blood from her nose. Cici says before passing out, she got really h***y and pulls him into the back. When Keith produces nothing but a wet noodle, Cici storms off and stands him up on their date.
“…being hunted by aliens with black eyes…”
While driving home, the sinister dude follows Keith, pausing only to beat to death a homeless man (James Duval). Alone at night, Keith sees an ad for a local Boner Doctor (David Yow) who can get his shaft pointing skyward again. The Boner Doctor gives him an eyedropper full of liquid cure, which sends him into another reality. Keith is suddenly the lead singer of the punk band Off!, who is kicking a*s onstage. In reality, he and his bandmates, who all have counterparts in the greasy mundane world, are being hunted by aliens with black eyes, including Nina (Chloe Dykstra). Dimension-tripping and drug-sipping hijinx ensue, with many folks being brutalized in jolly ways. Don’t worry, LSD makes its way into the story, as it is included for free as part of the record sleeve of all copies of the album “Free LSD,” which Off! sells within the world of the film.
I love Off!, as they are one of the only current bands that I feel are punk down to the marrow. I have gone to multiple shows of theirs over the years, so I flipped when I heard they were in a movie guitarist Coats was directing. Free LSD essentially drops the elder statesmen of punk into a Banana Splits episode with more blood than usual. Chris D., the leader of The Flesheaters, is an excellent choice for the main heavy. He could pull scary faces that would make a roomful of Draculas wet themselves. It is interesting to see this comical villain side of D’s repertoire, as we know he can do drama from his turn in the classic Border Radio.
David Yow, the leader singer of Scratch Acid and Jesus Lizard, excels as the Boner Doctor. He disappears into the role where you only see the kindly physician trying to get golly-socks aloft. At no time did I see a trace of the guy who pulled out his ball sack onstage and twisted it while singing “Tight and Shiny.” Also, it was great to see the incredible DH Peligro of The Dead Kennedys on screen as he recently passed.
"…no idea how this will play to someone who is not a fan of Off!..."