Free LSD Image

Free LSD

By Michael Talbot-Haynes | January 30, 2023

But really, Free LSD is for those jumping at a chance to see the original Black Flag singer and current member of The Circle Jerks as the lead in a film. I remember a time when every car I rode in had The Circle Jerks VI cassette sitting on top of the pile on the floor. I am more than satisfied with Morris’ acting work here, as it perfectly fits the piece’s offbeat tone. The broad comic strokes fly smoothly through the anarchic atmosphere director Coats maintains throughout. The seedy parody of reality established is grotesque on purpose to highlight how the plane that Off! exists on transcends it. It reminded me of an S. Clay Wilson underground comic that someone had sewed human skin on.

The director puts together a good-looking production for the budget, with the lights pointed in all the right places. The opening title is a glorious slab of eagerness. It sets your anticipation for lots of goodies ahead. I love his concept of putting the real band into the plot, as that is really what lights this up. If Coats simply used band members to play other characters throughout, he would have ended up with something similar to Neil Young’s Human Highway. Instead, it is a great platform for showing what the band can do if you are lucky enough to catch them live.

“…one of the best cinematic examples of how punk is an oasis of horror in a desert of boredom…”

I have no idea how this will play to someone who is not a fan of Off!, though admittedly, this is far from perfect. The humor is hit-and-miss. While the special effects are good, there is an over-reliance on veins in heads pumping while wearing colored contacts. Also, Debo and Dykstra’s characters feel like they’re still fashioned on the stale tropes of music video girls. Restricting the female roles to sexually available decorations is one of the moldiest rock and roll traditions, and it doesn’t do any favors here. But the two actors, who have appeared in several Off! videos, do an excellent job throughout the film.

However, Free LSD is one of the best cinematic examples of how punk is an oasis of horror in a desert of boredom. Hopefully, this ends up being the first installment of the Keith Morris Universe. That would be a blast.

Free LSD screened at the 2023 Slamdance Film Festival.

Free LSD (2023)

Directed and Written: Dimitri Coats

Starring: Keith Morris, Chelsea Debo, Chris D., David Yow, Chloe Dykstra, DH Peligro, James Duval, Dimitri Coats, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Free LSD Image

"…no idea how this will play to someone who is not a fan of Off!..."

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