In Roger Corman’s cult film, Peter Fonda stars as a young TV commercial director, Paul Groves, who decides to try LSD, and experiences visions of sex, death, dancing girls and a torture chamber.
Corman did research by taking LSD himself, and then hired Jack Nicholson to write the eventual screenplay.
Dennis Hopper features as Groves’ dealer Max, who appears here with Fonda in a precursor role to EASY RIDER.
Corman wildly edited some scenes for the film, particularly the exterior night scenes on the Sunset Strip, to simulate the LSD user’s racing mind.
THE TRIP features photographic effects, body paint on semi-nude actresses to lend atmosphere, and colourful patterned lighting, during sex scenes and in a club, which imitates LSD-induced hallucinations.
Finally, Corman included inscrutable fantasy sequences including one where Fonda is faced with revolving pictures of Che Guevara, Sophia Loren and Khalil Gibran in a wildly lit room. For no apparent reason, a midget riding a merry-go-round in the background blurts ‘Bay of Pigs!!’
The story plays over a musical backdrop of improvisational jazz, blues rock of the band The Electric Flag, plus an exotic musical score with an organ and horn-drenched theme.