Blu-ray Review: The Trip

Often there’s movies that quickly referred to as “trip” films. Audiences are expected to wander into the theater, take a hallucinogenic with their concession stand treats and let their eyes see way more than what’s on the screen. Fantasia, 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Wizard of Oz are films that have earned the reputation of being amazing to see when you’re high. But they weren’t made to be drug films. The Trip was an early venture into not only exploring the use of hallucinogenics, but to relate what the user of LSD was experiencing in his head.

Paul Groves (Easy Rider‘s Peter Fonda) wants to expand his mind. He’s a successful commercial director in Los Angeles going through a nasty divorce. However he wants to do it right so he visits a local hippie mansion in the Hollywood Hills. John (Big Love‘s Bruce Dern) is going to guide Paul through the experience. He even gives him pills that will stop the LSD experience if things are going bad. Paul seems to be setting things up right. Except in the middle of the experience, Paul bolts out the door and head into the nearby neighborhood. This isn’t a good thing since Paul is completely detached from reality. He has not problem wandering into a house in the middle of the night to watch a little TV. There’s quite a bit of fear that Paul is either going to get busted by the cops or just run over by a car as he trips across the road.

The Trip isn’t one big “Just Say No” PSA that would usually come with any film in the ’60s with drug usage. There is no condemnation of partaking in the experience. This film wasn’t getting the endorsement of J. Edgar Hoover. Corman has admitted that before making the film, he dropped acid. The optical effects mixed with John’s vision sequences feel a bit more inspired and authentic than most square productions looking to be the psychedelic Reefer Madness. Casting Fonda, Dern and Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider) as part of the acid heads with a script written by Jack Nicholson (Batman) also makes the film feel more real. These guys weren’t going to sell out their scene. The film teaches the ultimate lesson to people curious about trying LSD: Near traffic go near traffic while tripping. The pretty lights are dangerous. The Trip is a masterpiece about a man journeying inside his soul.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The 1080p transfer pops when the light show kicks in for Peter Fonda. The extra resolution will let you spot Gram Parsons. The audio is DTS-HD Mono. The audio gets a little bit spacey as things get freaky.

Theatrical Trailer promises you an experience never seen before.

Olive Films presents The Trip. Directed by: Roger Corman. Screenplay by: Jack Nicholson. Starring: Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper and Susan Strasberg. Rated: Unrated. Running Time: 82 minutes. Released: March 22, 2016.

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