The Big Cube (1969)

The Big Cube presents the hippies as the bad guys and the establishment — Lana Turner! — as the ones having to deal with their conniving ways. This is one of the few films where the stepmother is the one dealing with the machinations of her stepdaughter and not the other way around.

Turner plays stage actress Adriana Roman, who has retired after marrying the wealthy Charles Winthrop (Dan O’Herlihy!). His daughter Lisa doesn’t trust her new mother and after a speedboat accident kills Charles, all hell breaks loose.

It turns out that Lisa’s new man Johnny Allen (George Chakiris, yet another West Side Story actor in a drug week movie!) wasn’t trusted by her father, who laid out rules in his will that if Lisa marries Johnny, she gets nothing. Now that Adriana is the executor, the blame falls on her.

There’s only one way to fix things: dose the old lady with LSD in her sedatives and a gaslighting campaign that puts her in the funny farm.

By the end of this all, Johnny has left Lisa for her best friend, Lisa has confessed her sins to her playwright friend Frederick and Adriana now believes that her husband is still alive.

This feels like a drug movie made by people who have only seen other drug movies, which kind of makes it awesome. Its squareness moves straight into the realm of camp, which is pretty much where my sensibilities lie.

This movie wants to be a Reefer Madness warning about acid and ends up being the kind of movie that ends up in a box set with Trog. Such is life.

 

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