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Drugs: The Pit of Despair

Four vintage "social guidance" films that tackle the epidemic of drug use running rampant in post-war high schools and college campuses -- with hilarious results!
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  ALP 8000D
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DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 1 hours, 35 minutes
  • Video: Black & White / Color
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: September 26, 2017
  • Originally Released: 1951
  • Label: Alpha Video

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These rare "social guidance" films tackle the epidemic of drug use running rampant in post-war high schools and college campuses. The illegal drug parties depicted almost always include pretty young girls and "happening" music, with wild goings-on that appear much more attractive than the staid conformity teens are implored to adhere to!

DRUG ADDICTION (1951): "Wherever there is a troubled personality, no matter how hidden or unrecognized, there may be a seed bed for drug addiction." Clean-cut teenager Marty Malone takes a hit of reefer and immediately turns into a full-blown drug addict. Soon he's indulging in bizarre activities that include hysterically laughing while cutting himself with a broken Pepsi bottle. This is particularly shocking since the narrator informs us that such behavior usually only occurs in "teeming slum areas, where human misery runs high."

SUBJECT: NARCOTICS (1951): Subject: Narcotics was made as a training film for the vice squad of your local police department, and "restricted from the general public and from all youth groups." That's too bad, because those innocent youngsters might've learned that "problems aren't solved" by "five or six puffs." Includes bogus footage of a round-up of drug addicts in downtown Los Angeles, who look more like members of an L.A. theater troupe. This is director Denis Sanders's first film; he later made the cult classic Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973).

NARCOTICS: PIT OF DESPAIR (1967): Mild-mannered student John Scott is feeling the pressures of school, parents, and dating. That is, until old friend Pete tells him, "Forget it, man, and get with the countdown. Shake this square world and blast off for KICKSVILLE!" One joint, and he's hooked! Before you know it, he's begging in alleyways for a fix. John is played by Kevin Tighe, in his first onscreen appearance (and at 23, a little old to be playing a naive high-schooler.) He is best known for starring alongside Randolph Mantooth on the NBC medical drama Emergency! (1972-1977) and his recurring role on Lost (2005-2010).

THE MIND-BENDERS: LSD AND THE HALLUCINOGENS (1967): In 1967, the Food and Drug Administration made this film to warn kids about the dangers of lysergic acid diethylamide, which was still three years away from being declared illegal by the government. A doctor tries to cozy up to hippies by telling us that "...rebellion is healthy! It leads to great things. But this is not eating a goldfish, or the hula hoop!" If anything, the surreal visuals (provided by Jackie Cassen and Rudi Stern, who handled the light shows at Timothy Leary's lectures) used to illustrate the interviewees' acid trip stories made more people want to try LSD! Narrated by Michael Tolan, the stage and television actor who also made appearances in films such as John and Mary (1969) and All That Jazz (1979).


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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 3,935
  • UPC: 089218800091
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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