Roseland (1970)

Article 3087 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-29-2009
Posting Date: 1-26-2010
Directed by Fredric Hobbs
Featuring E. Kerrigan Prescott, Christopher Brooks, Victor Alter
Country: USA
What it is: Psychedelic pornographic musical fantasy art film

A singer’s life goes downhill when he is fired after singing a risque song on “The Ed Sullivan Show”, and he becomes a criminal known as “The Black Bandit” who steals pornography. He is caught and forced to go to a psychiatrist who feeds him LSD to help him dredge up his sexual fantasies; however, the psychiatrist throws him out when he can’t afford to pay. Can he find a job to pay his psychiatrist by working at a burlesque house, or will he need the help of Hieronymous Bosch?

The only other movie I’ve seen from director Fredric Hobbs is the freaky horror movie, ALABAMA’S GHOST. I didn’t think about it the time, but had I done so, I wouldn’t have been surprised to find out that he also had given the world a psychedelic pornographic fantasy musical art film. Well, I guess it’s my week to watch movies of other people’s sexual fantasies, but at least this one is redeemed somewhat by its sense of humor. John Stanley describes the movie as a “self-indulgent mish-mash” in one of his books, and I can see his point. The DVD blurb claims that Rolling Stone compared the movie favorably to the works of Fellini… and, believe it or not, I can see that as well; through all the self-indulgence, there is a legitimate surreal vision to this movie. And it has one of the oddest narrators this side of movies like PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE and BLOOD FREAK. The more I see from this guy, the more I look forward to watching GODMONSTER OF INDIAN FLATS, or of finding TROIKA, which has been on my hunt list for ages.


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