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Latest Member: Deathmachine Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  Gas-s-s-s (1970) « previous next »
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Author Topic: Gas-s-s-s (1970)  (Read 1789 times)
Yaddo 42
« on: November 19, 2004, 08:19:30 PM »

The second half of the MGM Midnight Movies Double Feature with "Wild In The Streets" (which is an all time favorite of mine covered in other threads). I had heard of it for years, but never seen it until now.

Whew! What a waste. Everyone over 25 is killed off by the mistaken release of a gas that speeds up the neuron depletion that naturally occurs in the brain. This is mostly explained with cheap animation and bad celebrity impressions during the opening (a blowhard general sounds like John Wayne for example).

Most of the dialogue is bad and obvious puns and now dated jokes that might seem clever only if you're wasted. I'm convinced the film was intended to be watched with the aid of chemicals. The writer George Armitage also plays a small part as "Billy the Kid".

Since the square kids and rookie cops take over the cities (at least the one our heroes are in), the main characters take to the road to find a better place and find The Oracle with The Answer (a tacked on subplot mostly using road signs and an obvious payoff). They encounter various supposed-to-be satirical groups skewering the stereotypes of the era: fascist football players/pillagers, a hippie rock concert/religious rally (featuring Country Joe and the Fish), a group of cowboys who gunfight by shouting the names of various movie cowboys at each other instead of saying "Bang!" or "Pow!", bikers who have taken over a golf course country club, a few Indians eager to take back America and give the whites back all the bad things dumped on them (this part was one of the few funny moments), and finally a commune living in Indian pueblos and led by a Woody Allen type.

There are a few recongizeable actors in the film: Ben Vereen (who gets a few good lines), Cindy Williams (who did good playing a pop music obsessed ditz, and Vereen's girlfriend), Bud Cort (hard to believe he would appear in "MASH" and "Harold and Maude" around the same time), Talia Shire. And I'd swear an uncredited Lindsey Wagner turns up as Lenora riding around with Edgar Allan Poe on a chopper as they give pointless commentary on the nonsensical events of the film.

79 minutes, so it's short enough that bad as it is it doesn't drag. Directed by Roger Corman, so things look decent even if nothing interesting is happening. Kind of reminds you of his 50s juvenile delinquent films with lots of racing around in dune buggies, minor vandalism, and dialogue that goes nowhere (here on purpose). No extras but the trailer. I would have liked a commentary or a brief interview to find out why Corman was so angry over the cutting of an infamous last shot that he was so proud of. The film itself ends abruptly, followed by more bad animation and a lame joke of God (who speaks at variou times in the film as a stereotypical Borsch Belt-style cranky Old Jewish man) and Jesus talking as the credits roll. Considering what a muddled trainwreck the film was I wonder why he considered the last shot so important.

Might be good for a "Poke fun of the 60s" Night, or like I said if you want to get wasted and watch it with your buddies but elsewise I'd say stick with the much better "Wild In The Streets".
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2004, 11:06:00 PM »

Gas-s-s has been on my longer list for a few years. Haven't had the chance to see it yet.

Wild In the Streets sounds interesting.


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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2004, 11:12:14 PM »

From the people who brought you "Sssssssssss"


Now it's time to sing the nation anthem IN AMERICA!!!

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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2004, 03:28:08 AM »

Oooooops, pardon me.
Just a bit of           Gas-s-s--s-s-s-s--s-s-s-s-s-s


Some people like cupcakes better--I for one care less for them
I luv dolma
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2004, 06:19:51 PM »

I really need to see this. I heard this was before Roger Corman had any power and this film was edited and butchered up, that is why it was so awful. The plot is really interesting, and kind of reminds me of a zombie movie without zombies. Basically, your classic post-apocolyptic world, only every one that remains is young. Interesting.
Yaddo 42
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2004, 09:06:28 PM »

Sorry been away from the computer for a few days. Scott, I know I sound like a cheerleader for "Wild in the Streets" since I mention it so much, but of the two it makes the double feature DVD worth it. A clever if dated satire of 60s culture, while "Gas-s-s-s" is too jokey and episodic for its own good.  

From what I've read over the years, dolma, Corman had decided to leave AIP and start his own company (which he soon did), viewed what was done to this film as the last straw, and used it as a reason to exit. That edited out last shot I mentioned seems to be what did it for him, but the rest of the film is so weak I don't know why he thinks it would have made the difference, unless it was just that lack of control over the film. His direction is typical Corman, solid and competent, but unremarkable. It's the script that sinks the film.

Maybe I had just built up expectations over the years, but I was really underwhelmed. I even watched it really late at night on a night off when I was desperate to kill time when I couldn't sleep. Still didn't do much for me, other than the scene with the Indians and a few good lines here and there.
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2004, 03:25:19 PM »

If anyone's interested and has Black Starz!, Gas-s-s-s is going to be on at least twice;

Gas-s-s-s - Texas survivors head for a New Mexico commune after nerve gas kills everyone over 25.
BLACK STARZ! (Formerly BET Movies), Tuesday, December 7 5:30 AM  
BLACK STARZ! (Formerly BET Movies), Wednesday, December 15 10:00 AM
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2004, 06:46:30 PM »

Hummm....this review make me want to try this puppy out!
It HAS to be better then "The nasty rabbit.", for one....


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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2011, 12:46:42 PM »

I watched this for the first time yesterday afternoon! Was that movie awful! Roger Corman really put out a stinker with that one and filmed it in my home state. Of course,that bunch that didn't give up on their football even after such a disaster seemed typical.

Yes,I'm long as I don't look too closely.
A NorthCoaster In Texas
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Hey....white women were in season.

« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2011, 12:58:37 PM »

     I waited nearly fifty years to see this; give me WILD IN THE STREETS any day.

If it's true what they say, that GOD created us in His image, then why should we not love creating, and why should we not continue to do so, as carefully and ethically as we can, on whatever scale we're capable of?

     The choice is simple; refuse to create, and refuse to grow, or build, with care and love.
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2012, 12:23:21 AM »

I have the Gas-s-s-s/Wild in the Streets DVD, and it's pulled out and watched often. Wild in the Streets is the stranger movie because it thinks it's making a statement about youth and government. Plus, it has a strangely right-wing agenda for a movie called "Wild in the Streets" about a super-cool rock star. Gas-s-s-s is great. A few shots in the movie are really memorable, and the LSD scene is sort of beautiful. Worth watching.

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