I was born in 1961, so was a fresh, damp and impressionable target for some of the upsetting TV material of the 1960s and early 1970s. One of my more vivid memories is of a television special clearly intended to scare the audience away from ever experimenting with illegal drugs — and from LSD in particular.
In my jumbled recall, this program is linked with radio/television personality Art Linkletter, whose daughter Diane committed suicide by jumping out a window in 1969. The story bruited about (and encouraged by the Linkletter family) was that Diane had been tripping at the time, and jumped believing she could fly. According to Snopes.com, this was not the case, but Art Linkletter became a prominent anti-drug figure.
Anyway, I have a couple of distinct (well, distinct-ish) memories of this show — which had the intended effect on me at the time because it frightened the shit out of me. I have thought about these again and again in the intervening years, though the memories got blurrier and no doubt less reliable.
Memory 1: there was at least one simulated ‘bad trip’ sequence. The specific bit I recall was a vision of what looked like skinny Giacometti-like sculptures, but made out of glass — and they were vomiting copious streams of glassy puke (not animated, though the sculptures might have been on rotating bases or something like that).
Memory 2: the worst memory I have of this delightful program was of it showing photos of the horribly deformed faces of the children you would have if you ever dropped acid. The layout of the shot I recall was multiple-row, like a page of a school yearbook from hell: I recall one-eyed faces, faces with trunk-like appendages proceeding from foreheads, real monsters. The photos had a somewhat blurred, distressed and artifacted look, which made them even worse.
I’ve searched for the film on Youtube, and while there are a number of examples of this *kind* of thing there, most of them are films that would have been shown in the classroom and I definitely remember this one being on TV.
Note: a number of people have asked me if I was remembering the movie Go Ask Alice, from 1973. I have watched it, and although there are frightening things in it (e.g. Shatner with a moustache, waka-jawaka music, the oily colors of the 70s) they are of a different nature.
Sorry I donâ€™t know the answer to this one but I have to admit that I remember how scary I thought GO ASK ALICE was when I read it as a teenager. Thereâ€™s a part where the writer is babysitting and is dosed by a friend who puts it on her M&Ms and then her dead grandfather appears with worms crawling in his face!
Meanwhile, the book turned out to actually be fiction rather than a found diary. I have another book from the same Author Beatrice Sparks that is another â€œfoundâ€ diary called JAYâ€™S JOURNAL all about a teen boy who dabbles in Satanism and witchcraft.
More on topic: I always remember being told the tale as a teen about kids who were given LSD laced candy on Halloween and legend was that they were still tripping their brains out in an insane asylum somewhere. That always scared the crap out of me.
But Glenn, those deformed baby photos would have freaked me out the most. Glad I didnâ€™t catch that special! I hope somebody else did though! Thanks for the NTT!
Hey folks, I just got an update from Glen and he found what he was looking for…
“I JUST FOUND the film I was remembering.
It’s called “LSD – Trip or Trap”. Apparently it’s available from Something Weird Video.”
Whoa. Reefer Madness’ even more nutso cousin.
It is very interesting to read a description of a trauma, kind of picture it in your head, and then see the real deal. I would have never guessed that the glass figures would look like that.