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Riot On Sunset Strip (1967)

11 years after forming and having almost set the blueprints for exploitative filmic subgenres, production company AIP aimed their sights firmly on the burgeoning love generation. American International Pictures had, of course, brought to vivid life, the work of Edgar Allen Poe with such elaborate classics as The Masque Of The Red Death and The Pit And The Pendulum and went on to shlock it to the max with further horror fare, Sci-Fi, Beach and Dragstrip/Hotrod movies and then into late 60s teen culture with the infamous Hells Angel films.

Coming out in the same year as The Trip, Riot On Sunset Strip tackled the true and relatively recent troubles centred on the famous LA teen hangout. The plot buzzed loosely around the story of the clashes with the police and a fictional account of errant young thrill seekers on the rampage. Don’t bother with the plot as this film belongs to the 60s proto punk bands strutting their stuff at uber-club, Pandora’s Box. The Standells, The Enemies and the ever-fantastic Chocolate Watchband pout and posture whilst snarling their songs to the wigged out crowd.

The year after, Psych-Out (covered elsewhere on this site) plugged itself into the hippy scene proper and then AIP, not one to break the habit of a lifetime, threw itself with aplomb into the Blaxploitation phenomenon….gor bless ‘em!! Here’s my fave scene featuring a band that, incidentally, I’ve actually had the great fortune to dj with….ooh get me!

Mark Ellis

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