Something Weird continues to do their bit for the community by unleashing another assortment of educational shorts designed to ram the fear of alcohol abuse right down your thirsty little throats.
This volume kicks off in fine fashion with Alcohol + Auto = Arraignment, a typically twisted piece of hysterical lunacy from the late SID DAVIS (one-time stand-in for John Wayne and surely the Ed Wood of the Classroom Scare genre). As is the norm in the Davis universe, midday in the sun is casually passed off as 2 a.m., as an assortment of drunk-driving losers are forced to attend a class and face up to the issue that led to their drinking problem, most notably a loner student who invites the cool kids over for a party, gets sauced to the gills, then takes a cute girl for a drunken ride on a jock’s motorcycle!
In So You Think You Can Drink and Drive, a James Caan look-alike in a blinding yellow turtleneck oversees a test in LA County where a selection of volunteers – including one gal who admits she only volunteered for the “free booze” – are liquored up with half dozen drinks and monitored as they make their way around a specially devised obstacle course. Naturally, the end result shows that even these die-hard drinkers are shown that they can’t drive drunk.
The brilliant To Your Health (1956) highlights some gorgeous Technicolor animation as it demonstrates the effects and ravages which alcohol can have on both the mind and body, as well as one’s social standing. Produced by the respected Halas and Batchelor studios for the World Health Organization, it resonates with a disturbing, nightmarish surrealism.
Presented by the International Temperance Association of Washington, DC, Verdict at 1:32 gives us yet another look at the potential effects of driving while intoxicated. Within the cheerful confines of a morgue, a surgeon slices up two human brains belonging to victims of a horrific car crash in order to demonstrate how alcohol reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to nerve cells, thus slowing down reaction time. Watch for the swingin’ Sixties gal who emerges from the cocktail bar only to become one of the dissected brains at the morgue!
None for the Road shows what happens to an average suburban dad who has one too many at a groovy pool party, knocks over a young girl while speeding home, and sees his job, house, career, and future go up in smoke as a result. Interesting the way it plays on the fear that You yourself stand much to lose in the way of prestige and material wealth, never mind the poor victim who is in a wheelchair for life.
Narrated by Hollywood icon ROBERT MITCHUM, America on the Rocks takes place primarily on a spooky old merry-go-round, and presents a more psychological edge to the problems of drinking, before this volume rounds off with a vintage variety show sketch which revolves around a bartender and his staggering drunk customer. It’s a nice little reminder that the tipsy, incoherent drinker was once little more than a source of cheap humor and amusement.
-- John Harrison, The Graveyard Tramp
Year: 1950s - 1960s
Starring: Robert Mitchum