Another interesting title in the Something Weird series, but interesting mostly only as a late-night curio of sleazy 60's weirdness.
"Alice," a low-budget skin flick, is about an ordinary L.A. teen and her swift descent to the looney-bin once she's lured by her seductive female teacher into the world of drink, drugs, sun and sex.
That description makes it sound much more engaging than it actually is: Alice is... to put it delicately... not overly attractive and not excessively talented as an actress. The film quality is sketchy (lots of jump-cuts and segments without audio) and the action is glacially paced. We're talking slow going and most of the sex involves Alice writhing and making spastic "oh!" faces in response to simply being held by her lovers (no touching, basically).
A sequence in which Alice drops acid is presented in color and it's so slow and dull it makes you wonder if the filmmakers mistook Ny-Quil Liqui-Gels for LSD.
If you're looking for funny sound-bites or want a wacky, unseen film to project on the wall of a loft-party, this is all you. It's not good for much else.
"Smoke and Flesh" is actually a lot more interesting. Editor, director, cinematographer Joseph Mangine had clearly seen, and been influenced by the French New Wave and also movies like "Touch of Evil." The story (one hipster's swingin' party is interrupted by volatile bikers on acid) ain't much but visually there's style to spare. The opening motorcycle ride through New York is so cool and atmospheric it could've been filmed by some video wunderkind circa 1998 and there are other highlights as well -- a "Pulp Fiction"-esque joint rolling, a spooky attack in an attic and a nicely-shot sequence in which whip cream is applied to the body of a young party girl. Scriptwise, they got nothing but compared to "Alice" it's practically Godard.
A hidden feature about the aphrodesiac effects of weed is a hoot, though it grows boring.
The best part is a collection of about 10 previews for similar movies ("The Pusher," "The Acid Eaters" and "Confessions of an Opium Eater"). That alone makes it worth netflixing or buying used at a low, low price.