Psych-Out is an above average programmer about San Francisco hippies. Thin story line – girl seeking lost brother – is sufficient as the medium for a series of incidents, including drug-induced hallucinations, all directed in excellent fashion by Richard Rush. Production is strong on realistic location values, as well as special effects.
Script follows Susan Strasberg on her search for far-out brother Bruce Dern. Dean Stockwell is a disenchanted hippie, while Jack Nicholson is a swinger tending towards a romantic interest in Strasberg.
Most principals register strong impact, Strasberg via reaction, Nicholson via action, and Stockwell through a combination of both. Dern’s flamboyant performance is partly justified by script.
Rush’s direction is quite exceptional. Considering what coin he had to play with, it is worthy of 20 times the apparent budget.
There are a lot of songs in the film, many quite good, by The Strawberry Alarm Clock and The Seeds.