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Up! Down! In! Out!

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Posted 19th June 2010 at 02:08 PM by Sam@Cult Labs
Updated 21st June 2010 at 09:27 AM by Sam@Cult Labs


Year: 1967

AKA Hip! / Groovy Times at Far-Out High

Tagline: "Think your Hip?"

Hal Manciano, as I noted in a previous review, had little time for the Counterculture, seeing the rebellious kids holding peace placards as traitors to the good old Red, White and Blue. That didn't stop him from becoming one of the leading producers of Hippie Quickies. Those trippy low budget efforts helped with the down payment on Hal's fallout shelter, in which he stored his impressive collection of CIA issue counter-intellegence equipment, Russian made ordinance and enough tinned food to feed an army in perpertuity.

Luckily for film buffs everywhere, Hal didn't let his personal politics interfere with a tidy profit and this startling disconnect between his output and his personal feelings has blessed the world with Up! Down! In! Out!, the "World's first far-out Flower Power Experimental Nude Review, Acid Happening and Rock Opera".

As the Paris streets exploded with student rebellion and the anger at America's continued involvement in Vietnam reached a fever pitch, the changes in the air were palpable, as kids took up the cause of peace, love and revolt.

Meanwhile, Hal Manciano was recovering in the Ceder Sinai Hospital after taking a fierce beating from his bookie Grip Daniels (Grip has a few acting credits of his own including a cameo as a Camel Trader in Burt Cleppa's Desert Train to Nowheresville). Never one to rest on his laurels, Hal was holding meetings from his sick bed when a young hack supplied him with the script and song book for off-off-off-off-Broadway show 'Up! Down! In! Out!', a semi-nude musical orgy that sang the praises of good dope and free love.

Hal saw Dollar signs and quickly took the project on. Directing the entire film from his bed where he was attended to by his stern German nurse Florinda Grench (They later briefly married), the whole shoot wrapped in eight weeks and featured a raft of upcoming young talent from the emerging alternative underground, including the twice convicted Cragg Duston (I'll Take That Bet! / Forge of Satan / Rise of the Bison), Florida beauty queen and peace agitator Moon Gala (The Peace Killers / Dog Face & Billy Boy / Glint of the Lust Blade), and Rod Sternly (True Tales of the Sin Cartels / Mr. Hot Nights / Mr. Hot Nights Vs the Acid Eaters), who went on to write the classic late 60s LSD novel, 'Melt'.

Cragg Duston in character as Tugg Gecko in Brad Fulsome's Rise of the Bison

A general hodge-podge of Hippy cliches and pot happy ramblings, Up! Down! In! Out! managed to cause controversy with long shots of mass nudity, including one memorable scene in which a horde of two hundred naked extras march through Central Park, NY singing "Ain't Gonna Hitch a Ride to Vietnam". The strong pro-drugs, anti-war stance of the musical saw the filmed banned outright in most states outside of the coasts and the Republican baiting rhetoric of 'Don't Upset My Bag' didn't buy the right wing director any new friends either.

Ultimately, the film is an entertaining failure with some loathsome acting, a script weighed down in cliches and too many flabby bodies on display, due to Hal rounding up anyone he could find to drop their clothes and don a long hair wig.

Moon Gala photographed on the set of 1972 Backwoods Sex Comedy "Milk Maids Make Do"

Interviewed shortly before his death in 1998 (he was killed when 'blue ice' from a passing passenger aircraft crashed through his roof) Cragg Duston said of the production: "The director created an atmosphere of sheer dread and fear on set, using KGB approved mind control techniques, sleep depravation and Chinese water torture to keep the cast in a constant state of flux. Add to that the massive amount of LSD and Peyote everyone but Hal was on that year and it's no surprise that five people* died during the shoot. I'm amazed that so many of us survived"

Hal himself had few pleasant memories of the movie, describing the people of New York where most of the shooting took place as "A bunch of Commie Faggots!"

Cragg Duston - Selected Filmography

1967 I'll Take That Bet!

1968 Up! Down! In! Out!

1968 The Secrets of Greek Love

1968 Cleopatra: Time Queen of Egypt

1969 Last of the Electric Cowboys

1969 Dress me in Denim

1970 Terror of the Mind-Goat

1970 Forge of Satan

1971 Blood Christmas

1971 Rise of the Bison

1972 What's Up With That?

1972 Rock n Roll Hot Pants In Trouble

1973 The Suede Connection

1974 Take This Plane to Cuba

1975 Love Gladiators From Dimension Sex

1976 Haile Selassie Meets the Wolfman

1977 Dracula's Halloween Laugh-in

1978 Girl Blades on Fire

1979 Disco Nights, Martian Days

1980 Who Shot Mickey Mouse?

1981 My Dad is a Robot

1981 Slave Maidens of the Third Reich

1981 Slave Maidens of the Desert Prince

1982 Slave Maidens at the Centre of the Earth

1983 Glow of the Multi-Worm

1984 Greed Town

1984 Big City Bang Out

1985 Chuck Steelcord: Justice Patrol

1985 Steelcord 2: The Christ Magnet

1986 Pork Academy

1986 Pork Academy 2: Making Bacon

1987 Pork Academy 3: Citizen Pork

1987 Leper Kid and Plague Boy

1988 Do You Need Some Cream For That?

Cragg quit acting after the career low of 'Do You Need Some Cream For That?' and played out the rest of his career with recurring roles as Sgt. Anders McMandleson in 90s cop show Homicide Dept: Special Unit 9 and as Dr. Tony Fatone in the peak time Sitcom "Burn Unit"

Song Book

1) Overture

2) Up! Down! In! Out!

3) I Got Lice

4) Aquarian Astral Dream Lamp

5) Hip Spades Get Loose

6) I Got Lice (Reprise)

7) Don't Upset My Bag

8) Let's Love on Down to the Love-in Lover

9) In! Up! Down! Out!

10) Mr. Reefer

11) Down! In! Up! Out!

12) Hare Kirishna Blow Out

13) Ain't Gonna Hitch a ride to Vietnam

14) Love Gravy

15) Up! Down! In! Out! (Reprise)

* In Memorium

Ted Flank - Key Grip (Peyote Induced Suicide)

Trina Mae Fleece - Continuity (Gun Shot to Abdomen)

'Freak Flag' Collins - Extra (Drowned in Creek.. Suspicious Circumstances?)

Queenie Jackpot - Supporting Actress (Bottled to Death at After-Party)

Lottie Drew - Extra (Trampled by Cattle)
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