The Film (3/5)
The slightly confused and directionless daughter (Holly Near) of a super rich couple (Jennifer Jones, Charles Aidman) falls in with a manipulative rock star (Jordan Christopher) and his band of weirdos (Lou Rawls, Roddy McDowell, Davey Davison). I realize that is a concise plot summary but it's a tough one to synopsize. Basically, rock star Bogart Peter Stuyvesant finagles his way into the rich Steele family, starting with their daughter and working his way up to the parents, for personal gain, self satisfaction and mayhem in general. His minions are a band he's christened The Rabbit Habit which strangely includes Roddy McDowell and Lou Rawls.
There's some very interesting, hallucinatory imagery in between songs and heavy handed hippie idealism. The flaw with the film in my opinion is that there is no one to root for. The characters are all unsympathetic and your only hope for a character's redemption is dashed by the end. All that being said the film is definitely worth a watch for it's stylish imagery, it's period rock music and general vibe of "who did they make this film for?" To try to detail the story any further would spoil some of the ludicrous but fun plot points.
Kino presents Cult Of The Damned in 1080p in it's original aspect ratio of 1:85:1 and I have to say it looks fantastic. Colors are strong and vibrant and frankly the image pops. It's a beautiful transfer. I saw no scratches or major debris and the grain structure was excellent. Audio is presented in Mono DTS and sounded good. No problems hearing the dialogue. No subtitles.
There is a still gallery, a trailer, and an audio commentary with film historians Nathaniel Thompson and Tim Greer who discuss the film and American International Pictures in general.
Cult Of The Damned is an entertaining oddity. Somewhat reminiscent of other times that Hollywood dabbled in the counter culture (Skidoo, released the previous year comes to mind although I find Cult Of The Damned to be more successful than that film.) If you are looking for something different and can handle some language and attitudes that are definitely politically incorrect these days, give it a whirl.