Captain Milkshake (1970)

Captain Milkshake (1970)

A Marine on leave from Vietnam becomes involved with the counter culture, communes and drug-running.

One of the more bizarre curio's from the 60's indie underground film movement is about to re-emerge on the scene. After nearly 3 decades of legal wrangling, Director Crawford unveiled his pic at the American Cinemateque in Hollywood as part of the Cinemateque's MODS AND ROCKERS film series. The film is more interesting as sociology than as a successful film, however. Real "hippies", real drugs, real sex and real psychedelic rock 'n roll mark the pic as an archeological find of the era in which it was made.

The title is rather meaningless (it just "sounded" counter-culture to the director), but the passion about the conflicted society, the free sex, drugs and anti-war movement are not. Amazingly, the film has a number of hallmarks of EASY RIDER, but because of the botched distribution, nobody has ever heard of CAPTAIN MILKSHAKE. The performances are real - because that was WHO the "actors" really were for the most part. This is one of those films that tells you more about an era than most documentaries, newspaper articles and, certainly, all the Hollywood product of the time. Not because it necessarily is very "good", but because it's so small scale that it can't help but be genuine and real (the filmmakers didn't "know" anything else, so they just shot what they saw and heard around them; This is opposed to "Establishment" types who tried to ape and filter their opinions and observations and manufacture a reality). (IMDB  Joe Stemme)

Captain Milkshake was the first dramatic film to deal with the controversial issues around the Vietnam War: Paul, a young marine on leave, comes home to discover the anti-war movement complete with free love, cheap grass and a flower-child peace activist named Melissa. Still haunted by flashbacks from his trip to Vietnam, Paul finds himself caught in the midst of changing times. Both his conservative relatives and the new brand of privileged counterculture chums now seem equally naïve to the realities of war, and Pauls world turns upside down. Originally released in 1970, Captain Milkshake was quickly pulled from distribution. Unfortunately, Captain Milkshake is a casuality of a war between Crawford and his distibutor. Decades later, Crawford has only recently regained the rights to his own film. Now that the US is once again at war overseas, Captain Milkshake takes on new meanings for yet another generation seeking answers in a perplexing time. (Viennale)

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