Full title: Gas-s-s-s, or It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It.
Film (1970; vt Gas! or It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It). San Jacinto/AIP. Produced and directed by Roger Corman. Written by George Armitage. Cast includes Talia Coppola, Robert Corff, Bud Cort and Elaine Giftos. 79 minutes cut to 77 minutes. Colour.
In Corman's belated attempt to cash in on the hippy/counterculture movements of the 1960s, a Poison gas makes everyone over 25 die of old age and the young inherit the USA. There is topsy-turvy chaos in this black comedy, with conservative Middle Americans going on a rampage of destruction while Hell's Angels attempt to protect the old way of life (golf links, etc.), but a cheerfully workable society begins to emerge. Edgar Allan Poe occasionally appears on a motorcycle, with the Raven perched on his shoulder and Lenore on pillion. The film was made with Corman's legendary speed and cheapness, and with a general sense of expansive euphoria. AIP disliked it, re-editing it drastically without Corman's knowledge, so he went on to set up his own production/distribution company, New World. The novelization is Gas!; Or, it Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It (1970) by Burt Hirschfeld. [JB]
see also: Cinema.
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