Film Under the Influence - Vintage Drug and Alcohol Scare Films - Thur. Jan. 7th - 8PM


Oddball Films presents Film Under the Influence - Vintage Drug Scare Films, a program of mind-expanding, terror-intending and hilarity-inducing short 16mm educational films about the dangers of drugs. These classroom classics from the 1950s through the 1980s were meant to scare the pants off the junior-high set but probably encouraged as many to experiment with drugs and alcohol as it discouraged. Strap in for Subject: Narcotics (1951), a very early drug education film produced for police orientation and training presenting dramatized sequences of addicts in shooting galleries with excellent footage of pre-renewal downtown Los Angeles (a neighborhood now lost). McGruff the Crime Dog is back (as a man in a clumsy dog suit and trademark trenchcoat) and he's got a lesson for the kiddies on how to narc on your druggy friends in McGruff's Drug Alert (1987). Tragic figure Sal Mineo knows the pressures on teens to fit in, but warns that taking acid is nothing more than a "kick in the head" in the appropriately psychedelic trip LSD: Insight or Insanity (1967). Tony's a junior high student and already a raging alcoholic in the very special classroom film The Glug (1981). Kindergarteners hand-draw the story of John and his search for an escape from his pain through drugs and alcohol in A Story About Feelings (1981). Scaremeister Sid Davis takes us into the world of pills and three boys' needs to feel good in The Pill Poppers (1970). Get drunk and animated with A Snort History (1971), a cartoon depiction of drunk drivers throughout history.  Early birds can learn all about Gina's Story: From Cocaine to Crack (1984), plus the trailer for the 1935 exploitation film Marijuana: Assassin of Youth and more surprises.


Date: Thursday, January 7th, 2016 at 8:00pm

Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117



Subject: Narcotics (B+W, 1951)

"If a junkie is lucky, he dies early."
Produced for police orientation and training, police officers, and "restricted from the general public and from all youth groups” this early drug education film presents drug addiction not simply as a crime but as a deep-seated social problem. With dramatized sequences of addicts in shooting galleries and excellent footage of pre-renewal downtown Los Angeles, a neighborhood now lost. Produced and directed by renowned filmmakers Denis and Terry Sanders, who wrote this film with Jay Sandrich.

McGruff's Drug Alert (Color, 1987)
Everybody's favorite dog detective, McGruff the Crime Dog teaches children that pills and medicines can be poisonous if they are taken by the wrong people or in the wrong amounts.  He teaches also about “illegal” drugs and how to narc on your friends!

LSD: Insight or Insanity? (Color, 1967)
Sal Mineo narrates this trip-adelic anti-acid scare film.  We begin with a bunch of groovy teenagers, doing whatever hairstyle or game of chicken they need to do to be cool.  When that includes the kick of LSD, you better get ready for "the end of your life kick; a kick in the head."  Swingin' chicks, hot hot-rodders and tons of psychedelia make this one hell of a trip!


The Glug (Color, 1981)
Begins with a dramatic beer-heist and drinking games but ends with young Tony's dependency on on alcohol. This quintessential classroom film hits all the right campy notes.

A Story About Feelings (Color, 1981)
This should really be called "A Story about Chemical Dependence as Drawn by 5-year-olds".  A handful of tots illustrate the tale of John, a guy that's after feeling good.  When living straight isn't enough for John, he turns first to alcohol and then to drugs to feel good.

The Pill Poppers (Color, 1970) 
It's the educational Valley of the Dolls! The blue pills will make you fly and the red pills will chill you out!  Classic early 70s Sid Davis social guidance film about 3 boys and their barbiturate and amphetamine habits. A laugh riot!

A Snort History (Color, 1971)
A short partially animated anti-drunk driving film that details the foibles of men throughout history failing to do things while drunk, from crossing bridges with sabre-toothed tigers to toppling Roman architecture.  A silly cartoon with an important message. Directed by Stan Phillips with animation by Pat Oliphant.


For the Early Birds:

Gina's Story: From Cocaine to Crack (Color, 1984)

Are you uncomfortable at parties?  Feel like you don't fit in? Try cocaine; it will help you dance all night and feel like part of the gang...until you are strung out on crack, dealing to get by and eventually overdosing and dying, just like Gina.

Curator’s Biography
Kat Shuchter is a graduate of UC Berkeley in Film Studies. She is a filmmaker, artist and esoteric film hoarder. She has helped program shows at the PFA, The Nuart and Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater and was crowned “Found Footage Queen” of Los Angeles, 2009. She has programmed over 200 shows at Oddball on everything from puberty primers to experimental animation.

About Oddball Films
Oddball films is a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Silicon Valley, Kurt Cobain: The Montage of Heck, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.

Our screenings are almost exclusively drawn from our collection of over 50,000 16mm prints of animation, commercials, educational films, feature films, movie trailers, medical, industrial military, news out-takes and every genre in between. We’re actively working to present rarely screened genres of cinema as well as avant-garde and ethno-cultural documentaries, which expand the boundaries of cinema. Oddball Films is the largest film archive in Northern California and one of the most unusual private collections in the US. We invite you to join us in our weekly offerings of offbeat cinema.