UP FROM THE DEPTHS: Dynamite Chicken

Waaaay before the advent of YouTube, what did denizens of the ‘70s counterculture do when they wanted to watch a random barrage of amazing, funny and bizarro twaddle? Why, they clopped on down to the late-night moviehouse to catch Dynamite Chicken: a non-stop omnibus of silly, stick-it-to-the-man mayhem, interspersed with cameos (both staged and culled from archival footage) by John & Yoko, Leonard Cohen, Lenny Bruce, Michael O’Donoghue, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Dolphy, Tuli Kupferberg of the Fugs, Sha-Na-Na (gulp!), Fred Willard, B.B. King, Allen Ginsberg, Malcolm X, Andy Warhol, the Velvet Underground and much more. Lensed in ‘69, this is a prime time capsule of Vietnam-era yuks on the heavy-duty subjects of war, patriotism, narcotics, the fuzz, feminism — oh, and did we mention that the bedrock of it all is Richard Pryor? Our main man does about 10 minutes’ worth of great material delivered straight into the camera, interspersed throughout the sketch comedy schtick and irreverent clowning.
Dir. Ernest Pintoff, 1971, 35mm, 76 min.

Watch the trailer for “Dynamite Chicken”!