Psych-Out (1968) movie poster "These are the pleasure lovers!"

Psych-Out movie with Jack Nicholson, 1968

Psych-Out movie poster
Psych-Out movie poster
Psych-Out is a 1968 movie starring Jack Nicholson, Susan Strasberg, and Dean Stockwell and featuring the music of California psychedelic bands like the Seeds and Strawberry Alarm Clock. The plot concerns a hippie band torn between art and commercialism, and their interactions with a young deaf runaway who has come to San Francisco to look for her missing brother, who has styled himself a new-age LSD prophet.

Psych-Out is infamous for its ‘psychsploitation’ approach, replete with all the drugs, sex, and rock and roll that was appropriate for such a venture — not to mention a generous dose of hippie slang. The film is also noted for being pretty good despite its exploitative basis — there is a knowing vibe to the dialog and especially the set design, a testament to the filmmakers’ quest for realism.

The soundtrack album featured some great music from the Storybook alongside a song by the Seeds and a couple Strawberry Alarm Clock songs. A new song by the band, “Pretty Song From Psych-Out”, was in the film but is played on the soundtrack by the Storybook rather than the Clock. SAC’s version can be found on their 1968 album Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow. (There is thus no actual new or otherwise unavailable Strawberry Alarm Clock music on the soundtrack.)