September 28th, 2013: Death Drug (1978)

Death Drug


Cast and Crew: Oscar Williams (Director); Rosalind Cash, The Gap Band

What It’s About: An aspiring singer (Philip Michael Thomas) dreams of making it big…but his tennis playing PCP dealer friend (Frankie Crocker) gets him hooked on the whack by promising to “Get you so high, you’ll need a parachute to get down” with Dust that will “Put the cut in your strut, the dip in your hip and the glide in your stride.” Can he drop the Sherm before it’s too late?

Why Watch it Today?: Miami Vice , which made a star out of Philip Michael Thomas, premiered on this date in 1984. MIami Vice changed television with its high style, fast pace and extensive use of pop music and hip cameos.  It also made its stars Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas stars and resulted in releases of long-buried films-like today’s “gem”, a hilariously inept artifact from the dying days of Blaxploitation and the height of anti-PCP hysteria. Johnson and Thomas also, in the spirit of the MTV meets network crime show nature of Miami Vice, embarked on music careers, and today’s film features the video for Thomas’s Just the Way I Planned It, one of several songs he recorded that failed to go anywhere. Thomas introduces the film, in a segment that attempts to reposition this stinker as a feature-length public service announcement, undoubtedly a concession to keep Thomas from fighting the film’s release in court.

No trailer, but clips:

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