Sign of Aquarius (1970)

R   |    |  Drama, Musical


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16 March 2006 | sol1218
| Hippie Heaven?
**SOME SPOILERS** Taking place in the cold and hard winter of 1970 in the slums of Cleveland Ohio instead of the tranquil and pleasant 1967 Summer of Love in the Haight Asbuary district of San Francisco. "Ghetto Freaks" is a film that tries to show it's viewers the life and philosophy of a hippie commune and how it, lead by their Guru Sonny, goes through life on the mean streets of a large northern industrial city.

Sonny who's having trouble keeping the women members of his hippie group from not trying to form any meaningful relationship with him is also being pressured by his former drug supplier Billy Moose to get back pushing his junk on the streets and to his fellow hippies.

We see at the beginning of the movie Sonny and his friends doing their thing and then being run in by the Cleveland Police for unlawful assembly in a local park. Getting out within hours after their arrest the hippie's go back to their loft and start to get high on pot and do sex as well as plan their next move in their war against the establishment; which is demonstrating against the war in Vietnam and the exploitation of the masses by those in power.

There's nothing really new in the movie we get a number of songs and orgies along with the hippies dancing to them. There's this scene of a young hippie girl afraid of being pregnant, it turned out she wasn't, and while high on drugs feeling that she's about to give birth to a new planet, or world, instead of a baby. Later in the movie at a hippie nightclub with Sonny & friends the police raid the place to find Diana, a teenage runaway, who's parents want to prevent from going into the hippie lifestyle and ending up a drug addict or even worse. Sonny spotting the young and pretty Diana, between tripping out and having sex with his hippie girlfriend Clara, takes a shine to her and slips Diana his name and address for future reference.

The next day Diana shows up at Sonny's pad asking him to take her in as a fellow hippie which Sonny does without as much as a second thought. Giving Diana the lowdown on what's expected of her by him and his fellow hippies by her getting high on drugs and having unrestricted sex as well as panhandling to get money to pay the rent. Diana immediately gets involved in a drug induced sex session with him that ends up with the entire group joining in.

Out on the bitter cold streets of downtown Cleveland Sonny and his gang, including Diana, are later seen hassling and pestering pedestrians for money handing out what looks like super-marker flayers to people for whatever anyone, insane enough to buy them, would pay for them. This entire scene looks like it was filmed on the spot with the unsuspecting people on the street not knowing that they'll end up in the movie. The hassled and pestered pedestrians for the most part let Sonny and his friends have it about getting a job a bath and getting out of their faces.

Sonny who seemed to have become a hippie to get away from his previous life as a drug pusher has been given the word, by his fellow hippie Mousey, that his former boss Billy Moose want's to talk to him about getting back as one of his drug dealers. Billy Moose feeling that his hippie friends would be a study source of income in buying his junk. Sonny, now a reformed man, for his part want's nothing to do with Billy Moose or his drugs.

Being a man that doesn't take no for an answer Billy Moose has his thugs work over Sonny leaving him unconscious with a possible fractured skull for turning down his offer. The next day we see Sonny, and his fellow hippies, without a mark on him out in the park again demonstrating against the "Evil Establishment" and almost getting beat up or run in by the very angry upright and working-class people. The very people who Sonny & Co. are supposed to be demonstrating for.

Things get a bit confusing when we then see Billy Moose with his head bashed in and face black and blue getting his boys together to knock off Sonny claiming that he was the one who beat him up. I got the impression that Billy Moose got his injuries from getting high and then falling on his head and breaking it! Since we never saw Sonny lay as much as a hand on Billy Moose in the entire movie! Unless this assault on Moose was supposed to have happened off screen or ended up being edited out of the film!

Determined to do in Sonny Billy Moose spots him and his fellow hippies, including Diana, walking down the street one evening and opens fire on them hitting and killing Diana. The movie ends with Sonny and his hippie commune friends glumly standing in shock over Diana's body as the police and para medics arrive to take her away to the local morgue.

The movie "Ghetto Freaks" tries to show the hippie lifestyle of the late 1960's and early 1970's USA and does a pretty decent job of it. Were not shown that being a hippie was so great like most films with bigger budgets and well known actors and actresses did back then. But were shown instead that it was a dog eat dog existence where every day living in it could be your last like it turned out to be for poor and naive Diana.

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Country of Origin


Filming Locations

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Box Office

Gross USA:


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