A mobster turns informant; he's played, implausibly, by diminutive, cartoon-faced Mickey Rooney. Before we reach the (sung) final credits, Jackie Gleason goes on an LSD trip, Frankie Avalon invites a mother and daughter into his high-tech love pad, Frank Gorshin, Burgess Meredith, and Cesar Romero appear-- not as Batman's rogues gallery-- alongside future Bond villain Richard "Jaws" Kiel, Slim Pickens operates a switchboard, and Groucho Marx makes his final big-screen appearance-- as "God."

The film starts with retired hitman "Tough Tony" (Gleason) and his wife Flo (Carol Channing) flipping channels in a manner that foreshadows the chaos that will follow. Their daughter (Alexandra Hay) arrives with her hippie boyfriend (John Phillip Law). His long-haired, body-painted friends will soon follow. Then Tony receives word he has one last job to do.

Hilarity tries to ensue. Psychedelia follows.

This 1968 attempt to exploit the late 1960s counterculture was destined for disaster, but it should have been a more entertaining disaster. Ralph Kramden Gleason on acid? It gets a few laughs, but too few, given the subversive comic potential. An improbable cast do unexpected things and prove... sporadically amusing. The musical ode to the garbage can, for example. Other gags are dated and dubious, while the music isn't late-sixties enough. Save for the occasional sitar, it plays like 1950s Broadway.

Incredibly, Otto Preminger directed. He had by then made his mark on Hollywood. Doran William Cannon penned the script. His next, Brewster McCloud, would be Robert Altman's oddest project. Otherwise, Cannon's legacy includes a few now-forgotten films, the disastrous 1980 adaptation of Brave New World, an episode of Knot's Landing, and whatever this thing was supposed to be.

The final act features some fun manic inventiveness, but it's not enough. Despite the talent pool, Skidoo remains an obscure and only moderately interesting curiosity.

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