'The Sunshine Makers'
(Nick Sand, Tim Scullly, et al / DVD / NR / (2015) 2018 / MVD Visual)
Overview: A real-life "Breaking Bad" for the psychedelic set, 'The Sunshine Makers' reveals the entertaining, untold story of Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully, the unlikely duo at the heart of 1960s American drug counterculture.
United in a utopian mission to save the planet through the consciousness-raising power of LSD, these underground chemists manufactured a massive amount of acid, including the gold standard for quality LSD, Orange Sunshine, all while staying one step ahead of the feds.
DVD Verdict: Well, before the actual review, I think it's probably best that you know more about both Nick Sand and Tim Scully, as it will make you appreciate this whole story so, so much more, trust me!
Nicholas Sand (born Nicholas Francis Hiskey) was a cult figure known in the psychedelic community for his work as a clandestine chemist from 1966-1996 for the Brotherhood of Eternal Love.
Sand was part of the League for Spiritual Discovery at the Millbrook estate in New York, has been credited as the "first underground chemist on record to have synthesized DMT" and is known for manufacturing large amounts of LSD.
Robert "Tim" Scully is best known in the psychedelic underground for his work in the production of LSD from 1966 to 1969, for which he was indicted in 1973 and convicted in 1974. His best known product, dubbed "Orange Sunshine", was considered the standard for quality LSD in 1969.
Scully was a shy science prodigy from Berkeley, California who immersed himself in the freewheeling Haight-Ashbury scene and used his technical prowess to create the purest form of the psychedelic drug yet invented.
The two men were eventually introduced and started an underground laboratory with the financial backing of a rich young heir named Billy Hitchcock, who was also a patron of Timothy Leary. Scully wanted to give their product away — a utopian plan that Sand promptly dismissed.
One of the best line to come out of this documentary is: "We were LSD evangelists," one of the pair's cohorts says. "I think we did a better job than Jesus."
However, and in time, they inevitably attracted the attention of the authorities. The two men were arrested, with Hitchcock cutting a deal and testifying against them. They had the bad luck to have their case tried before a judge whose nickname was "Hangin' Sam," who declared in court that he wished he had access to the death penalty.
Sentenced to 20 and 15 years in prison respectively, Scully and Sand amazingly found themselves cellmates at Washington's McNeil Island Penitentiary. Sand's girlfriend smuggled drugs to him, and at one point he dosed the food supply, rendering the entire prison population high! Trust me, this film is well worth your time, whether or not you're into drugs in any way, shape or form!
This DVD feature surround sound, English subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired along with the official 'The Sunshine Makers' trailer. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.