Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Dead Is Dead?

"Dead Is Dead."

Anyone else remember this one? And no, before you say it, I’m not talking about the episode of “Lost” that also carries the title.

Actor Godfrey Cambridge produced this 21-minute anti-drug film in 1970. I saw it at least every year I was in senior high school. Among the things featured in this powerful no-holds-barred short are footage of addicts going cold turkey, the music of Bill Withers and Curtis Mayfield, and a female heroin addict vomiting as she falls down a flight of stairs.

It seemed to be the school’s answer to show the film rather than actually talk to us about drugs, a subject many of us at that age already knew more about than the teachers did.

Still, I’d love to see this film again. Anyone else remember it, or better yet know how to obtain a copy?


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16 comments:

  1. i hear amazon has them.. and the library maybe.

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  2. If you have the link for Amazon, I would be happy to check it out, but my searches have found zip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvette Sallie5:27 AM

      A/VGeeks has it for $5.95

      Delete
  3. Did you ever find the documentary Dead is Dead? If so, please fill me in. I've been searching, but no luck. Thanks!

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  4. Did you ever find a copy of the documentary Dead is Dead? I've been searching, but no luck. Please let me know if you've found it! Thanks.

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  5. Even after all this time, I have yet to find this film, or even get any hints as to where I could find it. If you do, please let me know.

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  6. I remember this film from 1983-1987 sometime....I seriously think it is why I never got addicted to drugs. I wish someone could locate it. Sad that in todays world and the internet, that we can't find it! Please keep me posted if you locate it! Thanks!

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  7. Anonymous11:02 PM

    This film really hit home. I've been searching high & low for this film and after all the years gone by I find it here http://www.avgeeks.com/wp2/dead-is-dead-dvd/

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  8. I've never seen it, but I would like to if you find the link. I've always thought that a picture was worth a thousand words.

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  9. http://www.avgeeks.com/wp2/dead-is-dead-dvd/

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  10. Anonymous10:19 PM

    "Dead is Dead" film can be purchased here:
    http://www.avgeeks.com/wp2/dead-is-dead-dvd

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have obtained a copy, and intend to post a review when I get a chance.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous11:34 PM

    It makes me so happy I am not the only one that Clearly remembers this film! We were shown it in 6th grade and I couldn't sleep for a week! I wish it was made available on YouTube or similar site, as many people should see this today. I am sure it seems dated now, but those photos in the film are unforgettable!

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  13. Anonymous11:59 PM

    We were shown this film in 7th grade at the elite private school I attended for middle school. Holy crap! I never forgot this film - it was the most disturbing thing I had ever seen and still is to this day (and I've since seen "The Deer Hunter", "Trainspotting", and every episode of "Breaking Bad", to name a few!). After we watched it we broke up into smaller groups (although there were only 50 kids in my grade) and talked with drug councelors. The one that spoke to my group told us this rambling story of someone she knew who had taken something (I now assume PCP, though the implication was that it could have been pot or ANY drug) that caused him to freak out and claw his skin off because he believed there were bugs all over him. :O

    Well, fast-forward to High School (at this point we had moved and I was going to a public school in an affluent suburb) and despite having signed a "I promise to just say no" (should have been "No, thank you," Nancy - no need to be rude!) contract in 8th grade, I tried weed for the first time after witnessing several people smoke it with no apparent ill effects. I didn't overdose, vomit, fall down a flight of stairs, become psychotic, go trough withdrawal, or have any thoughts about bugs, unless thinking butterflies were beautiful and under-appreciated counts. Frankly I felt lied to by all of the anti-drug propaganda I had been exposed to as a tween (a term that didn't exist back then, btw). It's a shame, too, because while I had some great times that I wouldn't want to go back and erase, I wish I had spent more time studying and pursing my interests than partying... and as I grew older I saw a lot of my friends destroyed drugs.

    Nothing in that film looked anything like the environment in which I first encountered drugs. I just watched the first few minutes on a site that sells the film for $10 and the intro by Godfrey Cambridge is really smart and everything he says is true (I'd like to see the whole thing, but I don't think I'll be paying for it... it should be on YouTube!). Unfortunately, the only people who are going to "get it" are adults or perhaps teens living with parents who are addicts. Then again, it is so frightening that it probably did deter at least some kids from experimenting.

    Probably the best audience would be teens that had been busted for coke or heroin for the first time and weren't yet addicted. That's the other "lie" that discredits so much anti-drug propaganda: "instant addiction". Trying something once doesn't make someone an addict. With most substances (including cigarettes - the most hard to quit substance, IMO) addiction creeps up on the user (some faster than others).

    As a parent of a pre-tween I really need to figure out how to convey both the big dangers and the smaller ones without sounding like an alarmist, lier, or out-of-touch worrier....

    Godfrey Cambridge had the best of intentions. School administrators that were still showing this in the 80's to middle-schoolers were dangerously misguided. Thanks for this post!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous12:00 AM

    We were shown this film in 7th grade at the elite private school I attended for middle school. Holy crap! I never forgot this film - it was the most disturbing thing I had ever seen and still is to this day (and I've since seen "The Deer Hunter", "Trainspotting", and every episode of "Breaking Bad", to name a few!). After we watched it we broke up into smaller groups (although there were only 50 kids in my grade) and talked with drug councelors. The one that spoke to my group told us this rambling story of someone she knew who had taken something (I now assume PCP, though the implication was that it could have been pot or ANY drug) that caused him to freak out and claw his skin off because he believed there were bugs all over him. :O

    Well, fast-forward to High School (at this point we had moved and I was going to a public school in an affluent suburb) and despite having signed a "I promise to just say no" (should have been "No, thank you," Nancy - no need to be rude!) contract in 8th grade, I tried weed for the first time after witnessing several people smoke it with no apparent ill effects. I didn't overdose, vomit, fall down a flight of stairs, become psychotic, go trough withdrawal, or have any thoughts about bugs, unless thinking butterflies were beautiful and under-appreciated counts. Frankly I felt lied to by all of the anti-drug propaganda I had been exposed to as a tween (a term that didn't exist back then, btw). It's a shame, too, because while I had some great times that I wouldn't want to go back and erase, I wish I had spent more time studying and pursing my interests than partying... and as I grew older I saw a lot of my friends destroyed drugs.

    Nothing in that film looked anything like the environment in which I first encountered drugs. I just watched the first few minutes on a site that sells the film for $10 and the intro by Godfrey Cambridge is really smart and everything he says is true (I'd like to see the whole thing, but I don't think I'll be paying for it... it should be on YouTube!). Unfortunately, the only people who are going to "get it" are adults or perhaps teens living with parents who are addicts. Then again, it is so frightening that it probably did deter at least some kids from experimenting.

    Probably the best audience would be teens that had been busted for coke or heroin for the first time and weren't yet addicted. That's the other "lie" that discredits so much anti-drug propaganda: "instant addiction". Trying something once doesn't make someone an addict. With most substances (including cigarettes - the most hard to quit substance, IMO) addiction creeps up on the user (some faster than others).

    As a parent of a pre-tween I really need to figure out how to convey both the big dangers and the smaller ones without sounding like an alarmist, lier, or out-of-touch worrier....

    Godfrey Cambridge had the best of intentions. School administrators that were still showing this in the 80's to middle-schoolers were dangerously misguided. Thanks for this post!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous12:07 AM

    We were shown this film in 7th grade at the elite private school I attended for middle school. Holy crap! I never forgot this film - it was the most disturbing thing I had ever seen and still is to this day (and I've since seen "The Deer Hunter", "Trainspotting", and every episode of "Breaking Bad", to name a few!). After we watched it we broke up into smaller groups (although there were only 50 kids in my grade) and talked with drug counselors. The one that spoke to my group told us this rambling story of someone she knew who had taken something (I now assume PCP, though the implication was that it could have been pot or ANY drug) that caused him to freak out and claw his skin off because he believed there were bugs all over him. :O

    Well, fast-forward to High School (at this point we had moved and I was going to a public school in an affluent suburb) and despite having signed a "I promise to just say no" (should have been "No, thank you," Nancy - no need to be rude!) contract in 8th grade, I tried weed for the first time after witnessing several people smoke it with no apparent ill effects. I didn't overdose, vomit, fall down a flight of stairs, become psychotic, go through withdrawal, or have any thoughts about bugs, (unless thinking butterflies were beautiful and under-appreciated counts). Frankly I felt lied to by all of the anti-drug propaganda I had been exposed to as a tween (a term that didn't exist back then, btw). It's a shame, too, because while I had some great times that I wouldn't want to go back and erase, I wish I had spent more time studying and pursing my interests than partying... and as I grew older I saw a lot of my friends destroyed by drugs.

    Nothing in that film looked anything like the environment in which I first encountered drugs. I just watched the first few minutes on a site that sells the film for $10 and the intro by Godfrey Cambridge is really smart and everything he says is true (I'd like to see the whole thing, but I don't think I'll be paying for it... it should be on YouTube!). Unfortunately, the only people who are going to "get it" are adults or perhaps teens living with parents who are addicts. Then again, it is so frightening that it probably did deter at least some kids from experimenting.

    Probably the best audience would be teens that have been busted for coke or heroin for the first time and weren't yet addicted. That's the other "lie" that discredits so much anti-drug propaganda: "instant addiction". Trying something once doesn't make someone an addict. With most substances (including cigarettes - the most hard to quit substance, IMO) addiction creeps up on the user (some faster than others).

    As a parent of a pre-tween I really need to figure out how to convey both the big dangers and the smaller ones without sounding like an alarmist, lier, or out-of-touch worrier....

    Godfrey Cambridge had the best of intentions. School administrators that were still showing this in the 80's to middle-schoolers were dangerously misguided. Thanks for this post!

    https://www.avgeeks.com/wp2/dead-is-dead-dvd/ <-- This is the site that has the clip!

    ReplyDelete