Forty minutes into Ivan Reitman's Stripes, the movie takes a decidedly psychedelic turn. However, you can't watch the scene in the original movie. It was deleted. But in 2005, the missing scene was restored in the extended cut.
When Murray's character John breaks up with his girlfriend, he defends his childish behavoir on being "part of a lost and restless generation." A producer of Animal House in 1977, Reitman was of the generation that thumbed its collective nose at the armed forces and the brutal war in Vietnam. John and Russell (Ramis' character) aim to change the Army or at least make it more fun.
Bill Murray to Harold Ramis after he takes LSD: "Oh no, six hits - what a tragedy. You're going to be just fine in about 12 hours. You're going to be kind of weird until then."
Murray replaced Chevy Chase in the Saturday Night Live cast in 1977. After four outstanding seasons, he left to launch a film career. His first movie, Reitman's summer-camp comedy Meatballs in 1979 was followed by Ramis' golf-course farce Caddyshack in 1980 and Stripes in 1981. It's Murray's stoner-film trilogy. The Ghostbusters movies in 1984 and 1989 featuring Murray would be the twin commerical peaks of Reitman's directing career.
But back to the deleted nine-minute psychedelic scene. After a rugged training session, John and Russell board a plane. But first Russell confides that he's taken Dramamine provided by platoon "head" Elmo (Judge Reinhold). John inspects the pills. "These are microdots," he says. "That's acid."
Russell: John, I took a lot of these.
John: How many?
Russell: One just now, one in the barracks, two in the Jeep and two more when we got out of the Jeep.
John: Oh no, six hits - what a tragedy. You're going to be just fine in about 12 hours. You're going to be kind of weird until then.
Next thing the plane fills up with paratroopers, it takes off and John and Russell are pushed out over Colombia and land safely in the jungle where they're captured by rebels. One offers them a large joint. Russell hits it and John comments, "Love weed. Weed de amor." In exchange, Russell gives them the acid, which is dumped in the stew. "Put about 30 in there," John instructs.
As John starts singing "Quando, Quando, Quando," they manage to slip away.
It's a great scene that should've remained in the film to begin with. "Reitman opted to cut the entire nine-minute sequence," notes Eighties Kids. "He felt it didn’t fit the film’s overall tone, with the substance-fuelled rampage more of a relic from the Cheech and Chong incarnation."
Interestingly, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong were slated to play the soldiers, but the stony duo "demanded total creative control," plus a cut of Reitman's next five films. Cheech & Chong had hits with Up in Smoke in 1978 and Next Movie in 1980. Next Movie and Stripes were both distributed by Universal. Cheech & Chong ending up making Nice Dreams in 1981 for Columbia Pictures rather than Stripes for Paramount.
Chong makes no mention of Stripes in his autobiogaphy.
Now, Reitman has joined others from the original Animal House team - actors John Belushi, John Vernon, Verna Bloom, Stephen Furst and Cesare Denova; writers Douglas Kenney and Ramis; and producer Matty Simmons - who are no longer with us. They were all part of the greatest generation of American film comedies.