Thursday, June 29, 2006

The real-life Jerri Blank

A 50-year-old Florrie made a name for herself in the early '70s by traveling to high schools and pretty much assaulting assembled students with her tales of 25 years of hard living on the street as a drug addict and whore. Basically, she ranted and raved (and chain smoked) at them, telling her serpentine and labrynthine hard-luck story using any old thing that popped into her head, with the goal of disuading them from ever trying "stuff" (or maybe her whole point was to rope teens into the cultish Synanon program she spoke so highly of -- the jury's still out on her true aim). Regardless, all of this was captured in the 1970 PSA/scare film The Trip Back, which nearly shared a title with her memoir The Lonely Trip Back. It was all so manic, nonsensical and hilarious that it formed the basis of Strangers With Candy -- central character Jerri Blank was also a (semi-) reformed drug addict and hooker who found herself back in high school (though not addressing the students, but as one). But I'd say that Florrie's 27-minute tour de force has provided at least as much entertainment as Strangers With Candy's 30-episode run. And since the pretty great Strangers With Candy movie hits select theaters this week, I figure it's time I gave Florrie her due.



Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker