10 trippy movies for stoners


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In celebration of the growing legality of marijuana use in the United States and its unofficial holiday of 4/20, most people churning out these lovely little lists across the interwebs would likely give you a list of stoner comedies, with your usual Cheech & Chong, Harold & Kumar or Seth Rogen selections. However, in the interest of the mind-expanding powers of brain chemistry alteration, how about we cobble together ten films that would be really cool to watch while baked – ones that may not have anything to do with actual weed enthusiasts. With that in mind, here are ten very trippy movies for stoners of all kinds. Okay, most kinds. I’m leaving Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” off the list because any self-respecting stoner already knows that one. You may ask how much a recreational drug user could really respect themselves, but then again, maybe you should keep your moral judgments to yourself, huh? You stole fizzy lifting drinks! Good day, sir!

Wait… what was I doing? Oh, yeah. Freaky movies!

1. “MirrorMask” (2005)

The old threat from kids to their parents was that if they were too strict, they would run away and join the circus. This Dave McKean film from a Neil Gaiman screenplay, however, shows us a girl who runs away from the circus into an even stranger fantasy world, brought forth by guilt over her mother’s suffering. The Jim Henson Company is at work here, crafting something in the spirit of “The Dark Crystal” and “Labyrinth,” but something altogether new – and truly strange.

2. “The City of Lost Children” (1995)

If Jean-Pierre Jeunet is involved, you know you are going to get a stylistically-charged film, as you will have seen by now with “Delicatessen” and “Amelie,” and if you haven’t, you should have. This 1995 film he directed with Marc Caro focuses on a mad scientist named Krank whose cult kidnaps children in order to steal their dreams, and stars Ron Perlman as a carnival strongman and sailor who is trying to save his brother alongside a young orphan named Miette. Dominique Pinion playing six identical clones is a real treat, but the haunting imagery of this beautifully brilliant piece of work doesn’t even require altering the brain chemistry to love.

3. “Brazil” (1985)

You cannot make a list such as this without including the work of the amazing visual artist Terry Gilliam. One is tempted to drop in the fever dream that is “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” but we’re staying away from completely obvious choices here. “Brazil” stars Jonathan Pryce as Sam Lowry, a low-rung grunt in a dystopian, Orwellian society dreaming of being a hero to a damsel in distress. When he actually meets the dream woman in his reality as a result of a bureaucratic snafu about a suspected terrorist (Robert De Niro) that resulted in the death of her husband, he starts upon a wild, dangerous journey deep into his own mind. Watch this and yours will be well and truly blown, man.

4. “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)

While “A Clockwork Orange” might also be a good choice from Stanley Kubrick, the old ultraviolence can harsh one’s mellow. But his epic masterpiece spanning the Dawn of Man to Beyond the Infinite has long periods of dialogue-free introspection about the mysteries of the universe, the threat of artificial intelligence and the history of our species. This is the mind-expanding thinkpiece that makes the perfect stimulation for the chilled-out, introspective weed experience.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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Byrning Down the House

Everything You Need to Know About the Film That Inspired “Final Transmission”

Documentary Now! pays tribute to "Stop Making Sense" this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Cinecom/courtesy Everett Collection

This week Documentary Now! is with the band. For everyone who’s ever wanted to be a roadie without leaving the couch, “Final Transmission” pulls back the curtain on experimental rock group Test Pattern’s final concert. Before you tune in Wednesday at 10P on IFC, plug your amp into this guide for Stop Making Sense, the acclaimed 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary.

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

Hailed as one of the best concert films ever created, director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) captured the energy and eccentricities of a band known for pushing the limits of music and performance.

Make an Entrance

Lead singer David Byrne treats the concert like a story: He enters an empty stage with a boom box and sings the first song on the setlist solo, then welcomes the other members of the group to the stage one song at a time.

Steal the Spotlight

David Byrne Dancing
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Always a physical performer, Byrne infuses the stage and the film with contagious joy — jogging in place, dancing with lamps, and generally carrying the show’s high energy on his shoulders.

Suit Yourself

Byrne makes a splash in his “big suit,” a boxy business suit that grows with each song until he looks like a boy who raided his father’s closet. Don’t overthink it; on the DVD, the singer explains, “Music is very physical, and often the body understands it before the head.”

View from the Front Row

Stop Making Sense Band On Stage
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Demme (who also helmed 1987’s Swimming to Cambodia, the inspiration for this season’s Documentary Now! episode “Parker Gail’s Location is Everything”) films the show by putting viewers in the audience’s shoes. The camera rarely shows the crowd and never cuts to interviews or talking heads — except the ones onstage.

Let’s Get Digital

Tina Weymouth Keyboard
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Stop Making Sense isn’t just a good time — it’s also the first rock movie to be recorded entirely using digital audio techniques. The sound holds up more than 30 years later.

Out of Pocket

Talk about investing in your art: Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz told Rolling Stone that the members of the band “basically put [their] life savings” into the movie, and they didn’t regret it.

Catch Documentary Now!’s tribute to Stop Making Sense when “Final Transmission” premieres Wednesday, October 12 at 10P on IFC.

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