The Big Lebowski Dream Scene

Bad Trip

The 10 Funniest Drug Freak-Outs

Freak out with That '70s Show Mondays & Tuesdays starting at 6P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

While most characters from pop culture blissfully mellow out when they partake, not everyone is quite so lucky. Before you get weird with the cast of That ’70s Show tonight starting at 6P, check out some funny drug freak-outs that prove letting loose can occasionally be overwhelming. It wouldn’t be called a “trip” if it wasn’t memorable.

10. Wet Hot American Summer

USA Films
USA Films

A quick trip into town turns into an ACTUAL trip for Beth (Janeane Garafolo) and the counselors of Camp Firewood. The gang gets into all sorts of debauchery, from smoking joints and eating whole containers of McDonald’s french fries to downing a six-pack and snorting cocaine. It all goes downhill pretty fast when they wind up shaking and sweaty in a local drug den after stealing an old woman’s purse and shooting up heroin. It’s always fun to get away from camp, even if it’s just for an hour!


9. That ’70s Show, “Till the Next Goodbye”

70s Show Drugs
Carsey-Werner Productions

After years of pot-smoking circles in the basement, Red (Kurtwood Smith) and Kitty Forman (Debra Jo Rupp) finally catch Eric (Topher Grace) and his friends Fez (Wilmer Valderrama), Hyde (Danny Masterson), and Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) in the act. But their stern lecture doesn’t exactly get through to the totally blazed boys. Eric sees the walls behind his parents moving. Fez has a warped fishbowl vision of the adult Foremans. Hyde’s focus is drawn to a lone Twinkie on the shelf behind Red, and Kelso imagines Kitty and Red’s heads floating through the air and swapping bodies. Now THAT’s a real head trip if we ever saw one!


8. Arrested Development, “Afternoon Delight”

Arrested Development
Fox

Despite her constant drinking, Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter) can still be a smidgen uptight, which is why son Michael (Jason Bateman) tells his uncle Oscar (Jeffrey Tambor) to give the visibly stressed Lucille some “afternoon delight.” Oscar mistakes it for a particularly strong strain of pot called “Afternoon Deelite,” which he bakes into a brownie and gives to Lucille. A lyric in the song version goes, “Mama always said when it’s right, it’s right,” but we’re not sure that applies to driving her Mercedes-Benz over her son-in-law Tobias (David Cross) and into the family banana stand containing her son, Gob (Will Arnett). More like an afternoon disaster.


7. Freaks and Geeks, “Chokin’ and Tokin'”

Of all the freakouts on our list, Freaks and Geeks‘ Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) definitely wins for most realistic. Lindsay decides to try pot for the first time following a fight with ex-boyfriend/resident pothead Nick (Jason Segel), completely forgetting she had agreed to babysit the neighbor’s kids. Luckily, straight-laced former BFF Mille (Sarah Hagen) is there to talk Lindsay through her paranoia over “being inside the dog’s dream,” take control of a game of hide-and-seek that quickly goes awry, and stuff Lindsay full of Fruit Loops in hopes of sobering her up. “I know what high people look like,” Millie assures her.”I went to a Seals and Crofts concert last summer.”


6. The Breakfast Club

We want whatever was in those joints our Jock, Brain, Basket Case, Princess, and Criminal smoked in the library during their Saturday detention at Shermer High School. After sneaking a stash of pot from out of Bender’s (Judd Nelson) locker, our Breakfast Club sit around mellowly passing joints and talking save for jock Andrew (Emilio Estevez) who hot boxes in the foreign language listening room. When he emerges, he launches into an athletic dance break worthy of Kevin Bacon in Footloose full of kicks and punches finally screaming so loud he shatters the glass of the door. As the pot works its magic, the confessions get more personal, and the dancing more vigorous. This is one Breakfast of Champions.


5. The Big Lebowski

Now THAT’s a strong drink. After questioning him on the whereabouts of his missing porn star and the money she owes him, Jackie Treehorn (Ben Gazzara) drugs the Dude’s (Jeff Bridges) White Russian, which knocks him out. Unconscious, the Dude hallucinates an elaborate dance sequence featuring bowling paraphernalia and the beautiful Maude Lebowski (Julianne Moore). Talk about tripping major bowling balls.


4. Old School

When wild Frank (Will Ferrell) accidentally takes a tranquilizer to the jugular, the world around him really slooooooows down. He goes crashing through best friend Bernard’s (Vince Vaughn) kid’s birthday party, falling into the pool, and hallucinating his ex-wife on the beach while Simon & Garfunkel plays in the background. When he wakes up, he’s making out with animal wrangler, Peppers (Seann William Scott) by mistake. That’s ONE way of subduing a party animal.


3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

On a road trip/ “trip” to Vegas for the Mint 400 motorcycle race, pals Duke (Johnny Depp) and Gonzo (Benecio Del Toro) drop acid. By the time they check into their hotel on the Strip, Duke is nearly out of it, sweating profusely and hallucinating the other guests and hotel staff as various types of lizards. Once in their room, Gonzo and Duke order more room service than Kevin McAllister at the Plaza in Home Alone 2, and try not to freak out over war footage on the television. Considering their suitcases are full of other psychotropic drugs, it’s a good thing Vegas has so many buffets.


2. 9 to 5

9 to 5
20th Century Fox

Sometimes, you just gotta have an old-fashioned pot party with your girlfriends. Judy (Jane Fonda), Violet (Lily Tomlin), and Doralee (Dolly Parton) are commiserating together one night at a bar after a particularly awful day at work when Judy finds a “Maui Wowie” joint left by her son in the bottom of her purse. The trio return to Doralee’s house and start tokin’ it up, prompting each to have a pot-fueled fantasy about how they’d kill off their sexist boss (Dabney Coleman). Judy becomes a film noir femme fatale complete with black & white cinematography. Doralee, unsurprisingly, takes a cowgirl approach with a rope before roasting Hart on a spit. Violet’s fantasy goes sadistic Disney complete with animated animals and a Snow White-esque costume. Sweet dreams, ladies!


1. 21 Jump Street

21 Jump St
Columbia Pictures

When undercover cops Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) get sent back to high school to investigate a new popular synthetic drug, they never expect to experience the effects of it firsthand. After being forced to take it in front of the most popular student, Eric (Dave Franco), the two start going through the various stages of the drug: hallucinating moving eyebrows on the P.E. teacher (Rob Riggle), making asses of themselves during play auditions and band practice, feigning sexual acts with a baton during a track meet, and finally, passing out cold. If ever there was a case to be made for bringing back the D.A.R.E. program, this is it.

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Mr. Roboto

5 Reasons Rocky IV Is Too Rotten to Miss

Catch Rocky IV Friday at 8P during IFC's Rotten Fridays.

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Photo Credit: MGM/UA/YouTube

When Rocky IV was released in 1985, the critics were not kind. (While it wasn’t around back then, the film’s 39% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes speaks for itself.) Less of a movie than a jingoistic music video starring a robot and a steroid-addled, monosyllabic Russian baddie, Rocky IV is a far cry from the Italian Stallion’s humble origins.

Still, more than any movie ever made, it exemplifies the whole “so bad its good” genre. This movie was made for us, the great-unwashed masses of the 1980s, who loved the band Survivor and hated those Commie bastards. Before you catch Rocky IV on IFC’s Rotten Fridays, let’s take a look at some moments that make this flick a “too rotten to miss” classic.

5. That Opening Shot

Rocky IV
United Artists

It takes all of 30 seconds for the audience to know they’re in for one ridiculous rollercoaster ride through a Cold War conniption fit of good vs. evil. Gone is the subtle tone and grounded reality of the first Rocky. In its place we see two gloves, one emblazoned with the American flag, the other with the Soviets’, hurtling toward each other. When they collide, sparks fly, and we witness an explosion decades in the making.

In case the symbolism is too subtle for you, director/writer/star Sylvester Stallone is trying to hint that this movie will be the clash of civilizations we’d all been waiting for, but instead of nuclear bombs, a humble palooka from the streets would be duking it out in the ring with the ultimate representation of coldhearted Communism. If it were up to us, this opening shot would’ve won Best Picture all by itself.


4. So Many Montages

Rocky IV has a running time of 91 minutes and 20 seconds. Its eight montages (yes, EIGHT) run a total of 29 minutes and 10 seconds. That is one third of the movie solely dedicated to montages. (Considering Stallone’s contempt for all things Soviet, we have to wonder if he knows it was a dirty Ruskie who invented the montage.)

During one of the many, many montages, director Stallone actually flashes back to a scene that had happened a minute and half prior, creating the impression that he might actually flashback to the montage we were just watching in the same montage. Stallone clearly loves a good montage set to an inspirational ’80s song, and so do we. Which brings us to…


3. A Soundtrack Full of Pumped Up ’80s Jams

Speaking of montages, they are set to the score of some of the cheesiest hits from the mid-’80s. For once, we’re spared tracks from Frank Stallone, with Stallone replacing his rocker brother with synth-y singles from Survivor, John Cafferty and Kenny Loggins. And of course, Robert Tepper, possessor of an ’80s mullet that could topple empires, crooning “No Easy Way Out.” The music in this movie is one step away from being a parody of the music in this movie. If you ever want to know what cocaine can do to the human mind, just listen to this soundtrack.


2. Rocky Ends the Cold War

Rocky IV speech
United Artists

In one of the most misguided, self-congratulatory, and immediately dated moments in cinema history, good ol’ galoot Rocky Balboa single-handedly ended the Cold War four years before the Berlin Wall came down.

To quote the Italian Stallion himself: “In here…there were two guys… killing each other. But I guess that’s better than millions. What I’m trying to say is… if I can change… and you can change…everybody can change!” And just like that the Soviet public, generals and even the Premier himself rose to their feet in applause, realizing what fools they’d been. This guy beat Mr. T for Heaven’s sake. He knows what he’s talking about!


1. Paulie’s Robot

Okay, let’s all take a deep breath and really consider this for a moment. Rocky IV has a robot butler in it. A movie franchise that began back in 1976 exploring the gritty reality of a bum fighter trying to prove himself somehow limped along long enough to turn into a weak Short Circuit rip-off in which an alcoholic mooch with a history of domestic abuse now gets his coffee served to him by a robot. A robot that he has programmed with a “sultry” lady voice!

Stallone was inspired to include the real life robot Sico in Rocky IV because of the work it did to help autistic children like his son Seargeoh. That’s all very moving, but doesn’t explain why he decided to write a scene where Paulie dubs poor Sico “the love of my life.” It’s a testament to Rocky IV‘s “too rotten to miss” status that Paulie’s robot girlfriend/personal servant isn’t even the craziest thing that happens to Rock and the gang.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” movie Rocky IV this Friday at 8P on IFC. 

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Gray's Anatomy

Everything You Need to Know About the Movie That Inspired “Parker Gail’s Location is Everything”

Brand new Documentary Now! airs Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Cinecom Pictures

This week Documentary Now! spotlights a master monologist with “Parker Gail’s Location is Everything.” Before you tune in at 10P this Wednesday on IFC, check out our guide to Swimming to Cambodia, the 1987 film that captured writer/performer Spalding Gray’s acclaimed one-person show.

Spalding Gray 101

Swimming to Cambodia
Cinecom Pictures

Actor and renowned monologist Spalding Gray spent two years on stage perfecting his Obie Award-winning “Swimming to Cambodia” monologue. In it, Gray tells the story of his eight weeks in Southeast Asia while shooting the 1984 Academy Award-winning movie The Killing Fields. He had a small role, but the experience gave him several anecdotes about hanging out with the film crew and experiencing the local culture, all while searching for “the perfect moment.”

Directed by the Silence of the Lambs Guy

Hannibal Lecter
Orion Pictures/Everett Collection

Acclaimed filmmaker Jonathan Demme took Gray’s two-night, four hour performance and crafted it down to 85 minutes. His use of dramatic lighting, stylish camerawork and a score by performance artist Laurie Anderson was praised by critics and earned the film a cult following. No stranger to groundbreaking docs, Demme also directed the 1984 Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense, which Documentary Now! pays tribute to in this season’s episode “Final Transmission.”

All about the Voices

While it may have been a one-man show, Gray created a repertoire of characters all with distinctive accents. (He portrayed conversations between himself and others just by turning his head.) Our favorite impressions are of his demanding girlfriend Renee and Ivan Strasberg, the South African director of photography on The Killing Fields who, as depicted by Gray, sounds a bit like a Jamaican surfer.

The Original Cranky New Yorker

In one memorable scene, Gray rants about how his noisy upstairs artist neighbors are driving him and Renee crazy. Even in the mid-’80s, there were New Yorkers complaining that the city wasn’t what it used to be.

Show and Tell

Swimming to Cambodia
Cinecom Pictures/YouTube

A big fan of visual aids, Gray used pull-down maps to illustrate his travels. This helped to bring Swimming to Cambodia to life, since he’s basically sitting at a desk the entire time.

Inspired One-Person Shows

Gray’s groundbreaking performances in Swimming and other documentaries like Monster in a Box and the Steven Soderbergh-directed Gray’s Anatomy (about Gray’s struggle with a rare eye condition) paved the way for future one-person shows. (We wouldn’t have everything from Carrie Fisher’s “Wishful Drinking” to Mike Birbiglia’s “Sleepwalk With Me” without him.) Even Doc Now! star Fred Armisen got into the one-person show act for his recent SNL monologue.

Catch Documentary Now!’s tribute to Spalding Gray when “Parker Gail: Location Is Everything” premieres Wednesday, September 28th at 10P on IFC. 

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Burning Heart

10 Reasons Why Rocky IV Is the Ultimate Rocky Movie

Catch an all-day Rocky movie marathon this Friday, September 30th on IFC.

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Photo Credit: United Artists/Everett Collection

Sure, most people love the first Rocky for its heart, gripping boxing scenes and the classic training montage. Or, you might love Creed for being both a return-to-form and a new exploration of the Rocky mythology. Maybe the thrill of seeing Mr. T and Hulk Hogan in the same movie makes Rocky III your top pick. Well, sorry, you’re wrong: Rocky IV is the greatest of all the “Italian Stallion”‘s movies.

Before you watch the all-day Rocky movie marathon this Friday, September 30th on IFC (with Rocky IV airing at 8P as part of Rotten Fridays), check out a few reasons to appreciate the fourth installment as the king of the series.

1. The Greatest Opening Ever

How many openings are able to sum up the entire conflict of the film in less than a minute and without a single line of dialogue? And how many of those movies have exploding boxing gloves? Just try to watch the opening sequence above and not be completely psyched for the pumped-up flick to come.


2. Montages!

We all know that the best part of any sports movie is the montage, and Rocky IV doesn’t give you one measly montage. There’s a recap of the previous films montage, a getting to Russia Montage, two training montages and an ending fight montage. That’s five montages! There’s probably a montage of montages snuck in there, too.


3. There’s a Full James Brown Musical Number

This movie is so packed with memorable moments, it’s easy to forget one of the first things that happens in the film: Apollo comes out to fight Drago dressed as a shirtless Uncle Sam, while James Brown and a full band play “Living in America.” To drive home the number’s patriotism, there are dancers in tuxedos and top hats, weird unitards and bowler caps, and bedazzled showgirls with headpieces for miles. Oh, and don’t forget the giant tentacled dragon statue on the stage. This is how every boxing match should start. Heck, this is how we always want to enter a room.


4. The Soundtrack

The Rocky IV soundtrack doesn’t just feature James Brown — it has rock anthems galore, all of which make you immediately want to hit the gym. From “Heart’s on Fire” by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band to “Sweetest Victory” by Touch to multiple Survivor jams, you’ll get pumped and stay pumped. Even the instrumental score rocks! Sure, sometimes it sounds like it was made on a kids Casio, but this soundtrack never quits and — to quote Robert Tepper — never takes the easy way out.


5. Abs!

Rocky IV weights

Every Rocky movie shows off Stallone’s incredible physique, but Rocky IV really ups the game. Not only do we get Dolph Lundgren mostly shirtless looking like a man machine, but we get a wide variety of scenes of Stallone doing impossible tasks. Stallone’s crazy dragon fly crunches, aka a thing no human should be able to do, automatically take this movie to the top.


6. Two words: Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago
United Artists

Not only does Rocky IV explore the global conflict between the US and the Soviet Union, but it encapsulates all of our fears of the Cold War in one perfect villain. Ivan Drago only trains with machines and science and looks like he stepped out of an Aryan Nations recruitment poster. He also only responds in short, cold phrases like “If he dies, he dies,” or “I must break you.” There’s never been a villain who we so clearly want to get the crap beat out of than Ivan Drago.


7. Rocky Makes Chores Look Badass

Rocky saw
United Artists

Rocky doesn’t need to be hooked up to machines to become the perfect fighter. All he needs are huge tires and some outdoor chores to do. No one’s ever looked cooler chopping wood and using tractor parts. Half of his training is lifting an old wagon, probably to fix a broken axle. If anything, this film inspires us to take care of that gardening work we’ve been neglecting.


8. Rocky’s Beard

Rocky IV Beard

Stallone’s beard game is truly on point in Rocky IV. And this isn’t some “I forgot to shave, here’s a little stubble” look. No, we get full out, lumberjack-style beard action. Does any other Rocky movie have our hero looking like an old Russian aristocrat? Another point for Rocky IV.


9. There’s a robot!

Again, there’s so much to Rocky IV, you probably forgot about the robot. Well, Rocky has some money now and he’s not going to spend it on frivolous things for himself. He’s going to buy Paulie a robot! The best part of this scene is how truly disturbed Paulie is by this new technology until he gives it a sexy lady voice.


10. Rocky Ends the Cold War

If you’re still not convinced that Rocky IV is the greatest, answer this question: Does any other Rocky movie bring peace between the US and Russia?

By the end of the film, Rocky rises up to beat the seemingly undefeatable Drago. He fights so well, that even the Russians begin to appreciate his skills. Then, instead of using his victory to prove America’s superiority, he gives a rousing speech of “If I can change and you can change, everybody can change!” The whole crowd goes wild, including all of the Russian government, who we assume give up Communism immediately based solely on Rocky’s words. Stallone’s call for international reconciliation through brutal fighting and a variety of montages makes this if not one of the greatest films of all time, certainly the greatest Rocky of them all.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” movie Rocky IV this Friday at 8P on IFC. 

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