The Dude, The D., Mickey, and Bud (Bundy, that is): It's a celebration of Stoner Cinema!
Six Litanies for HelioGlobvs is a wild mix of Avant-garde jazz rock that culls and mixes solo voice, pipe organ, Bungle guitar, and metal tong drums that are beat to metal splinters of hardcore bliss. Its a tonal scrape and buzz sent through in black & blue hues. I told my Administrative Supervisor (and Music Mentor) here at Coleman College that I don't smoke dope. This is the CD he gave me.
I'm a second year Music Major, and I haven't heard anything like this. Im just now starting to get into John Zorn, Mike Patton, and Japanese Noise as an extracurricular sidebar for both educational and entertainment purposes. Dr. William Chilcoat (my Supervisor) has an off-campus workshop that focuses on responsible Cannabis consumption. He teaches the "practicing" college student a conscientious user method. Basically, he's trying to emphasis the need for moderation. This "class" is specifically targeted to those students arriving at campus already over-users. Stoners. Potheads, if you will. Guys (and more than a few girls) whove been baked since the 6th Grade. The Anti-Drug, "Just Say No", Nancy Reagan bark and glare doesn't work. Not today. Not in our oversaturated Pot culture. Hes doing a good thing. He's showing these kids how to effectively use the so-called side effects of modern drug use in a useful and creative way. And how to squelch it a bit with the binge indulgence. Its a pretty neat little program. All things considered.
I didn't sign up. Ive only eaten one Space Cake on a freshman fieldtrip to Amsterdam. That night, I saw sixteen ghosts in the basement of our Hostel. Creepy hooker ladies and mean, thieving gypsies were trying to invade the wireless internet with their otherworldly bodies. And maybe destroy the World from the inside out. After that, I didn't think Id ever try hashish again. Last week Chilcoat asks me, "You smoke Dope, boy?" And I replied, "Nah. Pot smoke gives me gas bubbles in the esophagus." That's when he literally threw this Six Litanies CD at my face, "Ever feel the weight of peer pressure...Just put this on."
I don't really think peer pressure exists anymore. Or, maybe the people I know are stingy Douche Dogs that dont want to share their stash. No matter, I put the disc on spin anyways. After listening to it a couple of times, I decided that I wanted to get really, really high. Damn, though. I've got to make Student Union sandwiches at six in the morning just to make ends meet. I dont want to flush bucks down the toilet for some bad campus smack. A couple of twigs scrapped together and sold in a mustard crusty used Ziploc bag is not worth fifty dollars. I can buy Happy Days: The Complete Second Season and Laverne and Shirley: The Complete Second Season for that much down at the Nickel Raiders Student Trade Post. I guess, what I'm trying to tell you, is that Im a cheap Schmuel bastard. I don't want to pay for Marijuana.
Well, as luck would have it, this Friday is 4:20; The Pot Smokers Holiday. More importantly, it's the one day all those Folk thumping Trust Fund Hippies are willing to share their midnight squirrel with anyone (teachers included) in the name of "Assblasted!"
Classes have been canceled this Thursday and Friday. Most of the students in my Dorm are planning a 4:20 shut-in. It will go from 4:20 am on Friday morning until 4:20 Saturday morning. Sure, were free to come and go as we please and the R.A. is in silent agreement about the whole thing. Just as long as we dont come knocking around for him when he's "busy". The party should be a pretty good one. A little booze. A lot of Eurkle and Trainwreck. Some tasty eats. Homemade casseroles and the pizza delivery man. We will also be conducting a 4:20 "Shut the Fuck Up, Donnie!" mini-film festival in the downstairs Rec Room.
What does it take to create the perfect Stoner Movie Party? Well, the following 11 films (in honor of Nigel) are essential 4:20 viewing. Are you a lonely Spicoli? Just bored and looking for a laugh? Maybe youre seeking that vicarious buzz. Like a bag of ice on the brain. Why not head down to the local Doug's Pink Elephant Liquor and Rental, pick up the required goods, get five on it, and join us? I predict that after the Apocalypse 4:20 will take the place of Thanksgiving (I was going to say Christmas but thats blasphemous and I don't want to offend anybody. Sorry Pilgrims.)
The 11 films of 4:20
11) Pulp Fiction Not only does it's excessive running length insure amply couch time, Quentins 2nd and most notorious feature is also the official selection of the 4:20 Film Committee. The entire production was written and created with herb on the mind. Amsterdam is a frequent topic of discussion. If you pay close attention, you'll notice that ever clock and watch in the background (with the exception of Butch Coolidge's) is set at 4:20. In this fictional world of Tarantino's, every important story plot, element, and character beat happens at this exact time of day. Theres plenty of spliff rolling. Copious amounts of drug use. An Overdose. One hippie is so gourded he eats a ten-year-old box of Fruit Brute cereal. Extreme food consumption is a main part of the overall plot. Tell me you don't watch Mia Wallace sip that five dollar shake or Vince Vega gorge himself on those tasty diner pancakes and get a mean case of the munchies. Its a classic sold at a stoner's gait. Pulp Fiction is what a good drug movie should be. Its not necessarily about the weed (or the heroine) itself. But about how those substances both subtly and drastically effect and influence the actions swirling around a group of interlocking characters. If you haven't seen it yet, what are you waiting for? Oh, you cant get off the floor. You need someone to put the DVD into the player for you? Gotcha.
10) Killer Bud This is the movie Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle so desperately wanted to be. Minus all the ethnically stonewashed hyperbole. Who needs a bunch of PC preaching in a Stoner Comedy? Seriously? Im baked. I don't want to think. I just want to have a good time. Filmmakers in the 80s understood this. They never would have blatantly slapped an on-the-sleeve tale of tolerance into a throw-away laugh rental. That's why Harold & KumarҒs feature length White Castle commercial gets a giant "Boo!" Were going with Killer Bud instead; a film that basically has the exact same ғquest for munchies plot line. Only, Killer Bud does it in a more streamlined fashion. Funner, faster, more at ease with the actually Pot Heads watching it, this film centers on two true losers played by former child TV stars Corin "Corky" Nemic and David "Bud Bundy" Faustino. They lose their job for the umpteenth time in a month and decide to cheer themselves up with a trip to the local bar. There, they happen upon two little hotties just looking to get stoned. Dave and Corin promise them that they have an ounce of weed back at their pad just to try and get them in the sack. The girls aren't having it. After they smoke the boys' pot, they demand "Feed Bags", these giant troffs of pre-processed food sold at the local convenience store. The rest of the film centers on our two douche donkeys trying to get snacks for their perspective dates. There's a crazy Circle K Claymation freak-out. And Robert Stack, of all people, saves the day. Released two years before Harold & Kumar, Killer Bud is the first and best of the Lord of the Rings type flicks revolving around food consumption.
9) Mickey & the Bean Stalk / Krush Groove These two films are not meant to be watched in their entirety. While they spin in the background, we will be making Friendship Pie and pulling extra crispy skin off chicken. They are included here because each one has a food-specific music video interlocked into their integral storyline. Both are equally glutinous, and score a tie for "film scene most likely to stimulate your appetite". Medical Marijuana is sometimes used for the same purpose. Early on in Mickey & the Beanstalk, a blazed mouse sells all of his friends' worldly possessions for one tiny magical bean. When he gets back to his pad, his duck roommate and his dog roommate become infuriated. They then try to eat this magic bean, cutting it into three slices. Well, these poor bastards are so hungry; they fall into a psychedelic trip-out where Norths Buffet appears on their dining room table. Truck loads of food are pilled to the sky, and the animated trio sings over and over again, "Were gonna eat, and eat, and eat, and eat, and eat, and eat, and eat until we die." Then they proceed to do so. Its so awesome. And then, in the middle of Krush Groove, these enormous beasts calling themselves The Fat Boys go to a Sbarro's Pizzeria in New York City and proceed to eat the entire restaurant walls, floor, pizza ovens and all, while Rapping the exact same "Eat Until We Die" song. By the end, you cant tell if they are beat boxing or hyperventilating from a heart attack. Tell me you aren't ready to eat noodles and corn out of a lasagna dish like a pig after you watch this monster wreck of yummy goodness.
8) O.C. and Stiggs Based on characters from the National Lampoon Magazine (yet not purporting to be a "National Lampoon" film), this may be one of the weirdest entries in the Robert Altman catalogue. It's about two stoned suburban teenagers who decide to seek revenge on the uber-rich Schwab family. It meanders. Huge chunks of the plot are told off screen. Things are never explained, yet it all comes together cohesively, especially for the Stoners in the audience that werent paying attention from the get-go. It's as if Altman, gearing up for his long road to the Oscars, high-jacked the set of Porky's and decided to make a revered, serious look at 80s culture. All without talking down to his audience of cloud-headed reefer addicts. Reports speculate that Robert was in a "green" state of mind while directing this film. Good on him.
7) Arnold - This odd entry into the slasher genre cruises through the brain like a dense fog bank, rendering the landscape quite soggy. By the time it's over, you feel a little less than proficient. Its one of those films that leave you asking, "What the Hell were they on? And where can I get some?" It's a queasy British pop-color cheapie about Arnold, this dead guy in a casket who is getting married and divorced all during his funeral procession. And in the mean time, hes melting people's brains and slicing them up. He's also trained birds to attack people. And he's spying on his benefactors through eyeholes in wall paintings. It comes dressed in Sixties wallpaper, with sets left over from a televised production of Sherlock Holmes. First released in 1973, it later had quite a good run on late-night television, permanently warping the minds of many young sleepover guests. It will all leave you wondering, "Is that Klinger in Blackface?" Yes. Yes it is.
6) Up in Smoke No 4:20 party would be complete without Cheech & Chong. Heck, their entire filmography up to and including Born In East L.A. (even though Chong is absent) could fill out the day quite nicely. But there's only room for one on this list. Its the first. It's the best. It finds our favorite Stoners driving a Van made completely out of Marijuana across the California/Mexico border. It includes all the classic bits of material weve come to love. It has Stacey Keach as Sgt. Stedenko. If you try to match the characters on-screen bong hit for bong hit, you will die. Its one of the all-time classic comedies. I don't need to explain it any further. You know as well as I do why this film is here. It is 4:20.
5) Half Baked Any stoner will tell you that this is the quintessential Pot movie. Then, five minutes later they will forget they told you this and claim that you are a lair. Only, they'll do it in a really mellow, "don't stress me out" type way. Half Baked was the precursor to ChappelleԒs Show, written by its creators Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan. Its like one overlong, over-funny skit from that beloved show. And it's become a classic in its own right, barreling past the films of Cheech and Chong in its popularity. Its the story of three weeded buddies who plot to free their wrongfully convicted friend. The film is full of cameos from such Pot aficionados as Tommy Chong, Snoop Dog, Willie Nelson, Bob Saget, Janeane Garofalo, and Steven Wright. Leaving Half Baked out of the 4:20 curriculum would pretty much make this list null and void.
4) The Groove Tube What the heck is this doing here. God, I must be out of my mind. Pass that over here, will you...Wait, wait, wait...I meant to put Friday at number 4. "You also totally forgot about The Breakfast Club. Midnight Cowboy. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Training Day." Just give me some more of that chicken skin and leave me alone, will you?
3) Fast Times at Ridgemont High Sean Penn is Jeff Spicoli, the crown prince of Stoner Idolatry. His caricature is an iconic piece of Pop Culture, as synonymous with Cannabis as the Pot Leaf. "Aloha, Mr. Hand" has been the trademark of Stoner Culture since the film was released back in 1982. About a group of High School seniors, Spicoli was the one character that stood out amongst the rest. He had an entire nation of teenagers banging Van soles against their heads, screaming "I cant feel anything." He's done more for the illegal sale of Marijuana and the ordinance to legalize it than any living human being ever. That's why its so funny, today, when Penn talks about President Bush's bloody underwear. That's Spicoli up there, addressing the nation. Let's all toke to that. Fast Times at Ridgemont High, its another classic treat.
2) Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny - "Taste my lightening, Fuckers!" 0.1 is over the legal limit for driving under the influence. 0.1 is also the percentage of Americans who've seen Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. Sadder, even, is the fact that less than 6 percent of that 0.1 percent remembers anything about the film. Which is disheartening, because it sets itself up for what could be one of the greatest sequels of all time. At first, there was that Austin Powers/Friday Hope that it would blast off with kick ass DVD sales, insuring a follow-up. But no one's buying the Disc. What a shame. It's one of the greatest cannabis classics of all time. Its the first and only movie to date, to be filmed in THC surround sound. Much like your friend sucking smooth smoke out the top of a Honeybear bottle, philosophizing and proclaiming to be above the populace, The Pick of Destiny has made the bold statement that it's the Greatest Film in the World. Yet, just like your faded roommate, it never seems to get off the couch and do much. But that's the joke, and it's pulled off brilliantly. Pick's supposed to slack in action while proclaiming itself otherworldly. It takes the cliched 3 beat structure of any average Frat Pack comedy and shreds it, packs it, then ignites it into smooth wisps of esophagus fog. The narrative lazily drifts from Super Rock Opera to basement level banter; often times forgetting what it truly wants to be. The whole thing has been cultivated on green fields, treating its audience to something truly amazing. The whole enterprise is more than worth it for both the opening and closing numbers. Satan, Meatloaf, Dio, and The D. Its a Ditchweed diggers dream come true, tasty as a frozen chocolate cream puff chased with a frosty Quilmes. Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny is incredibly proficient at looking absolutely stupid. At this moment in time, it's just a blink in the annals of Cult film history. Over the course of the next few years it will rise like a Mighty Phoenix, becoming a revered monument to the Counter Culture. We're jumping on this bandwagon before it starts rolling. You know this is going to go down as a wrought iron statue in the yard of the Stoner King.
1) The Big Lebowski - "This is what its like when you find a stranger in the Alps!" is what a dubbed-over Walter has been screaming all week on the sanitized version of this classic. You know the scene by heart. The Dude and Walter go to confront Arthur Digby Sellers kid about stealing and spending their ransom money. John Goodman pulls out a club and starts bashing the windows of a brand new sports car. And then he screams those immortal lines with saliva-lined hellfire. It's almost funnier than the original "F a stranger in the A" line that used to accompany this classic moment. By now, everyone has seen The Big Lebowski. It has far exceeded its meager cult following to become a legitimate phenomenon. Hence, our "Shut the Fuck Up, Donnie!" film festival. If Spicoli is the crowned prince of Stoner Idolatry, then The Dude is the reigning King of Nickel Bags. His bowling alley conventions have become bigger than any Trekkie could possibly imagine. I dare you to tell me you haven't ordered a White Russian at least once at the Dude's behest. You know you have. You watch the movie, and you're ordering White Russians the next ten times you walk in a bar. Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski has "just burned one." He is a red-eyed monster so splayed on his own stash, the best he can do is repeat spent dialogue like an empty clip in a gun. This is, by far, the dopest of the dope films. Again, like Pulp Fiction, it doesn't use its on-screen drug use as a crutch or easy out for laughter. The Joint is almost a character in spite of itself. Pot doesn't rule or make the situations, but it does gradually alter the course of The Dude's destiny. Like a rambling Stoner on a street corner, The Big Lebowski goes on and on, seemingly saying a lot but never really accomplishing much. And that's its quaint charm. Just to prove how big this movie has gotten in the last few years, click on this link and check out these cool action figures of Walter and The Dude...
So, thats 11 films at 4:20. You probably think I'm on one after all that rambling. I do believe I caught a contact high after perusing these fine feature films. But I did not inhale. I swear. Enjoy your 4:20 holiday responsibly. Now go burn one. And then watch Super Babies: Baby Geniuses 2.