Monday, August 25, 2008

Stoner Flicks, Then and Now

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where today we'll remind you right up front ... it's not illegal to go to a stoner flick.

Even if you don't count "Reefer Madness," stoner flicks have been around a long time. And for some reason, I love them.

Your classic stoner flick throws together two characters who have little in common beyond their fondness for weed. The plot need be no more complicated than having the heroes find weed, lose weed, get weed back again, or successfully partake of their munchies of choice. The conflict need be no more complicated than the friends fending off those who would take their weed, share their weed, steal their munchies, or berate them (uselessly) for being losers.

Ahhh. The good ol' days. Cheech and Chong at the midnight bijou, "Up in Smoke." Remember Cheech's pimped car? Me neither. Tee hee!

Now study this old picture closely. Cheech and Chong look pretty buzzed, don't they? Of course they freakin' do, it's a stoner movie!

Which brings me to our modern era, when one night recently I found my options limited to watching the Summer Olympics or hobbling into the nearby cineplex to see a stoner movie. I thought I had this one bagged, tagged, and ready for sale. Never saw a stoner flick I didn't love.

Until now.

Have you noticed that so many movies today are written by their star or their director? (Come to think of it, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong were pioneers in this respect.) Well, Cheech got it mostly right. Seth Rogen, the star/co-writer of Pineapple Express, literally a stoner flick in name only, laid an egg.

Pineapple Express has that stoner flick staple, two dudes with nothing in common who get paired up over their love of pot. But these two dudes really don't have anything in common. And then the plot is just ... oh well, let's let a picture paint a thousand words.

Do these guys look stoned? No, and that's because in this movie, even when they take a moment to light up, they're still being chased after and shot at. This isn't a stoner flick, it's Grand Theft Ganja. It's not Dazed and Confused, it's Dead and Abused. Bill and Ted? No, Killed and Dead.

If ever two genres should not be mixed in any meaningful way, it's the stoner flick and the action flick. Lack of action is the whole point of being stoned. Those of you who get your vicarious pot thrills from watching stoner movies (like me) should best steer clear of Pineapple Express. It's all killer, no chiller.

Do you think an Obama/Biden administration will legalize marijuana? Me neither.


Tennessee Jed said...

You forgot "Dude where's your car".

Pot has too many agencies making easy tax money enforcing laws, while the mafia pays them to look the other way...a win win for the DEA.

Evn said...

Reefer Madness is my favorite musical ever.

Well, after Assasins. And Zero Patience (which features a lovely ballad called "The Butthole Duet," which is sung by two... well...)

Whatever. You should here my rendition of "Listen to Jesus, Jimmy." Truly magical.

THE Michael said...


yellowdog granny said...

i have done every drug there is...well except for the newer ones that came up after i quit that stuff...but reefer never did it for me..and always made me sad ..i wanted to like it, wanted to be high on it, but the same thing would happen every time..i'd get high, laugh my ass off at EVERYTHING for about 30 minutes, be paranoid for about 30 minutes then go to sleep for 12 hours..not my idea of a good time...but i do love the stoner pictures..i still think dazed and confused was writen about my 2 sons when they were 17-18..

Anne Johnson said...

I was a character in Dazed and Confused, but not the filmed version. Just the everyday life version.