Welcome back to Heady Entertainment, MERRY JANE's weekly guide to just-released movies, books, and music — all fresh, dank, and THC-friendly. In specific, we choose our picks based on how they can enhance your combined consumption of cannabis and entertainment.
This week's rundown is film-heavy, but sometimes that's just the way the papers roll. Nonetheless, we've got some dank-ass pop culture recommendations that will light up your weekend.
Our lit litany includes a cult classic about killer plants (not the type we love here at MERRY JANE) and a biopic about the real-life perma-stoned National Lampoon editor, as well as joint mixtapes from some up-and-coming rappers. In other words, there's plenty to keep you, your buds, and your bud enthralled. So let's go straight — but not "straight" — to this week's fresh-rolled recommendations.
"Maze Runner: The Death Cure" (2018)
Director: Wes Ball
Cast: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster
With Maze Runner: The Death Cure, the young adult book series turned big-screen trilogy concludes in visually spectacular fashion.
For the last big blowout, our teenage heroes led by Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), Theresa (Kaya Scodelario), and Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) confront flesh-famished underground zombies known as Cranks and contend with the evil machinations of Rat Man (Aidan Gillen) en route to… well, get high and find out.
So if you grew up reading the Maze Runner books and catching the flicks, here's your chance to get lit in honor of your heroes finally make it out of that epic labyrinth — in always positively pot-enriched IMAX 3D.
"A Futile and Stupid Gesture" (2018)
Director: David Wain
Cast: Will Forte, Domhnall Gleeson, Joel McHale
Watch It: Netflix
A Futile and Stupid Gesture, Netflix's new feature film, stars Will Forte as Doug Kenney, the real-life perma-stoned National Lampoon editor who fired up the satirical magazine into the 1970s' definitive juggernaut of sex-drugs-and-rock-'n'-roll comedy (Saturday Night Live itself is, in essence, really just National Lampoon: The TV Show).
If you're most familiar with Lampoon from the Vacation movies, get ready to witness insane, weed-and-cocaine fueled "slash-and-burn" humor that's anything but holiday movie marathon-friendly for the family.
Additionally, in a dope bit of meta-casting, Joel McHale portrays the pre-SNL version of his Community co-star/real-life foil (and key National Lampoon writer/performer and, of course, Vacation star) Chevy Chase.
"The Killing of a Sacred Deer" (2017)
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Cast: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan
Watch It: Amazon, iTunes, On Demand
The new mind-fuck from writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos is even harsher and more visceral than his 2016 breakthrough, The Lobster, so adjust your viewing strain accordingly.
Colin Farrell stars as a heart surgeon who befriends a fatherless teenager (Barry Keoghan) who, in turn, wreaks all manner of havoc on the doctor's family. Nicole Kidman plays the doctor's wife.
As the mystery kid's disruption goes deeper and turns deadly, the twists and kinks only get trippier. Smoke along wisely: you may not trust whoever you're passing the pipe to by the movie's end.
Directors: Derek Gibbons, Maxwell Frey
Cast: Kristen Martin, Clint Keepin, Cirocco Dunlap
Watch It: Amazon, iTunes
Winner of Best Feature at New York's Cannabis Film Festival, Psychotic! is a blazingly psychedelic and gore-soaked salute to '70s Italian giallo films and '80s Jason-and-Freddy shockers that's set (and shot) in Brooklyn, New York. Check out an exclusive clip above!
Psychotic! chronicles the "Bushwick Party Killer" and the marijuana-inflamed quest of local rock group Mass Hypnosis to stop him from continuing to snuff out their homies between puffs. In addition to gnarly horror, hilarious insights into Brooklyn hipsterism, and bongs full of bubbling blood, Psychotic! boasts a killer soundtrack by synth duo Blazing Galaxies (whose name alone should tell you what inspires — and enhances — their sound). On all counts regarding Psychotic!, "sick" is the word!
CULT CLASSIC REISSUE
"Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" (1978)
Director: John DeBello
Cast: David Miller, Sharon Taylor, George Wilson
Buy It: MVD
Years before Troma — and way before Mystery Science Theater 3000 — the highly goofy, absolutely made-for-getting-high monster-flick parody Attack of the Killer Tomatoes first intoxicated joint-passing audiences as a midnight movie before catching on as a cult VHS tape that launched a billion bong-loads.
From there, AOTKT begat a sequel starring George Clooney, a Saturday morning cartoon, a videogame, and now a deluxe Blu-ray special edition from the wizards at MVD.
When it comes to munchies, prepare your smoke-and-watch movie night accordingly: the sight (and squishy sound) of all those rampaging, people-eating tomatoes will not just make you hanker for pizza, you'll want to chomp back at the screen in reefer-giddy revenge!
Director: Joel Silberg
Cast: Mario Van Peebles, Tasia Valenza, Eriq La Salle
Buy It: Shout Factory
Legendary '80s schlock studio Cannon Films hit massive paydirt with Breakin' (1984) and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (1985), and thus shifted from dance moves to mic busting for the third go-round in the quickie cash-in feature Rappin'.
While the shots of old-school West Coast hip-hop locales is genuinely weed-worthy, get ready to cough up smoke laughing at Mario Van Peebles as "Rappin' Hood" whose on-screen rhymes don't match the overdub by Master Gee of the Sugar Hill Gang. Also look out for Ice-T busting open the title track!
"Young & Reckless" by OMB Peezy and Sherwood Marty
Cross-country kingpins come together with smoking results on Young & Reckless. Sacramento-based OMB Peezy reminds us he was born in Alabama by teaming with New Orleans voice Sherwood Marty, and the two blast out a killer joint mixtape (pun all the way intended).
Y&R is an organic extension of Humble Beginnings, OMB's 2017 breakthrough EP, but the new release is fully dosed across 14 tracks — all filled with fat basslines, twanging guitar heat, and deep-fried autotune insanity.
"Big Bossin Vol. 2" by Payroll Giovanni and Cardo
Here's another smoking-new shipment this week, as well as another intoxicating joint effort (do we need to call out the pun again?). After making increasing noise as an underground rapper and ripping producer respectively, Payroll Giovanni and Cardo extend the Big Bossin project they kicked off in 2016 with Vol. 2.
The mixtape marks the duo's Def Jam debut and includes 16 tracks with cameos by Jade Jones, E-40, Cashout Calhoun, Big Quis, and, in the standout number "Drop Man Dreams," Jeezy. Listen to Big Bossin Vol. 2 with a big blunt, and you're good to go.
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