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Heady Entertainment: Stoned Superheroes, "The Week Of," and the Return of “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Let the last weekend of April shower over you with the megaton marijuana potential of “Avengers: Infinity War,” Netflix’s “Dude,” and a ripping new release from The Melvins.

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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.

Let the last weekend of April shower over you with the megaton marijuana potential of Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel's ultimate mighty hero mash-up; the mellow teenage tokage of Dude on Netflix; Dan Aykroyd's nerd/pimp cult-classic Dr. Detroit; and the mind-melting mayhem of bong-rock gods The Melvins wailing with two ace bassists simultaneously. So let's go straight — but not "straight" — to this week's fresh-rolled recommendations.

Movies

"Avengers: Infinity War" (2018)
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chadwick Boseman, Scarlett Johansson

Avengers: Infinity War is the Big Bambu of superhero blowouts, the ultimate geek-blockbuster packed tight with every Marvel character to grace the silver screen — plus a few new faces making their first-time bows.

Aside from the usual cape-clad A-listers, Infinity War also boasts stoner comic book faves Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), The Vision (Paul Bettany), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and Groot (Dwayne Johnson), as well as the elevated awesomeness of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). And if you do manage to see Howard the Duck crop up amidst all the on-screen mayhem, you might not necessarily be hallucinating (unless you are — then it's just the best case scenario all around!).

Streaming

"Dude" (2018)
Director: Olivia Milch
Cast: Lucy Hale, Katheryn Prescott, Alexander Shipp
Watch It: Netflix

"Four best friends navigate loss and major life changes — and smoke a lot of weed — during their last four weeks of high school." That's the actual Netflix description of Dude, a new coming-of-age comedy from writer-director Olivia Milch (who scripted the upcoming Ocean's 8). So if the official corporate branding of a movie effectively touts marijuana as one of the major co-stars — count us in, bongs loaded!

"The Handmaid's Tale": Season 2 (2018)
Creator: Bruce Miller
Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski
Watch It: Hulu

Elizabeth Moss returns for another round of patriarchal dystopia mind-melting in The Handmaid's Tale, Hulu's TV series adaptation of Margaret Atwood's classic novel of peak paranoia sci-fi. This tale, all about a future world where women are stripped of rights and forced into sexual subjugation, is a bummer trip to be sure — but when taken in with a properly thought-provoking strain of smokable inspiration, this powerfully provocative program will fire up debates, contemplation, and imaginations alike.

"The Week Of" (2018)
Director: Robert Smigel
Cast: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Steve Buscemi
Watch It: Netflix

Multiple generations have now come of age getting high and losing their shit laughing at both goofball Adam Sandler movies and scathing Chris Rock comedy specials. The Week Of pairs the two SNL vets and longtime real-life friends as dads whose kids are getting married. Robert Smigel, the stoner comedy giant behind SNL's TV Funhouse and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, writes and directs — so choose your most knuckleheaded strain and just laugh along.

Cult-Classic Reissues

"Cyborg": Collector's Edition (1989)
Director: Albert Pyun
Cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Vincent Klyn, Deborah Richter
Get It: Shout Factory

Jean-Claude Van Damme broke through in the bone-snapping B-movie classic Bloodsport (1988), about an underground martial arts tournament. In his sci-fi follow-up, Cyborg, JCVD actually lives underground in post-apocalyptic New York City. He plays mercenary Gibson Rickenbacker and he battles with a cyberpunk outlaw named Fender Tremolo (Vincent Klyn) over the information that's been programmed inside the nubile humanoid robot of the title.

If Cyborg sounds like insane fun to watch while wasted, it is — then, once you reach proper baked status, ponder the fact that the mess your watching actually started out as a sequel to Masters of the Universe (1987) wherein Van Damme was supposed to take over the role of He-Man!

"Dr. Detroit" (1983)
Director: Michael Pressman
Cast: Dan Aykroyd, Donna Dixon, Howard Hesseman
Get It: Shout Factory

"Ladies and gentlemen, players and ladies, high-lifes and low-lifes, all you trash with cash, allow me to announce the Doctor is in!"

So proclaims the Godfather of Soul, James Brown himself, in Dr. Detroit, Dan Aykroyd's off-the-(snorted)-rails, cult-classic sex comedy in which he plays a mild-mannered university professor who's forced to take on the persona of the world's most bad-ass pimp.

Books

"Dave Sheridan: Life With Dealer McDope, The Leather Nun, and The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers"
By Dave Sheridan, Edited by Mark Burstein

Publisher: Fantagraphics Underground
Get It: Quimby's Bookstore

Brilliantly crackpot cartoonist Dave Sheridan died young at 38 in 1982, but the pot-powered revolution he pioneered via underground comics continues to resonate everywhere from mainstream movies to counterculture comedy to kitchen-sink hip-hop samples and psychedelic rock revelry to everywhere in our culture touched by ganja-inspired guffaws — which is to say… everywhere!

The career-spanning compendium Dave Sheridan: Life With Dealer McDope, The Leather Nun, and The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers includes a biography of the weed-wacked master draftsman and collects not only his work on those iconic cannabis comics of the title, but his album covers, beer labels, and lovingly-rendered endorsements of all things reefer. For more on The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, read our interview with Gilbert Shelton from the fall!

"How to Swear: An Illustrated Guide"
By Stephen Wildish
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Get It: Quimby's Bookstore

If a series of dirty words add up to dirty book, then How to Swear by Stephen Wildish is a whole heap of four-, seven-, and 12-letter fun. Wildish uses easy-to-read charts, diagrams, history lessons, and how-to instructions to up the reader's mastery of motherfucking son-of-a-bitch shit-hot obscenity. Smoke, read, swear, and laugh!

Music

"Pinkus Abortion Technician"
By The Melvins
Get It: Ipecac Records

Stoner-metal overlords The Melvins ignite unprecedented levels of volcanic rumbling on Pinkus Abortion Technician, by way of newly-united dual (and dueling) bass players Jeff Pinkus of drug-punk deities the Butthole Surfers and Steven McDonald of sugar-psych power-pop blasters Redd Kross.

Inhale hard and soar to the album's originals, such as the fuming propulsion of "Break Bread" and the scalding brain-bath of "Don't Forget to Breathe." Then, just let go and ride along with some of the most severely deranged Melvins' covers ever, including a tempo-fracturing take on the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand!" And for more on The Melvins, revisit our interview with frontman Buzz here.

"Sterile Hand"
By Sterile Hand
Get It: Ecstatic Recordings

As the duo Sterile Hand, wizardly techno producer Juan Mendez (aka Silent Servant) combines forces with vocalist Ori Ofir. So put on your dancing shoes, open your mind, and, of course, call your dealer. Sterile Hand's self-titled Ecstatic Recordings debut is a combusting of all the most intoxicating elements of contemporary techno, cold wave, and industrial overdrive. The pummeling tunes and cohesive vibe to the release make for an expansive experience of pure hybrid originality.

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