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Heady Entertainment: Psychedelic Horror Movies, Exploitation Flick Revivals, and "King" Young Chop

The best pop culture to spark up to this weekend, including the “It” reboot, a revamped release of cult classic “Suspiria,” and the latest mixtape from Chicago staple Young Chop.

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.

Highlights this go-around include Taraji. P Henson going Pam Grier, Pennywise the Clown upping your pot's paranoia potential, Young Chop rapping through columns of regal smoke with Chief Keef, and Dario Argento's all-time psychedelic fright classic, Suspiria.


"Proud Mary" (2018)
Director: Babak Najafi
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Billy Brown, Danny Glover

With Proud Mary, director Babak Najafi (London Has Fallen) sets the stage for Taraji P. Henson to reinvent herself as the Pam Grier we need now in the 21st century. Henson plays a Boston mob assassin who blasts her way into a hit gone wrong, then really breaks out the big guns settling the score and making the mayhem go right.

From its smoking use of Ike and Tina Turner's title song to its high-octane, dope-impact action centered on a heroine who takes no shit, let alone prisoners, everything about Proud Mary wails like a '70s grindhouse extravaganza.

Do the dope thing in the weed-honored tradition, then, and spark up a couple of loose joints before heading into the theater and roar along to the beautifully funky carnage on screen.


"It" (2017)
Director: Andy Muschietti
Cast: Jaedan Liberher, Bill Skarsgard, Sophia Lillis
Watch It: Amazon, iTunes, On Demand

Stephen King's beloved killer clown bestseller finally got the blockbuster big-screen treatment that multiple generations have been howling for (no shade on the Tim Curry adaptation, though). After grossing upwards of $700 million worldwide, it's safe to say that everybody went wild for It.

In terms of key moments to enhance with herb, It's all about Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise, the circus-faced shape-shifter who lures kids down sewers into his tripped-out Big Top of Terrors below the surface of suburbia. Just don't inhale so deep or else you might push your cranium too close to the gutters for comfort.

"Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams" (2018)
Creators: Ronald D. Moore, Michael Dinner
Cast: Anna Paquin, Steve Buscemi, Bryan Cranston
Watch It: Amazon

Amazon debuts a new consciousness-crashing sci-fi anthology series adapted from stories by the incendiary author whose source writings generated stoner entertainment classics on the order of Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990), Minority Report (2002), and the Amazon series, The Man in the High Castle.

Fortunately, Philip K. Dick penned volumes of other boundlessly imaginative tech-gone-mad material that's ripe for dramatic interpretation. Electric Dreams, like Black Mirror before it, provides an ideal vehicle for those visions.


"Black Lightning"
Creators: Mara Brok Akil, Salim Akil
Cast: Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams
Watch It: Amazon, The CW

The CW's latest foray into the DC Universe is the network's boldest — and many say best — yet. Cress Williams stars in Black Lightning as Jefferson Pierce, a calm but commanding intellectual who oversees a charter high school.

In the past, however, this seemingly mild-mannered man-of-letters kicked ass worldwide as Black Lightning, a superhero with the power to commandeer electricity.

Once trouble brews on Pierce's home territory, then, Black Lightning comes storming out of retirement — and a fantastically fun, occasionally serious fantasy series kicks into high gear. Watching Black Lightning in your own high gear, of course, will always bring you closer along on the adventures.

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"Hell Night" (1981)
Director: Tom De Simone
Cast: Linda Blair, Vincent Van Patten, Peter Barton
Buy It: Shout! Factory

At the peak of her off-screen romance with the "Super Freak" himself, Rick James, grown-up Exorcist star Linda Blair kicks off her '80s exploitation flick career in Hell Night. She plays a sorority sister who, along with pledges and some frat guys, have to spend the night in an allegedly haunted house — which, of course, is the secret domain of a flesh-eating mutant with a fanged hankering for clueless college students.

"Suspiria" (1977)
Director: Dario Argento
Cast: Jessica Harper, Joan Bennett, Udo Kier
Buy It: Amazon

Suspiria, Italian splatter maestro Dario Argento's all-time masterpiece of acid-blasted psychedelic horror, is a trip like nothing else in cinema — and maybe not even in your own history of hallucinogenic experimentation.

Cult siren supreme Jessica Harper (Phantom of the Paradise, Shock Treatment) stars as an American ballerina who discovers her European dancing academy houses an ancient coven and serves as a grooming ground for future witches — as well as their human sacrifices.

The movie's cranked-past-13 soundtrack by prog-rock monsters Goblin bolster Argento's color-drenched visuals into a nonstop, insanely inventive opera of violence. Suspiria, then, bombards the viewer like a vivid drug experience — even if you're not on drugs. We do recommend your being on drugs, however.

For this new Blu-ray, Synapse Films has properly immortalized Suspiria with a stupefyingly gorgeous 4K transfer, along with multiple discs of bonus features that make this the most impactful way so far to experience Argento's made-for-marijuana madness in all its gory glory.

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"Blackout" — Audrey Horne

Taking its name from Sherilyn Fenn's cherry-mouthed Twin Peaks character, stoner rock supergroup Audrey Horne is comprised of savage shredders from Norway's infamously ferocious black metal scene. The vibe on this project, though, is groovier, more melodic, and constructed to gets heads happily bopping (as opposed to violently banging) upon exhaling bong fumes and pumping up the volume.

"King Chop 2" — Young Chop

As the title implies, King Chop 2 is the meticulous sequel to robust Chicago rapper Young Chop's 2016 knockout, King Chop. Of course, Chop's tightest collaborator Chief Keef puts in an appearance, as do Bump J, Yung Tory, Tae Flexxin, B.D. and Ace 00. Open your ears wide, as well, for meaty production by way of CBMix and Fatman. Chop's rhymes, sounds, and overall feel complement cannabis beautifully — even though Chop himself doesn't smoke.

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