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 intoxicating offerings include dank dinos in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; Sicario: Day of the Soldado, a kickass sequel to the original slick sleeper hit from 2015; reloaded blasts from two of the dopest comic adaptations of all time with new seasons of Preacher and Luke Cage; Dr. McCoy from Star Trek battling tank-sized bunnies in the cult-classic Night of the Lepus; and the first dose of new music in LP form from Gang Gang Dance since 2011.
Plus, give we've got to give it up for Freddie Gibbs: the Midwest spitter dropped Freddie this morning, and the mixtape has the goddamn greatest cover art we've seen all year. So let's get straight — but not "straight" to this week's fresh-rolled recommendations.
"Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" (2018)
Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum
Since the original Jurassic Park (1993) is now 25 years old, multiple generations have gotten stoned to the series' ongoing incarnations of stone-age monsters running wild and chasing human meals. As special effects technology has bounded forward at a pace with escalating potency, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom supplies cutting-edge visuals of dinos invading the mainland U.S. in a way that's best taken in with the most T-Rex-level intense strain you've got on deck.
"Sicario: Day of the Soldado" (2018)
Director: Stefano Sollima
Cast: Benicio del Toro, Isabela Moner, Josh Brolin
Back in 2015, the downbeat, action-spiked drug drama Sicario proved to be a surprise hit with profound staying power. Now Benicio del Toro returns in Sicario: Day of the Soldado as hitman Alejandro Gillick, who previously penetrated the deadliest Mexican cartels with dire results. Again, Gillick is paired with CIA agent and black ops mastermind Matt Graver (the inimitable Josh Brolin) who's out to incite a war between the cartels by kidnapping a kingpin's daughter. As with the original, Day of the Soldado is hardly a good time shoot-'em-up, but it's deep thrills mixed with real-world politics makes for both high entertainment and, afterward, serious-minded pipe-passing conversation.
"Fags in the Fast Lane" (2018)
Director: Josh "Sinbad" Collins
Cast: Kitten Natividad, King Khan, Chris Asimos
Get It: Zombie Zoo Productions
Politically incorrect and unapologetic from its title onward, Fags in the Fastlane is an over-the-top, take-no-prisoners "queersploitation" blowout from explosively gay writer-director Josh "Sinbad" Collins, who previously helmed the cult-favorite Pervirella. The plot concerns dandified superhero Sir Beauregard the Cockslinger (Chris Asimos) taking on the homophobic citizens of Dullsville to recover the "Golden Cock" stolen from the elderly whorehouse run by his mama, who's played by vintage Russ Meyer glamazon Kitten Natividad. Dose the mix further with garage rock icon King Khan as a eunuch hitman, a gang of mutant burlesque dancers from Go-Go Town, and cameos by El Vez and the Mummies, and Fags in the Fast Lane is the most deliciously berserk bong-party movie of the year — and maybe of next year, too!
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"Luke Cage": Season 2
Creator: Cheo Hodari Coker
Cast: Mike Colter, Alfre Woodard, Rosario Dawson
Watch It: Netflix
With 13 new episodes of Luke Cage, the mighty Mike Colter returns as Marvel's dopest hero this side of Wakanda. For this go-round, Luke contends with diabolical duo Mariah (Alfre Woodard) and Shades (Theo Rossi), as well as a supervillain from the original comic named Bushmaster (Mustaga Shakir) who poses challenges that can't simply be solved with ferocious fisticuffs (although, don't worry, those do abound). Upping the overall aesthetic — as well as providing another angle to smoke to — season two's soundtrack incorporates heavy blues, lush reggae, and banging hip-hop.
"Preacher": Season 3
Creators: Sam Catlin, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Cast: Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Joseph Gilgun
Watch It: AMC
The supernatural-tinged, psycho-western Preacher has drugs in its DNA, from its origins as a trip-tastic comic book series, to its being adapted for TV by a team that includes stoner entertainment overlords Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Dominic Cooper is back as the crackpot clergyman of the title who roams the old west with the power to command everyone he comes across. His charmingly-violent, volcanic-tempered female companion Tulip O'Hare (Ruth Negga) is on hand again, too, as is the duo's horny, anything-for-a-high vampire pal Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun). The latest season introduces Betty Buckley as Gran'Ma, who can raise the dead — and more.
"Abominable": Special Edition (2006)
Director: Ryan Schifrin
Cast: Matt McCoy, Jeffrey Combs, Lance Henriksen
Get It: MVD
A who's who of B-movie veterans take on a flesh-famished Bigfoot in Abominable, one of the most made-for-marijuana neo-grindhouse concoctions of the 21st century. This saga of a psycho Sasquatch who hankers to eat human faces is a blast by any standard, but it becomes even more fun as you spot appearances by various stars from the way-out '80s and '90s flicks you learned how to get stoned to. So be on the lookout for, among others, Jeffrey Combs (Dr. Herbert West in Re-Animator), Lance Henriksen (the cyborg in Aliens), Tiffany Shepis (Juliet in Tromeo and Juliet), Dee Wallace Stone (the mom in both E.T. and Cujo), and Matt McCoy (the guy who took over for Steve Guttenberg in the Police Academy movies).
Are you over 18?
"Night of the Lepus" (1972)
Director: William F. Claxton
Cast: Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, DeForest Kelley
Get It: Shout Factory
Throughout the 1970s, "animal revenge" proved to be a hugely prolific fright film genre, led, of course by the shark in Jaws (1975), but also the titular reptiles of Frogs (1972), the worms of Squirm (1976), and the killer whale in Orca (1977). Only Night of the Lepus, though, dared to apply that formula to…. rabbits. That's right: big, bad bunnies hellbent on biting back!
Night of the Lepus chronicles the guy who played Dr. McCoy on Star Trek (DeForest Kelly) and Norman Bates' iconic shower victim in Psycho (Janet Leigh) as scientists trapped by an animal husbandry experiment gone off the rails: rampaging rabbits the size of mini-vans who are out to hop all over humanity. The premise alone makes Lepus one of the all-time most hilarious WTF flicks; what makes it smokers' gold is the endless footage of actual rabbits running wild over miniature sets, which then cuts to ostensibly-professional actors pretending to be terrified by them.
"Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies From a Lifetime of Writing for The Simpsons"
By Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Get It: Quimby's Bookstore
Mike Reiss is one of two writers (Al Jean is the other) who has worked on every single episode of The Simpsons since day one. His just-dropped memoir, Springfield Confidential, comes crammed with (way) inside stories, hilarious trivia only he would know, and numerous revelations of exactly where the very best gags you've coughed along to for years originally came from.
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By King Heavy
Get It: Cruz Del Sur
King Heavy's stoner doom wafts up our way from Santiago, Chile. On Guardian Demons, these smoldering sorcerers set off six long, spellbinding tracks that sonically invoke Satan and sativa simultaneously. Don your dankest smoking robe, bust out this new record, and celebrate the ritual appropriately.
By Gang Gang Dance
Get It: iTunes
On Kazushita, New York's supreme, boundary-busting act Gang Gang Dance experiments anew with soundscapes only they can tap into. The group's first record in seven years dabbles in a bit of shoegaze, synth-wave, psychedelia (naturally), all amidst feedback loops, smashed pianos, organic pulsations, and the wondrous vocal barrage of front-siren Lizzi Bougatsos. Kazushita is a head-flooding event even without drugs — so just brace yourself for where it takes you with them!
By Galcher Lustwerk
Get It: Lustwerk Music
On 200% Galcher, the genre-defying producer more than doubles the impact of 100% Galcher, the 2013 mixtape breakthrough with which he first lit up the dance music world. 200% packs 20 tracks of sprawling, consciousness-conquering tunes that he describes as anything but a sequel — just peep his interview with MERRY JANE from earlier this week! Words can't quite capture the experience, though, which is fitting, as so much of 200% is pure instrumental elevation.
By Freddie Gibbs
Get It: Spotify
Freddie Gibbs just dropped his latest mixtape, and… wow. We might be jumping the gun, but this could very well be the greatest album cover of 2018, if not the entire 21st century. As our friend (and noted Webby-winner) Trey Smith aptly stated:
Are you over 18?
this is the best album cover of the year if you disagree then you're a coward pic.twitter.com/4TuowKWf8p— Webby-Winner Bread Terry (@SlimiHendrix) June 22, 2018
Hats off to Gangsta Gibbs!
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