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.
Memorial Day Weekend is upon us and that means, of course, an extra morning to wake-and-bake completely consequence-free! Make it count, then, not just by smoking up at summer kick-off cookouts, but also with Han Solo and Chewbacca soaring with Lando Gambino on the big screen.
Want more? Try bone-crunching entertainment from a bogus-but-cool Bruce Lee on Blu-ray, and new tunes from rapper Philty Rich, super-producer Zaytoven, doom metal rumblers Witch Mountain, and no less formidable a force than George Clinton, who just dispatched his first missive from the Parliament Mothership in four decades! So let's get straight — but not "straight" to this week's fresh-rolled recommendations.
Director: Ron Howard
Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke
So what have we got with Solo? We've got Star Wars (because, you know, it's "A Star Wars Story"). We've got Childish Gambino (because Donald Glover suaves it up as young Lando Calrissian). We've got Game of Thrones (because Emilia Clarke trades in Khaleesi's fire-breathing dragons for a laser-blasting Wookiee). We've got Hunger Games (because Woody Harrelson exudes an even deeper Elder Stoner Statesman vibe here than in those flicks). And we've got Marvel movies (because Paul Bettany, who provides the voice of Iron Man's suit, gets to go full-bodied evil as an intergalactic crime lord).
So, yeah, with Solo, we've got everything rolled into one cosmically calculated cinematic mega-blunt. It's like a strain you watch rather than smoke, and it contains the most potently megalithic, sensory-overwhelming sci-fi/fantasy/action franchise magic you've ever gotten stoned AF to — plus the hottest entertainment presence of the moment (again, Glover), plus a brand new plot about the origins of the most badass outlaw starship pilot to ever make multiple generations of kids look up to smugglers like the heroes they are! The truest way to enjoy Solo, then, is to go so high — and we mean SO high!
"Picnic at Hanging Rock" (2018)
Creators: Beatrix Christian, Alice Addison
Cast: Natalie Dormer, Lily Sullivan, Lola Bessis
Watch It: Amazon Prime
Based on a freaky 1967 novel that became a spooky 1975 cult film, Picnic At Hanging Rock details a girls school outing of the title, in which a teacher and three students inexplicably vanished. Set in 1900 and awash with eerie touches, this Picnic comes loaded with paranoia and slow-burn suspense that, when paired with the proper weed strain, will wig you out well after you finish watching.
"Trollhunters: The Final Season" (2018)
Creator: Guillermo del Toro
Voice Cast: Emile Hirsch, Mark Hamill, Lena Headey
Watch It: Netflix
Guillermo del Toro and Dreamworks Animation's epic fantasy series Trollhunters goes out with another round of incandescently colorful interdimensional adventures rendered extra poignant by the acknowledged real world passing of Anton Yelchin, who starred as Jim, the show's monster-mashing hero.
"I've Got Something to Say: 10 Years of Rock-'n'-Roll Ramblings"
By Danko Jones
Get It: Feral House
Are you over 18?
Since 1996, Danko Jones has fronted the hard-and-heavy blues-punk/garage-rock power trio that bears his name. As a result, Danko's traveled the planet, gotten wasted with the wildest figures in the rock-'n'-roll abandon, and generally lived large and loud both on the road and off. Now this Canadian stage warrior brings that mega-amplified energy to print with I've Got Something to Say, a collection of essays and outbursts that blast off each page with the impact of roof-raising riffs and reefer-fogged after-parties.
"The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension"
Limited Edition Steelbook Reissue
Director: W.D. Richter
Cast: Peter Weller, Ellen Barkin,
Get It: Shout Factory
One of the 1980's defining cult masterpieces (of insanity), Buckaroo Banzai stars Peter Weller (RoboCop himself) in the title role as a rock-star/physicist/neurosurgeon/test pilot who's called on to save the universe from totalitarian madman Dr. Emilio Lizardo (John Lithgow) and his intergalactic invaders known as the Red Lectroids from Planet 10.
Weird, self-aware, and decades ahead of its time, Buckaroo Banzai laid the foundation for all modern geek culture and the products that power it alike — from all-muscles-on-deck superhero movie team-ups, to the cheeky smarts of Rick and Morty and beyond. And if you've never passed a pipe while trying not to laugh-cough out a lungful of smoke to the on-screen excesses of Dr. Emilio Lizardo, your time has come now, at last, in the miracle of high-enhancing, high-definition Blu-ray.
"Bruce's Deadly Fingers" (1976)
Director: Joseph Kong
Cast: Bruce Le, Lieh Lo, Michael Chan Wai Man
Get It: MVD
Are you over 18?
When martial arts icon Bruce Lee died in 1973 at the absolute peak of his superstardom, exploitation moviemakers all over the globe flew into overdrive to cash in on his high-profile demise.
The highly amusing and sometimes awesomely entertaining-to-get-stoned-to result was "Brucesploitation" — an onslaught of kung fu flicks made and marketed to specifically confuse Bruce Lee fans that maybe he starred in this newly cranked-out movie before he died.
The chief cheap trick the schlockmeisters pulled was naming their stars in such a way that audiences would think perhaps they'd discovered a new spelling of "Bruce Lee." Thus, throughout the '70s, grindhouse marquees announced the latest arrivals starring "Bruce Li," "Bruce Lai," "Bruce Lei," "Bruce Laing," and, in the case of Bruce's Deadly Fingers, "Bruce Le" — who does bear a remarkable physical resemblance to the deceased master.
Bruce's Deadly Fingers, which gets a really stellar Blu-ray treatment here, goes a step further by chronicling a gangster's pursuit of The Kung Fu Finger Book by Bruce Lee, and how it's protected by Bruce Wong (played, naturally, by Bruce Le).
Vintage karate films are of elemental importance in the history of stoner cinema, and Bruce's Deadly Fingers provides eminently puff-worthy proof as to why. Ease back, spark up, and get some kicks.
"The Creeps" (1997)
Director: Charles Band
Cast: Bill Moynihan, Rhonda Griffin, Phil Fondacaro
Get It: MVD
In The Creeps — B-movie kingpin Charles Band's loopy, loving homage to iconic movie monsters — a mad scientist revives Dracula. Frankenstein, the Wolfman, and the Mummy. But when his crackpot conjuring hits a snag, the movie's tagline comes into play: "Now they're three feet tall… and not happy at all!"
Are you over 18?
All four famous ghouls are portrayed by little people, with Phil Fondacaro (an original Ewok) making a particularly juicy Dracula. In that spirit, The Creeps is a madcap exercise in surrealistic slapstick and hardcore horror geek nostalgia. As vintage VHS cheese-fests go, it's also a hoot to toss on now and get high to while cheering for a miniature monster squad running wild through the streets of '90s Chicago.
"Medicaid Fraud Dogg"
Stream It: Apple Music
Like suddenly inhaling a fat bud of hyper-potent Lemon Haze in a joint you thought consisted of pure schwag, Medicaid Fraud Dogg is the sweetest and most intoxicating surprise of 2018 so far.
MFD is the first full-length album in 38 years from Parliament, the signature groove ship of funk's galaxy-hopping, all-time divine overlord, George Clinton. Among the master musical travelers manning the controls anew under Commander Clinton is his elite squadron of P-Funk horn gods: Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, Greg Thomas, and Benny Cowan.
Twenty-three tracks bounce, rock, shimmy, slay, and do what literally only George Clinton and Parliament can do here. Time to pack a fatty and beam back on board the Mothership again (… and again and again and again!).
By Philthy Rich
Get It: iTunes
N.E.R.N.L. 4, the new mixtape from Oakland spitter Philthy Rich proves incandescently lit, particularly since it's dropping a mere three weeks after he unleashed his last star-studded effort, The Remixes 2. Fret not, Philthy's got more friends here on the order of OMB Peezy, Rexx Life Raj, Yhung T.O., and Tee Grizzley, all of whom up the smoky atmosphere from inebriating to full-on inferno.
Are you over 18?
Get It: Spotify
Dope producer supreme Zaytoven — whose most recent efforts include Philthy Rich's N.E.R.N.L. 4 — busts out as a solo force with Trap Holizay, as musically muscular and majestically marijuana-oriented a debut long-player as anyone has ripped a bong to this year. Guest vocals from Pusha T, T.I., Rick Ross, and Yo Gotti sweeten the pot, and Zay packs each track with sonic surprises in the way that's become his signature.
By Witch Mountain
Get It: Svart Records
Pacific Northwest stoner metal royalty Witch Mountain reinvent themselves after a three-year hiatus with their self-titled latest. Newly smoked-in frontwoman Kayla Dixon and a fresh-blunted bass player join original players Rob Wong and Nate Carson for a next-plane-up excursion in Sasquatch-scented psychedelic doom.
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