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.
Outrageous action bombards the big screen this week with the Dragon Tattoo spin-off The Girl in the Spider’s Web and producer J.J. Abrams’ Nazi zombie epic Overlord, each just screaming to be tripped to in IMAX 3D.
Smokable streaming options include the educational stand-up special John Leguizamo's Latin History for Morons, Chris Pine in the Braveheart-era adventure Outlaw King, and the uproarious drag queen cartoon comedy Super Drags. Killer new Blu-rays include Take It Out in Trade, an experimental cross-dressing detective comedy directed by and starring beloved “bad” filmmaker Ed Wood, and the ultimate collector’s edition of the all-time body-horror bug-out classic, John Carpenter’s The Thing.
In music, hip-hop highnesses Action Bronson, Trippie Redd, and Wifisfuneral all drop new albums. So let’s get straight — but not “straight” — to this week’s fresh-rolled recommendations.
“The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story” (2018)
Director: Fede Alvarez
Cast: Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, Sylvia Hoeks
Picking up where director David Fincher’s 2011 blockbuster The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Claire Foy (The Crown) takes over for Rooney Mara in the lead role of Lisbeth Salander, a genius computer hacker turned globetrotting ass-kicker who first electrified readers in the Millennium novels by Stieg Larsson.
Teamed again in Spider’s Web with Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason), Lisabeth this time sets out to recover stolen software that contains all of the planet’s nuclear launch codes. So stakes are high, as you should also be while taking in director Fede Alvarez’s eye-popping assaults of intense action, as we all as — at the center of it all — Claire with, of course, her dragon tattoo, stylishly slaying all comers.
Director: Julius Avery
Cast: Wyatt Russell, Jovan Adepo, Iain De Caestecker
Produced by Cloverfield creator and Star Wars and Star Trek reboot mastermind J.J. Abrams, Overlord is an awesome overload of elements to get high to at the multiplex, as it combines epic World War II action with bloody, brain-banging horror.
On the eve of D-Day, a diverse platoon of Allied soldiers parachutes into Nazi-occupied France. Once on the ground, they discover an entire village of undead monsters that Hitler’s evil scientists have turned into walking weapons of war. That’s right: it’s good guys vs. Nazi zombies in the miracle of 2018 CGI. Bomb your popcorn with edibles and join the fight.
“John Leguizamo's Latin History for Morons” (2018)
Watch It: Netflix
Inspired after his son Buddy got bullied for his ethnic background, in Latin History for Morons, Colombian-born actor and funnyman John Leguizamo takes the audience on a hilarious, heartbreaking, and even life-changing journey through 3,000 years of true-life tragedies and triumphs of Latinx people that, for too many and for too long, has been overlooked.
After stunning audiences on Broadway, Leguizamo’s impact is even more pointed on Netflix, where he can amuse, enlighten, and educate countless millions more. The other advantage is that, unlike at the theater, you can smoke whatever you want while watching at home.
“Room 104”: Season 2
Creators: The Duplass Brothers
Cast: Mahershala Ali, Rainn Wilson, Charlyne Yi
Season two of the Duplass brothers' HBO anthology series Room 104 once again centers on the motel room of the title, with each episode following the latest check-in.
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The individual installments veer between funny, sexy, scary, bizarre, and/or a combination of all of the above in a variety of situations that all make for fine marijuana accompaniment. The new season of Room 104 also features guests Mahershala Ali, Judy Greer, Brian Tyree Henry, Rainn Wilson, Charlyne Yi, Stephanie Allynne, Natalie Morales, and the always mind-blowing Michael Shannon.
“Super Drags”: Season One
Cast: Pabllo Vittar, William Belli, Trixie Mattel, Shangela Laquifa Wadley
Watch It: Netflix
Super Drags is a righteous, riotous Brazilian animated series about a gaggle of gay friends who work side-by-side in a department store by day, and then transform each night into drag queen superheroes who are forever “ready to combat shade and rescue the world's glitter from the evil villains.”
Netflix has imported this outrageous delight and cast the voices with some standout stars from RuPaul’s Drag Race, including William Belli as Lady Eliza, Trixie Mattell as Champagne, Shangela Laquifa Wadley as Scarlet, and Lemon as Ginger Minj. Pack your most glamorous bong and smoke in salute to these gender-blending giants.
Director: Joe D’Amato
Cast: George Eastman, Katya Berger, Annie Belle
Get It: Severin Films
With Absurd, Italian splatter horror king Joe D’Amato brings his stylish overkill (in every sense) to the slasher flick genre that overtook theaters in the wake of John Carpenter’s Halloween.
Euro star George Eastman, who also wrote the screenplay and co-produced the movie, plays Nikos Tanopoulos, a faithful church-goer who submits to a Vatican-sponsored scientific experiment.
As can happen, especially in bong-ready horror flicks, the process goes wrong. As a result, Nikos comes away with the power to heal himself from any wound — unfortunately, he also turns hellbent on committing nonstop mass homicide.
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The rest of Absurd concerns Nikos slashing, strangling, stomping, and otherwise slaughtering the residents of a small town while the priest who messed him up gives chase. It’s a riot to watch Nikos wade through all the gore, and Absurd is just waiting for you to intensify it with reefer.
“Take It Out in Trade” (1970)
Director: Ed Wood
Cast: Nona Carver, Monica Gayle, Ed Wood
Get It: MVD
Take It Out in Trade — the last cinematic opus by legendary “worst filmmaker of all time” Ed Wood — is a loony sexploitation detective comedy that was long thought to be lost. The heroic cult film preservationists at the American Genre Film Archive (AGFA) not only unearthed Wood’s swan song, they’ve brought it to Blu-ray.
The plot regards a wacky couple hiring a horny detective to track down their runaway daughter. Naturally, she turns up in a “house of ill repute” where the kinky characters include a drag queen named Alicia, portrayed by Ed Wood himself!
Not that you ever need an excuse to get stoned, but Take It Out in Trade provides a perfect occasion to say, “How could anybody attempt to watch this not wasted?”
“The Thing” (1982)
Director: John Carpenter
Cast: Kurt Russell, Keith David, Wilford Brimley
John Carpenter’s sci-fi/horror masterpiece gets the ultimate collector’s edition, loaded with so many bonus features your head may sprout spider legs, jump over your body, and run amuck. Even if you’re not stoned, The Thing is one of cinema’s most potent hallucinations. But chances are if you’re reading this, you will be high, so buckle down for wild, terrifying trip.
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Kurt Russell stars as a member of a science team in a remote Antarctic research station. After the crew unwittingly lets in an alien presence that’s been buried under the ice for 100,000 years, chaos reigns as the amorphous being hops from body to body, overtaking each victim and mutating them into unimaginable monstrosities.
Boasting brilliant visual effects, unbearable tension, and a sense of paranoia that could melt the South Pole, The Thing demands you toke up and submit to its total control. So do The Thing!
“Beastie Boys Book”
by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz
Get It: Quimby’s Bookstore
The story of NYC hip-hop deities the Beastie Boys is so epic and so impossible to understate in terms of impact that, truly, only the mad rappers themselves could even try to properly tell it. That’s exactly what surviving Beasties Adam “Ad-Rock” and Mike “Mike D” Diamond have done with Beastie Boys Book, an immediate must-own tome dedicated to the memory of fallen Beastie Adam “MCA” Yauch who tragically passed away in 2012.
Chronicling the trio’s rise from NYU punks to bling-swinging mic masters to world-changing icons, Beastie Boys Book mirrors the group’s music in that it’s packed with imagination and innovation. Every time you light up and dive back in, you’ll be surprised.
Running alongside the actual story, BBB features never-before-seen photos, original illustrations, a stand-alone graphic novel, mixtape playlists, a map of the Beastie Boys’ New York, and contributions from Amy Poehler, Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, Luc Sante, and even a cookbook by Chef Roy Choi. Smoke, read, eat, and be Beastie!
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“Leave Me The Fuck Alone”
Get It: Wifisfuneral Official Site
Wifisfuneral just dropped four songs with one message that summed up by the new EP’s name: Leave Me the Fuck Alone. Coming soon after his acclaimed Ethernet debut earlier this year, the Florida rapper hurls us down some dark sonic corridors here, lit only by his intelligence, unflinching lyrics, and, again, the titles drive home the theme: “Alone as a Facetat,” “Pain,” “Suicide Note,” and “Ever Seen a Demon.” Knowing that, adjust the emotional impact of your listening strain accordingly.
“A Love Letter to You 3”
By Trippie Redd
Get It: iTunes
Wafting hot on the heels of last summer’s Life’s a Trip long-player, Trippie Redd fires off A Love Letter to You 3, a fresh 16-track mixtape in collaboration with Kodie Shane, Youngboy Never Broke Again, Nel-Denarro and Juice Wrld (and you can just imagine how much firing up they must have done in the process!). Spark up and wrap your head around the epic lead single, “Topanga.” Keep these Love Letters coming, Tripp!
By Action Bronson
Get It: iTunes
Everything that the bearded behemoth and one one-man munchie revolution Action Bronson cooks, eats, smokes, and/or raps is an invitation to belly up to the party and partake with him. And the same most tastily goes for his newest record, White Bronco.
Upping his game with some of his craziest wordplay ever, including boasts about his passion for being naked in public (once so he could “dive off boats, jump off planes,” and another time “on Broadway with an Uzi”).
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Guests include A$AP Rocky and Action’s Fuck That’s Delicious co-stars, and among the array of producers are Harry Fraud, Party Supplies, Knxwledge, The Special Victims, Daringer, and Samiyah. Hop on this White Bronco and just let Action Bronson do the driving.
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