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Heady Entertainment: The Unholy Smoke of “The Nun” and “The Deuce” Stays Dope

MERRY JANE’s picks for the most potent, pot-ready pop culture picks from the week.

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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.

With September in full groove, The Nun scares up sweet paranoia peaks as the first major fright flick of the fall; HBO’s 1970s-set sex biz spelunk The Deuce is back for another dose of delicious vintage sleaze; Jim Carrey is seriously fascinating in the new Showtime series Kidding

Outside the silver screen and TV, 99 Ways to Make a Pipe is the new must-have book for every pothead’s library. And dope new tunes drop from Chicago rapper Joey Purp, Canadian stoner rock lords La Chinga, and Detroit avant-garde electronic-pop maestros, ADULT.  So let’s get straight — but not “straight” to this week’s fresh-rolled recommendations.

“The Nun” (2018)
Director: Corin Hardy
Cast: Ingrid Bisu, Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga

Screaming forth from the horror universe of The Conjuring, Taissa Farmiga and Demian Bichir co-star as supernatural investigators from the Vatican dispatched to get the spooky scoop on the suicide of a young nun who doesn’t quite seem to be staying dead. Get lit, get scared, and then thank your Higher Power (as you exhale it) that The Nun is only a movie! 

“Peppermint” (2018)
Director: Pierre Morel
Cast: Jennifer Garner, Method Man, John Ortiz

Peppermint is a blast of hyper-violent revenge action with the most unlikeliest of Dirty Harriet-types at the center of the slaughter: Jennifer Garner. She stars as Riley North, an unsuspecting mom who takes a bullet and goes into a coma after a drive-by shooting that also kills her husband and daughter. After waking up, Riley runs rampant, transforming herself into a killing machine as she hunts down the drug cartel assassins who wiped out her family. So not only is Peppermint a fun rush of vigilante vengeance, it’s yet another on-screen argument for the overall sanity of legalization.  

Streaming

“Mayans MC”: Season One
Cast: JD Pardo, Sarah Bolger, Edward James Olmos
Watch It:
FX

As a spin-off of Kurt Sutter’s classic motorcycle mayhem series Sons of Anarchy, the just-launched Mayans MC has some big biker boots to fill. Fortunately, with Sutter again at the helm and JD Pardo reprising his Sons role as Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes, Mayans retains the ass-kicking awesomeness of Sons, while taking viewers inside the previously unexplored realms of Latin-American outlaw motorcycle clubs. Drugs definitely drive much of the action, so consider Mayans an opportunity for some interactive entertainment. 

“The Purge”: Season One
Cast: Garbriel Chavarria, Lili Simmons, Lee Tergesen
Watch It:
USA Network

The dopest thing about The Purge movie franchise is that the premise is so ripe for scary storytelling — for one night each year in future America, all crime is legal — so that, even if you don’t like one installment, the next one can (and will) take off in new mind-messing directions. 

As a 10-episode TV event, The Purge dives even deeper than ever, as the show intertwines 12 gruesome hours in the life of a righteous US Marine Miguel (Gabriel Chavarria), rich rebel Lila (Lili Simons), and Joe, a psycho who lives to purge and purges to live. Pick a different paranoia-inducing strain for each installment.

“The Deuce”: Season 2
Cast: Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Franco
Watch It:
HBO

The first season of HBO’s The Deuce took place among the prostitutes, pimps, porn-makers, and other variations of street hustlers lining scary, scummy Times Square of 1973. For this go-round, The Deuce jumps ahead to 1977. The Big Apple is even more rotten with corruption and crime, but the sex industry is flourishing as the city revels in open-air hedonism like never before or since. Maggie Gyllenhaal shines again as Candy, a streetwalker turned ambitious adult filmmaker, and James Franco both charms and alarms as twin brothers running bars and brothels in the dark heart of a metropolis run wild. 

“Kidding”: Season One
Cast: Jim Carrey, Judy Greer, Frank Langella
Watch It:
Showtime

From Ace Ventura onward, Jim Carrey is a comedy hero to multiple generations of stoners who love to get lit and laugh like crazy. Of course, the funnyman has also demonstrated serious dramatic chops — with a not-entirely-unfrightening edge — particularly in director Michel Gondry’s tripped out sci-fi romance, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). Now Carrey and Gondry have teamed again for Kidding, a Showtime series about Mr. Pickles, a beloved kiddie show host who’s coming to grips with the fact that real life is not all puppets and playtime.  

“Rel”: Season One
Cast: Lil Rel Howery, Jessica Moore, Jordan L. Jones
Watch It:
Fox

If anybody right now deserves his own sitcom, it’s Lil Rel Howery, the hilariously bombastic, stylishly-bespectacled homie you know and love from Get Out, The Carmichael Show, and elsewhere. Fox has heeded this call and is adding Rel, Howery’s weekly series, to its stalwart Sunday night stoner schedule of The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, and Family Guy. In the show, Howery plays a single dad in Chicago out to start anew after his wife cheats on him with his barber. Load your bong now: that premise alone is funny. 

Cult-Classic Reissues

“The Baby” (1973)
Director: Ted Post
Cast: Anjanette Comer, Ruth Roman, Marianna Hill
Get It:
MVD

Without gushing gore, graphic violence, or any other standard shock horror tropes, The Baby proves to be one of the sickest, most brain-boiling freak-outs in the annals of fright film. It’s a one-of-a-kind weirdness best accompanied by copious weed for you to even believe it’s possible. 

A widowed social worker gets stuck with the bizarre case of “Baby,” a grown man who crawls, cries, and sleeps in a crib — simply because his psycho mom and two wicked sisters have forced him to remain infantile his whole life. As bizarre as that seems, the movie dubs an actual baby’s voice over actor David Mooney, which creates one of the most discombobulating effects you will ever rip a bong to. 

“Exorcist II: The Heretic” (1977)
Director: John Boorman
Cast: Linda Blair, Richard Burton, James Earl Jones
Get It:
Shout Factory

Director John Boorman’s electrifying, psychedelic follow-up to the history-making horror classic The Exorcist (1973) bombed on arrival and was mocked as trash for decades before being re-evaluated more recently as a joltingly-unique take on the  satanic panic that powered the original. 

Linda Blair returns as Regan MacNeil, the now teenage girl who got possessed by the demon Pazuzu. As she’s plagued by occult nightmares involving swarms of evil insects, she seeks relief from both a dream researcher (Louise Fletcher) and a Vatican investigator (Richard Burton). The journey to the center of Regan’s monster-plagued mind goes straight through to the heart of Hell by way of an African locust cult led by bad-ass shaman, Kokumo. 

In addition to Boorman’s bugged-out visuals, Ennio Morricone’s surging synthesizer score is sheer electric hellfire As such, Exorcist II is the series installment most diabolically suited for experiencing while high.  

Books

“99 Ways to Make a Pipe: Problem Solving for Pot Smokers”
By Brett Stern
Get It:
Quimby’s Bookstore

If you consume cannabis (and if you’re reading this, you likely do), you have been there: you’ve got pot in hand, but no proper means of lighting it up and getting it into your lungs where it belongs. Heroic industrial designer Brett Stern is here now to save both the day and the dank with his indispensable new guidebook, “99 Ways to Make a Pipe: Problem Solving for Pot Smokers.” 

With clear photos and step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow even if you’re already toasted, 99 Ways lays out exactly what its title promises. Buy this book, dial your dealer, and be prepared to convert an amazing array of everyday household items into A-plus weed delivery systems. 

Music

“Beyond the Sky”
By La Chinga
Get It:
Bandcamp

Billing itself as “The Champagne of Rock Bands,” Canadian power trio La Chinga blazes up smokin’ ’70s-style grooves and mammoth stompers, transporting fellow travelers to a bliss state where Big Muff riffs meet bong-water stained waterbed action in the back of a custom van as it careens through the cosmos. Beyond the Sky is not just La Chinga’s latest album title; it’s any lit listener’s immediate destination.  

“Quarterthing”
By Joey Purp
Get It:
iTunes

Chicago rapper Joey Purp drops 14 loaded tracks on Quarterthing, ranging in tone from Midwest chill to raved-up madness. Drop-ins on the mic include Wu-Tang legends RZA and GZA, along with Ravyn Lenae, Queen Key and CDOT Honcho. The production team, meanwhile, includes killer on the order of Smoko Ono, Knox Fortune, and DJ Khalil. Quaff down Quarterthing with your most versatile herb for maximum dope impact.

“This Behavior”
By ADULT.
Get it:
iTunes

Detroit’s avant-pop powerhouse ADULT. unleash pure scorch with This Behavior, their latest long-player and, possibly, their most elating and elevating eruption to date. Married collaborators Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller conceived and composed Behavior last winter while shut off from society in a remote cabin on the Canadian border. That icy isolation has paid off with an inspired inferno that pairs perfectly with your intoxicant of choice.  

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