Welcome back to Heady Entertainment, MERRY JANE's weekly guide to 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.
Normally, we pick from the latest crop of pop culture nuggets released into the world — but 4/20, of course, is no normal day. We'd love to tell you all about Super Troopers 2, Le1f's new Blue Dream EP, and Sleep's surprise record. But you know what? We'll geek out over that stuff next week — today's a little too hazy, and we're having trouble crafting sentences. The screen is pulsing. Should I put tape over my laptop's camera? Where did all my socks go?
Instead, my editor asked me to craft a crackpot edition of this canna-column. It turns out there are a lot of interesting people who were spawned into existence on April 20th, from Crispin Glover and Killer Mike to the dude who played Gollum. (Weird side note: It was also Hitler's birthday on 4/20… but we all know the bastard preferred meth over marijuana).
So, in a special installment of Heady Entertainment, we decided to dedicate the reefer round-up to ultra-dope celebrities who were born on this highest of high holidaze. Without further delay, let's go straight — but not "straight" — to our 4/20 birthday-themed recommendations.
"Middle Earth: 6-Film Collector's Edition"
Get It: Hobbit Shop
J.R.R. Tolkien's original Lord of the Rings books loom biblically high in the history of stoner literature. Peter Jackson's movie adaptations burn bright, too — initially as big screen events to get baked at, and then in the form of pass-the-pipe repeat-viewing classics on home video.
Of all the epic wonders found in LOTR, perhaps none ooze and wriggle with as much iconic aplomb than Andy Serkis in the role of Gollum, a former Hobbit named Smeagol whose obsession with the one ring fuels a performance of crackhead genius.
The mammoth Middle Earth box collects every version of every Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies on 30(!) discs, along with a bookshelf display case with leather bound holders; collector's books; and original art. Just don't let the man behind "my precious" bug you out between bong hits.
"The Ice Cream Man" (1995)
Director: Norman Apstein
Cast: Clint Howard, Olivia Hussey, David Naughton
Get It: Vinegar Syndrome
One-of-a-kind character actor (and Ron's older brother) Clint Howard devours the title role of this mid-90s horror-comedy with the madness of a thousand cases of the munchies.
So chill out, fire up a fattie, and prepare to melt before the might of Clint's turn as a white-clad neighborhood ice cream truck driver who doubles as a serial slasher. And what makes this Ice Cream Man's particular strain of frosty confections so irresistibly tasty? His own cannibal mix-in recipes, of course! (Talk about good humor!)
"America Horror Story" — Seasons 1 to 4
Watch It: Amazon
Pick your favorite pot strain that enhances paranoia, then plug in for a brain-bugging binge of the first four seasons of the FX series American Horror Story. Pay special attention to recurring star Jessica Lange, who will sink into your synapses and ignite all kinds of freak-outs, both terrifying and fun (and oftentimes both!).
Beginning with the "Murder House" cycle, in which Lange plays a faded Hollywood starlet possessed by homicidally unhealthy mommy-son issues, select your weed wisely and watch her transform through subsequent editions as a kinkily cruel nun, a wickedly sadistic witch, and a deep-south freak-show proprietor whose brain is a big top of bat-shit insanity.
"Stay Gold": Record Store Day Collector's Box
By Run the Jewels
Get It: At Your Local Record Store
As the official Ambassadors of Record Store Day 2018 (April 21), Killer Mike and El-P have issued Stay Gold, a limited-run, 5,000-and-done 12-inch vinyl collector's box designed to hold with the duo's first three classic LP's — and their soon-to-drop fourth.
Other Stay Gold goodies include a clear etched vinyl record with Marvel Comics iconography, an RTJ turntable slipmat, and a sticker. So put two of your albums into the Stay Gold box, toss one on to your sound systems, and enhance each puff of your most gleaming smoke strain with a gulp of RTJ's signature Stay Gold IPA beer.
"The Big Problem ≠ The Solution. The Solution = Let It Be"
By Crispin Glover
Get It: Discogs
The Big Problem ≠ The Solution. The Solution = Let It Be stands as Crispy's ultra-weird (big surprise!) 1989 freaky foray into music, where he lived up to his tripper reputation defined by roles in classics like Back to the Future (1985), River's Edge (1987), Wild at Heart (1990), and beyond.
The album still bubbles and fumes as one of the most bizarre recordings to ever erupt on the public — while also always remaining funny, compelling, and inventively musical enough to make smoking along and puzzling to it an ongoing pleasure.
"Carmen Electra": The Weed Strain
Get It: Your Local Dispensary
Named for the Baywatch bombshell who's born on 4/20, the Carmen Electra strain brings to mind the actress herself in that it's at once sweet and spicy with an invigorating energy lift and a beautifully intoxicating payoff. Surf's up!
In terms of which drugs best fit the personalities of USS Enterprise crew on Star Trek: The Original Series, Captain Kirk (William Shatner) comes off as a cocaine space-cowboy; Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) seems like he plucks only the most magic of mushrooms from every planet he's tripped to; and Mr. Sulu (George Takei) conveys both the heightened curiosity, warm humanity, and mellow vibes that indicate he's a 23rd century marijuana man.
To celebrate Sulu on George Takei's birthday then, pack your most cosmic brand of bud into the "Beam Me Up" glass pipe, fire the engines with the official Star Trek Zippo lighter, and just blast off! All sorts of final frontiers await you…
Follow Mike McPadden on Twitter