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.
Spring is sprung and our pipes are packed this week for laughs and screams. In theaters, we've got Blockers and A Quiet Place; comedy vets Tracy Morgan, Seth Rogen, and David Letterman light up the small screen; Dario Argento's iconic Deep Red receives the deluxe treatment; and Kool Keith and Dan the Automator return as the gloriously gruesome Dr. Octagon. So let's go straight — but not "straight" — to this week's fresh-rolled recommendations.
Director: Kay Cannon
Cast: Leslie Mann, John Cena, Ike Barinholtz
Making sure you see the image of a "cock" everywhere the title appears, Blockers is an R-rated raunch comedy harkening back to the days of Superbad, American Pie, and Porky's before it.
This time though, there's a generational flip, as a posse of "cool" parents who grew up partying hard — some of whom still smoke weed — set out to prevent their teen daughters from making good on a pledge to lose their virginities on prom night. The raucous result is kind of what might happen if Cheech and Chong ever grew up to be "responsible" citizens.
"A Quiet Place" (2018)
Director: John Krasinski
Cast: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe
As a master class in paranoid terror, A Quiet Place should require all pre-showing smokers (this means you) to adjust their strains accordingly.
John Kransinski directed and stars as a dad in a post-apocalypse wilderness, attempting to raise his family without making a single sound. Even so much as a twig snap or a dropped spoon (let alone a cough or a bong gurgle) is enough to summon flesh-hungry predators who hunt by hearing. In this case, don't bring your loud to the theater.
"Seth Rogen's Hilarity for Charity" (2018)
Creator: Seth Rogen
Cast: Seth Rogen, Tiffany Hadish, Kumail Nanjiani
Watch It: Netflix
Stoner comedy overlord Seth Rogen assembles a dopest-of-the-dope line-up for a special that sends-up old cheeseball TV telethons and raises money to fight Alzheimer's. Ganja-friendly guests include Ike Barinholtz, Alison Brie, Michael Che, Sacha Baron Cohen, Tiffany Haddish, Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Kumail Nanjiani, Craig Robinson, Sarah Silverman, Michelle Wolf, Post Malone, and (perhaps dopest of all) The Muppets.
"My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: Jay-Z" (2018)
Creator: David Letterman
Cast: Jay-Z, David Letterman
Watch It: Netflix
Now that long-bearded late-night TV icon David Letterman looks like a stoner rock wizard, he's using his powers to sit for one-hour interviews solely with the cultural movers and shakers he's most interested in getting to know. This week, it's hip-hop's Emperor Emeritus, Jay-Z. Expect a heady dialogue, sans-doubt.
"The Last O.G." (2018)
Creator: Jordan Peele, John Carieri
Cast: Tracy Morgan, Tiffany Haddish, Cedric the Entertainer
Watch It: TBS
Tracy Morgan's sitcom comeback on The Last O.G. has been the big TV buzz all week, but now's the time to really blaze up, stream the show, and lose it laughing.
The premise is amazing — after 20 years, Tracy's character gets sprung from jail and has to deal with his old Brooklyn neighborhood — one that's now gentrified and overrun with hipsters.
Add Tiffany Haddish as his ex, Cedric the Entertainer as the chief of his halfway house, and Jordan Peele executive producing, and The Last O.G. is your new weekly must-smoke-and-see TV.
"Deep Red" (1975)
Director: Dario Argento
Cast: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia
Get It: Arrow Video
With Deep Red, terror maestro Dario Argento went from being just "the Italian Hitchcock" (which is scary dope on its own) to ruling the world with his one-of-a-kind visions of blood-soaked psychedelic horror.
David Hemmings stars as a pianist in Rome who's chasing a murderer in black gloves from one tripped-out slay scene to the next. If fear is a high all its own, just wait until Deep Red's freaky knife-wielding puppet pushes you to a new peak.
Director: John Grissmer
Cast: Robert Lansing, Judith Chapman, Arlen Dean Snyder
Get It: MVD
Southern Gothic chills meet your worst fears of submitting to a psycho surgeon who steals human faces in Scalpel. This deliciously sick fright film chronicles Robert Lansing as the diabolical doctor who's out to replace his dead daughter by crafting female patients in her image.
Aside from all the medical marauding, Scalpel's most weed-worthy hair-raising elements include the Deep South atmosphere, where everything from weeping willows to funeral marching bands amplify the paranoia (particularly if you watch while smoking pot — which you definitely will).
"Start Your Own Cannabis Business: Your Step-By-Step Guide to the Marijuana Industry"
By Javier Hasse
Publisher: Entrepreneur Media
Buy It: Amazon
Even as the legalization train barrels through one obstacle after another, both in the U.S. and worldwide, taking a strictly "learn as you go" approach to launching your own weed start-up can easily blow up in smoke. Whether it's potential legal trouble, or the risk of losing another type of green, it's easier said than done to just hop on the green rush.
Powered by years of covering the evolving marijuana industry for Playboy, CNBC, Entrepreneur, High Times, and countless other publications, journalist Javier Hasse compiles a vast array of insight for anyone trying to make bank off bud. Start Your Own Cannabis Business is potently packed with insider tips, heavy research, and the type of practical knowledge that makes good on its title. Props to Hasse for offering a cornucopia of weed wisdom, all in one location.
"Dex Meets Dexter"
By Famous Dex
Get It: iTunes
From YouTube (by way of Chicago) he came, and to the top of the world he has "dripped," puffing all the way.
Famous Dex furthers his complete conquest with a new album boasting guest shots by no less a murderer's row than that of A$AP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, and Drax Project. Get ripped and get dripped!
"Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation"
By Dr. Octagon
Get It: Amazon
Twenty-two years after Dr. Octagon's debut, the original diabolical duo follows up with Moosebumps, an easy contender for the most daringly dank, marijuana-inviting musical mayhem release of the year.
So once again, Kool Keith murders all comers on the mic and Dan the Automator produces up a sonic storm. The lyrics trip through freak-out dream imagery while the nightmare-pitched synths and robotic outbursts swarm over orchestral instrumentation.
Keith rocks huge and cool while Dan automates deep and dark, together making Moosebumps an apocalyptic gem packed with mad scientist aplomb. There's a lot to get lit to on Moosebumps. Fire up at will!
"Uncertainty Is Bliss"
By Black Salvation
Get It: Relapse Records
German psychedelic music is a psychedelic beast unto itself, and Black Salvation is the latest blazing iteration. With Uncertainty Is Bliss, these sonic explorers rocket off on hot green fumes of inspiration, where heavy metal, Krautrock, prog, post-punk, and even thundering R&B commingle. The results are truly blissful to get blitzed to.
Follow Mike McPadden on Twitter