Heady Entertainment: Cult Sci-Fi, Multiple "Dope" Queens, and Coach Snoop Dogg

Heady Entertainment: Cult Sci-Fi, Multiple "Dope" Queens, and Coach Snoop Dogg

by Mike McPadden
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CULTURE
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This week’s batch of bud-friendly pop culture delights includes old school and new school sci-fi, Jessica Williams’ latest comedic triumph, and Snoop at his most athletic.

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.

This week's batch of bud-friendly delights includes classic sci-fi tripper Re-animator, a new cyberpunk brainblast on Netflix, and Snoop Dogg putting down the mic and picking up a football instead. We won't linger: let's go straight — but not "straight" — to this week's fresh-rolled recommendations.

MOVIES

"Winchester" (2018)
Director: Tobin Armbrust
Cast: Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke, Peter Spierig

Set your strain to "freaky" for Winchester, a "fact-based" ghost tale about how the San Jose mansion that belonged to the gun-manufacturing Winchester family came to be known as the Winchester Mystery House.

The supernatural shenanigans build from spooky AF to hair-raisingly horrific. Add another later of scary due when you consider that an army of cameras shot the action inside the actual eerie estate that's loaded with underground passageways, hidden rooms, and who-knows-how-many other secrets. This could be the post-pot paranoid flip-out flick of the year!

STREAMING

"Altered Carbon" (2018)
Creator: Laeta Kalogridis
Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Renee Elise Goldsberry, James Purefoy
Watch It: Netflix

Altered Carbon, adapted from a 2002 cult sci-fi novel by Richard K. Morgan, is the latest streaming cyberpunk brain-blast in the tradition of Black Mirror and Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams.

The high-tech, high-impact, dope-to-get-high-to series chronicles prisoner Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman) as he awakens in a new body after 250 years on ice. He's told he can live free in this future society beyond anything he ever imagined — if he solves a seemingly-impossible murder case.

"Coach Snoop" (2018)
Creator: Snoop Dogg
Watch It: Netflix

Multimedia superstar and MERRY JANE kingpin Snoop Dogg reveals an entirely new side of himself in Coach Snoop, a madly uplifting and inspirational new Netflix series about the Doggfather's hugely successful South Central L.A. sports program, Snoop's Youth Football League.

Snoop's mere presence invites "puff-puff-pass-the-ball" jokes, of course, but make sure whatever you strain you smoke while watching doesn't make you too emotional, because the show is full of genuine, often powerfully moving moments. There won't be a dry red eye in the house!

"Kavin Jay: Everybody Calm Down!" (2018)
Watch It: Netflix

Malaysian-born comic Kavin Jay performs a smokin' standup set in Singapore. Kavin is proud to be politically incorrect and drops punchlines with intoxicating fearlessness. Also, to watch Jay in action is to instantly get the munchies, so make those cannabis-inspired calories count!

In Everybody Calm Down!, Kavin packs warmth, grumpiness, and hilarity into a lit hour on topics ranging from his own jumbo dimensions ("In America, I'm a medium. I have to shop at Baby Gap") to side-spitting truths about his jet-set lifestyle ("Flying at airports is so hard. I know: I'm a brown man with a beard. But have you ever seen a fat terrorist?"). We'll calm down and get high to you, Jay!

"Professor Marston and the Wonder Women" (2017)
Director: Angela Robinson
Cast: Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcoate

Last summer, Wonder Woman exploded in movie theaters and redefined the boundaries of superhero blockbusters. Now streaming, however, is the eye-opening, brain-popping Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. The film recounts the actual 1941 creation of the character by Professor William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), a psychologist who also invented the lie detector.

The pioneering shrink turned female-empowerment-comic-book visionary also lived in in a kinky, BDSM-packed polygamous relationship with his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston (Rebecca Hall) and their shared girlfriend, Olivia Byrne (Bella Heathcoate). Fun fact: Professor Marston even based the iconic Amazonian heroine on a combination of his two female partners. Light up and ponder your own similar inspirations.

TV

"2 Dope Queens" (2018)
Creators: Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson
Watch It: HBO

HBO is translating the killer comedy podcast 2 Dope Queens into a series of four one-hour specials, starting tonight. Co-hosts Jessica Williams (The Incredible Jessica James) and Phoebe Robinson (Broad City) already rule; watch them conquer whole new possibilities here.

CULT CLASSIC RE-ISSUES

"Penitentiary" (1979)
Director: Jamaa Fanakaa
Cast: Leon Isaac Kennedy, Wilbur 'Hi-Fi' White, Chuck Mitchell
Buy It: Vinegar Syndrome

In one of the last and most dynamic knockouts of the '70s Blaxploitation era, Leon Isaac Kennedy stars as Martel "Too Sweet" Gordone, a boxer sent to prison for a murder he did not commit.

Once inside, Too Sweet figures a way to punch his way out through an underground fight game among prisoners. All manner of wild action ensues, whipping Penitentiary into a dank frenzy that has to be smoked along with to be believed.

Two sequels of increasing insanity followed; the Blu-ray geniuses at Vinegar Syndrome already have Penitentiary II (1982) slated for release at the end of the month. In that one, Too Sweet co-stars with Mr. T and a little person!

"Re-Animator" (1985)
Director: Stuart Gordon
Cast: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton
Buy It: MVD

Re-Animator is a blazing, over-the-top(less) splatter-horror/sick-joke gore farce supreme. The cult classic tears the guts out of all others from its era, save the work of Cronenberg and Carpenter, and leaves viewers howling in alternating (and often simultaneous) outbursts of both fear and laughter.

Mad scientist Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) brews up the corpse-reviving juice of the title, only to have no control over what all those walking, hungry, and — oh, yes — horny dead folk suddenly set out to do.

Let's just say that one scene with a decapitated cadaver holding its own tongue-flailing noggin out in front of a naked nubile literally embodies the very concept of "giving head." Brace your bong for repeated load-packing and light-ups while viewing.

MUSIC

"Greetings From Mars" by Fox Medicine
Get It: FoxMedicine.Bandcamp

Neezy Dynamite, lead vocalist and axe-wielder for Oregon-based stoner-rock space explorers Fox Medicine, has an immediate answer when asked what strain of weed the guitar-and-drum duo might be: "We're like an energetic hybrid — Space Queen, Cotton Candy Kush, or AK-47."

As with the cosmic heaviosity hurling forth from Fox Medicine's third release, Greetings From Mars, Neezy nails it in naming those equivalent nug-types. Launched from the Pacific Northwest before leaving green vapor trails throughout the cosmos, Greeting From Mars is a trip you'll want to blast off on again and again.

"Drip Season 3" by Gunna
Get It: Only1Gunna

Atlanta native and YSL bust-out Gunna returns blazing with the long-awaited mixtape Drip Season 3. Executive Produced by Metro Boomin, DS3's 17 tracks come loaded not only with Gunna's signature rap-sing rasp and anthemic rhymes, but drop-ins from Hoodrich Pablo Juan, Lil Uzi Vert, So Icey Jordan, Young Thug, Lil Durk, NAV, Lil Baby and Lil Yachty.

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Mike McPadden is the author of "Heavy Metal Movies" and the upcoming "Last American Virgins." He writes about movies, music, and crime in Chicago. Twitter @mcbeardo


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