Heady Entertainment: The Best New Pop Culture to Get Blazed to This Week - Culture | MERRY JANE
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Heady Entertainment: The Best New Pop Culture to Get Blazed to This Week

Featuring a new movie about cannibal killer Jeffrey Dahmer, a book on "phantasmagorical" horror films, and a hot mixtape by the one and only Wiz Khalifa.

by Mike McPadden

by Mike McPadden

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. So let's go straight — but not "straight" — to this week's fresh-rolled recommendations.

IN THEATERS

My Friend Dahmer (2017)
Director:
Marc Meyers,
Cast: Ross Lynch, Dallas Roberts, Anne Heche
See It: In theaters nationwide

After blowing minds and chilling bones on the film festival circuit for the past few months, My Friend Dahmer opened in New York and Los Angeles last week. Now it's playing at a theater near everybody.

At various times hair-raising, heart-breaking, and, believe it or not, hilariously funny, My Friend Dahmer recounts the 1970s adolescence of Jeffrey Dahmer — the notorious true-life "Milwaukee Cannibal" serial killer — from the point of view of his best buds in high school.

At first, Jeffrey's just the oddest kid among a quartet of other teenage oddballs. As time progresses, though, he slips off into the darkness that ultimately led to an apartment full of chopped up human body parts. A warning then: prior to catching My Friend Dahmer, be sure to adjust your pre-flick smoking choice in terms of its potential for paranoia.

My Friend Dahmer is adapted from an award-winning graphic novel by John "Derf" Backderf. He actually lived the story. In addition to the moving and haunting film, younger smokers can also wig out to seeing Disney star Ross Lynch (Austin & Ally, the Teen Beach musicals) going all-out as the all-too-real psycho slayer in the making.

STREAMING

Patti Cake$ (2017)
Director: Geremy Japser
Cast: Danielle Macdonald, Bridget Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay
Watch It: Amazon, iTunes, On Demand

In Patti Cake$, native Australian Danielle Macdonald comes out belting, brawling, and dropping monster rhymes as Patricia "Dumbo" Dombrowski, a blonde, plus-sized rap-star wannabe from the dankest pits of New Jersey who worships Nicki Minaj.

Macdonald's louder-than-life star turn elevates what might otherwise be a typical hip-hop underdog story in the 8 Mile and Hustle & Flow vein to a likable and even lit level. Copious chronic consumption occurs onscreen; do take that as a cue to smoke along at home.

DVD and BLU-RAY (New Release) 

Finding Joseph I: The HR From Bad Brains Documentary (2017)
Format:
DVD
Director: James Lathos
Cast: Paul "H.R." Hudson,
Special Features: Trailers
Buy It: MVD

In the realm of slamming, jamming, ganja-rock greatness, Rasta-punk icons Bad Brains have no equal. As such, the hardcore group's frontman H.R. (short for human rights) figures as the burning, spiritual spearhead that has kept the band soaring to superhuman realms of ecstatic bliss, both musical and otherwise.

No one else could have possibly led Bad Brains, and the documentary Finding Joseph I takes us deep into the mysteries of the man who continues to so intoxicatingly captivate all comers. (For more on the doc, check out MERRY JANE's past interview with the director James Lathos)

Naturally, H.R. proves to be a complex and often conflicted figure, combining his Rastafarian faith, the book Think and Grow Rich by philosopher Napoleon Hill, and heaps upon heaps of herbal enlightenment with his inborn musical genius. The movie keeps our focus fixed on his ongoing struggles and fitful triumphs, tempered, of course, by brilliant explosions of Bad Brains in concert.

CULT CLASSIC BLU-RAY

Psychos In Love (1987)
Format:
Blu-ray
Director: Gorman Berchard
Cast: Carmine Capobianco, Debi Thibeault, Frank Stewart
Special Features: Commentary tracks, interviews, documentaries, deleted scenes, alternate takes, reversible cover art
Buy It: Vinegar Syndrome

A low-budget, over-the-top "splat-schtick" gore-fest horror-comedy in the tradition of The Toxic Avenger and Dead/Alive, Psychos In Love debuted as a midnight movie and developed a cult following once it hit VHS, where stoned teenagers tried not to barf and/or laugh too hard over its gross-out slasher gags between bong hits.

Once you read the title, you essentially grasp the plot. Strip-club owner Joe (Carmine Capobianco) and mad manicurist Kate (Debi Thibeault) fall for one another and discover that they're both sadistic serial murderers. Herman (Frank Stewart), a cannibal plumber, wants them out of the picture so he can kill more. Blood and guts fly everywhere.

With a new generation of horror fanatics getting high and rediscovering the forgotten favorites of the '80s, Vinegar Syndrome has rescued and reissued Psychos in Love in a deluxe Blu-ray package loaded with bonus materials.

BOOKS

Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin
Edited by Sam Deighan
Buy It:
Spectacular Optical

French cinema surrealist Jean Rollin initially established himself in the late 1960s and early '70s as a one-of-a-kind screen scorcher with a series of artful, elegant, exquisitely executed horror films that leaned heavily toward female vampires.

Using vibrant colors, audacious sets and costumes, enormously alluring actresses, and flawless camera activity, Rollin created psychedelic masterworks of fear, eroticism, and high, unmistakably European style that mesmerizingly embody the entire concept of "trippy."

When Rollin explored other genres in later years, his vision expanded as well — as did his core ability to make investigations of the female mystique that looked and felt like acid-drenched fairy tales.

Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin is a lush, vibrant compendium edited by film scholar Sam Deighan. It's packed with more than 400 bold and beguiling images, along with essays exclusively by female writers on the candy-colored black magic of this unique visionary. Flipping through Lost Girls' pages is a mind-blow in itself — just wait until you turn on and toke up to the movies included inside.

MUSIC

Laugh Now, Fly Later — Wiz Khalifa

The cover image of Wiz Kahlifa's latest mixtape, Fly Now, Laugh Later signals that high times lay ahead for those who hit play. Next to a red-robed enchantress, there's Wiz — shirt off, spliff in hand, chilling on a vintage green couch in what looks to be a rec room transported directly from the peak of '70s soul suaveness.

"Letterman," FN, LL's first single is pure marijuana-toasted magic, a wicked blend of spooky guitar, searing beats, and Wiz's unmistakably potent vocals. Surrounding that are nine tracks of power so towering you'll have to remind yourself that this is still just the lead up to Wiz's next full-force long-player, Rolling Papers 2.

CLASSIC REISSUE

Metallica: Master of Puppets Box Set

Special Features: 10 CDs, 3 vinyl LPs, 1 cassette tape, 2 DVDs, 108-page hardcover book, demos, alternate versions, never-released concert recordings, lithograph, folder with handwritten lyrics.

To celebrate the 30-year anniversary of their line-in-the-moshpit thrash-terpiece, Master of Puppets, Metallica is reissuing a mammoth, exhaustively remastered box set of the album. It's every conceivable incarnation of the music — and the moment — wherein Metallica furiously fused heavy metal, hardcore punk, and high headbanging to apocalyptic perfection.

Multiple generations of metalheads first puffed marijuana to the blaring riffs of Master of Puppets. The new box set expands that experience out into mind-expanding eternity.

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Mike McPadden

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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