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.
Sneaking into theaters (like tokes between mouthfuls of popcorn), The Invisible Man is out to haunt Elisabeth Moss to horrifying heights, The Jesus Rolls is a smoking spin-off flick for John Turturro’s character from The Big Lebowski, and Greed re-teams director Michael Winterbottom with UK funnyman Steve Coogan for a savage takedown of billionaire insanity.
Streaming-wise, RuPaul’s Drag Race is back to spread inspiration and ecstasy, the sci-fi skull-jolter Altered Carbon gets a fresh season, and Jason Segal headlines the tricky anthology Dispatches From Elsewhere.
Among our vintage cult flick picks is Masked and Anonymous, a wicked trip from Borat director Larry Charles starring Bob Dylan; the George C. Scott talking sea mammal adventure Day of the Dolphin; the ’80s splatter horror Deadline; and Evil Ed, a mid-’90s tribute to ’80s splatter horror.
New music made for use with marijuana includes drops from Lil Baby, Caribou, and Wasted Shirt — a hyper-dope new collaboration between Ty Segall and Brian Chippendale of Lightning Bolt.
So let’s get straight — but not “straight” — to this week’s fresh-rolled recommendations.
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Cast: Steve Coogan, Isla Fisher, David Mitchell
Greed is the sixth cinematic collaboration between comedic genius Steve Coogan and provocateur filmmaker Michael Winterbottom, a combination that has yielded the drug-drenched rock-‘n’-roll brilliance of 24 Hour Party People (2002) and The Trip film series, which are pure joys to watch with multiple joints. Shot mockumentary-style, Greed is a razor-witted satire regarding the diabolically decadent 60th birthday bacchanal of fashion mogul Sir Richard “Greedy” McReadie (Coogan). The movie offers both huge laughs and food for thought and, once you’re properly stoned, good luck taking your eyes off Coogan’s hilariously nuclear-white teeth.
The Invisible Man (2020)
Director: Leigh Wannell
Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Storm Reid
Elisabeth Moss stars in The Invisible Man as Cecilia, a domestic violence survivor who is convinced her abusive scientist ex-husband Adrian has faked his death and turned invisible to stalk, terrorize, and, ultimately, kill her. Of course, she’s right. The Invisible Man whips up a frenzy of fear you’ll definitely want to pair with your favorite paranoia-inducing pot strain.
The Jesus Rolls (2020)
Director: John Turturro
Cast: John Turturro, Audrey Tatou, Bobby Cannavale
In the annals of stoner cinema, 1998's The Big Lebowski smokes among the highest and most holy marijuana masterworks ever made, with John Turturro’s character Jesus Quintana standing out among the film's array of hilariously intoxicating icons. Directed by Turturro and set in the Lebowski-verse, The Jesus Rolls follows the purple-nailed, ball-licking Quintana after he gets sprung from jail, hooks up with his equally perverse pal Petey (Bobby Cannavale), and the pair hit the road in pursuit of illicit kicks. Oh, yes — it’s a trip!
Altered Carbon: Season 2
Cast: Anthony Mackie, Lela Loren, Simone Missick
Watch It: Netflix
Leaping ahead 250 years from season one — which was already set in the year 2384 — Altered Carbon showcases Anthony Mackie as Takeshi Kovacs, a prisoner (played by Joel Kinnaman on season one) who’s been in suspended animation for centuries, then awakes in pursuit of the truth in a future where anyone’s consciousness can switch bodies, so no concept of reality may be as it appears. Smoke hard, and hang on for the ride.
Dispatches From Elsewhere: Season One
Cast: Jason Segel, Andre 3000, Eve Lindley
Watch It: AMC
Jason Segel is both the creator and star of Dispatches From Elsewhere, an anthology series set in Philadelphia where a series of unrelated individuals get entangled in a larger mystery that may ultimately bring them — and possibly all of humanity — together. Or it may not. Inspired by the alternate reality game "Games of Nonchalance" that overtook San Francisco from 2008 to 2011, Dispatches From Elsewhere is an expansive tumble down the rabbit hole of so-called reality, best watched while elevated.
RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 12
Host: RuPaul Andre Charles
Watch It: VH1
What’s there to say about RuPaul’s Drag Race except that it’s back, it’s more bodacious than ever, and this weekly celebration of life, glamour, and crazy creativity is always a party — just bring the bong, tune in, and doll-up your consciousness. Guests on season 12 include Jeff Goldblum, Leslie Jones, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Chaka Khan, Robyn, Whoopi Goldberg, Normani, Daisy Ridley, Thandie Newton, Olivia Munn, Rachel Bloom, Daniel Franzese, Jonathan Bennett, and Winnie Harlow.
The Day of the Dolphin (1973)
Director: Mike Nichols
Cast: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Paul Sorvino
Get It: Kino Lorber
The Day of the Dolphin is an earthbound, seafaring sci-fi adventure with heart, action, the great George C. Scott, and, most smokable of all, talking aquatic mammals as its heroes. Scott plays Dr. Jake Terrell, a scientist who has spent years training a pair of dolphins, Fa and Bea, to speak simple English. Just as the animals finally start talking, a shadowy spy agency steals the animals and aims to use them to assassinate the President of the United States. Dr. Jake rushes to rescue Fa and Bea, and their adventure is both nerve-wracking and heartfelt. The Day of the Dolphin is an eco-fable for the ages, and it looks luminous in the new collector’s edition from Kino Lorber. Light up, and dive deep.
Director: Mario Azzopardi
Cast: Stephen Young, Sharon Masters, Marvin Goldhar
Get It: Vinegar Syndrome
The cult following for the Canadian fright freak-out Deadline has been steadily building for decades, finally resulting this new collector’s Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome that will, at last, deliver this madness to the masses.
Stephen Young stars as Steven Lessey, a horror author who becomes unhinged while plumbing his imagination for increasingly gruesome stories in order to make a living. Spark up and watch Lessey’s descent into derangement, as his sanity slips away and the kill count around him expands with inventive intensity — and even some sinister laughs.
Evil Ed (1995)
Director: Anders Jacobsson
Cast: Johan Rudebeck, Olof Rhodin, Hans Wilhelmsson
Get It: MVD
Written, directed, and essentially unleashed by Swedish filmmaker Anders Jacobsson, the gloriously gory ’90s video rental favorite Evil Ed is a funny, ferocious assault on both censorship and all human senses.
The movie opens with a guts-raining suicide by hand grenade and, from there, careens into an orgy of over-the-top splatter onslaughts as the titular antihero (Johan Rudebeck) gives into his berserk visions of monsters, demons, and creepy creatures that compel him to commit mass slaughter.
Evil Ed squeals, screams, and gushes to life (and death) anew via Arrow Video’s extras-packed new deluxe edition. Push play, pass a heavily packed bong, and brace yourself for awesome grossness.
Masked and Anonymous (2004)
Director: Larry Charles
Cast: Bob Dylan, Penelope Cruz, John Goodman
Get It: Shout Factory
Masked and Anonymous, a one-of-a-kind, alternate-universe fantasy from Borat director Larry Charles, stars no less a lit luminary than Bob Dylan, who also co-wrote the screenplay. Dylan stars as Jack Fate, an enigmatic singer-songwriter freed from jail to perform a benefit concert for a collapsing America.
Packed with stars that include Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Penelope Cruz, Angela Basset, Mickey Rourke, Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Jessica Lange, and Cheech Marin, Masked and Anonymous is weird, off-putting, hugely compelling, and, somehow, tremendously inspiring. The movie shares that in common with its leading man, who we’re pretty sure would want you puffing pot while you watch it (no matter what, we want you puffing pot, so do it).
By Wasted Shirt
Get It: Bandcamp
Wasted Shirt is the fusion — and combustion — of genre-warping Ty Segall and psychedelic noise-marauder Brian Chippendale of Lightning Bolt. Fungus II, the duo’s skull-smashing debut, is an eruption of hallucinogenic perfection. Get high, and let it grow all over you.
By Lil Baby
Get It: Lil Baby Official
2020 already feels like The Year of Lil Baby, and My Turn, his second studio album, makes clear that we may be living and smoking in the Lil Baby Era for some time to come. Guests include Lil Wayne, Future, Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, Gunna, 42 Dugg, Moneybagg Yo, and Rylo Rodriguez. Turn on and toke up to My Turn.
Get It: Caribou Official
It’s hard to believe we haven’t lit a spliff to a new Caribou album since Our Love in 2014. At last, Dan Snaith — a.k.a. Caribou himself — is back with Suddenly. And from the LP’s first gently rocking synth notes to its soaring crescendos to its forays into hip-hot beats and pop-rock flourishes, it’s great to get high with this guy and his endlessly surprising music once again.
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