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.
Burning up the big screen this week, Jennifer Lopez hits the pole in the fact-based stripper-scam saga Hustlers, and the screams hit hard in the Halloween-ready indie horror flick, Haunt.
Streaming-wise, The Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin firebombs good taste with great, sick jokes; The Deuce plows headlong into the rush of high-’80s adult entertainment, and the animated series Undone elevates its own medium to primo new peaks.
Our vintage cult movies recommended to be paired with reefer include the hair-metal teen-comedy-turned-slasher-horror Pledge Night and the brain-boiling Italian giallo thriller, Who Saw Her Die?
In music, new opportunities to spin and smoke come from Charli XCX, JPEGMAFIA, and still blazin’ nü-metal heroes, Korn.
So let’s get straight — but not “straight” — to this week’s fresh-rolled recommendations.
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B., Constance Wu
Jennifer Lopez stars in Hustlers as the most prestigious performer at Manhattan’s most upscale strip club where, in between pole-dances, she leads her fellow professional peelers in scams that siphon millions from their mega-moneyed clients.
If that plot alone seems eminently weed-worthy — and it is — now consider that Hustlers is both based on a true story that happened in NYC during the late 2000s and that the beyond-dope supporting cast includes Cardi B and, in her movie debut, Lizzo. The rumors are already flying that the film is up for Oscar nods, too.
Directors: Scott Beck, Bryan Woods
Cast: Katie Stevens, Will Brittain, Lauryn Alisa McClain
Every fall, it seems like haunted house attractions get more and more “extreme,” turning what was one of the most fun Halloween activities to do while high into potential heart-attack fodder — which is a whole other rush in itself (especially, of course, while high).
Haunt takes that premise and howlingly runs with it, as the action follows a group of teens in a fairground scare compound that promises to bring their deepest, most personal nightmares to screaming life. Of course, that’s exactly what happens. Puff along and enjoy the paranoia!
The Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin (2019)
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro, Jeff Ross
Watch It: Comedy Central
In our present age when hard-edged jokes are best kept among you and your buds between bong-pulls and not shared with the public, Comedy Central’s semi-annual roast specials provide a thrilling escape valve for society’s pent-up drive to, just sometimes, be as offensive as fucking possible.
As such, The Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin offers up a supremely ripe target for dark-hearted laugh bombs designed to make you cough up smoke in shockingly amused disbelief.
Sean Hayes hosts. Roasters include Robert De Niro, Caitlyn Jenner, Nikki Glaser, Blake Griffin, Chris Redd, Adam Carolla, Alec’s daughter Ireland Baldwin and, of course, stoner roast master supreme, Jeff Ross.
The Deuce: Season 3
Cast: Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Franco, Zoe Kazan
Watch It: HBO
For its final season, HBO’s vintage porn world drama The Deuce leaps ahead from the disco-popper ‘70s to the go-go/snort-snort madness of 1985.
The adult film business has gone from major theatrical movies to no-budget home video grinders, but, as The Deuce specializes in showcasing with each episode, the sex, drugs, and more sex and more drugs fueling the entire industry remains completely over-the-top and deliriously entertaining.
Undone: Season One
Voice Cast: Rosa Salazar, Bob Odenkirk, Angelique Cabral
Watch It: Amazon Prime
Undone, the latest animated series from Bojack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg, is a breakthrough undertaking that bends reality, twists time, and visually overwhelms with innovative artwork and cutting-edge technology to tell a profoundly human story. As with Bojack, though, it’s of course best experienced while properly lit.
Rosa Salazar provides the voice of Alma, a 28-year-old who has a near-death experience following a car wreck. From there, Alma discovers she can trip through the cosmos in pursuit of truths both universal and deeply personal. Pack your pipe and join the journey.
Pledge Night (1988)
Director: Paul Ziller
Cast: Joey Belladonna, Will Kempe, Shannon McMahon
Get It: Vinegar Syndrome
Combining two of the ’80s most weed-driven B-movie genres — gross-out teen sex comedies and gory slasher shockers — Pledge Night is a crackpot exercise in lunatic cinematic excess just screaming to be rediscovered by joint-passing sleaze fans.
Joey Belladonna, lead singer of thrash metal legends Anthrax (who also supply the headbanging score), stars as Sidney Schneider, a freshman college dork undergoing heinous hazing rituals in order to join a fraternity.
One practice involves Sid taking a bath in various vile fluids, but the prank goes awry when the tub accidentally gets filled with acid (the corrosive kind, not the kind it would be good to ingest before watching Pledge Night). After he dies by dissolving, the wanna-be frat boy returns as “Acid Sid,” a gloppy monster hellbent on exacting revenge — which, hilariously and horribly, he does.
Who Saw Her Die? (1972)
Directors: Aldo Lado, Vittorio De Sisti
Cast: George Lazenby, Anita Stringberg, Adolfo Ceri
Get It: MVD
The ‘70s Italian horror genre known as giallo quickly became a favorite of inebriated audiences for its mind-melting mysteries, psychedelic visuals, brazen explosions of artistic violence, and Euro-groovy soundtracks.
Who Saw Her Die? is a primo example of giallo greatness. George Lazenby, a one-and-done James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), stars as a sculptor-in-Venice dad whose young daughter is murdered while visiting him. The shattered dad’s pursuit of justice as the canals run red with the blood is unnerving, riveting, and intense. So, too, is the spooky score by movie music maestro supreme Ennio Morricone.
All My Heroes Are Cornballs
Get It: JPEGMAFIA Official Site
In the 2019 freak-rap arena, few flags fly higher (in every sense) than that of sonically fearless genre-buster JPEGMAFIA.
And just in case you thought JEPGMAFIA’s 2018 breakthrough Veteran was the strangest mutation of hip-hop you ever got stoned to, and loved so much you thought maybe you actually got too stoned — well, here comes All My Heroes Are Cornballs to once again up the ante and blast apart all previous notions of what’s possible with rhymes and beats.
The titles alone make Cornballs’ 18 tracks essential, ranging from “Beta Male Strategies” and “BBW” to “Kenan vs. Kel” and “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am a Thot.” That the music surpasses the promises of those monikers makes clear that it’s time to spark up and press play.
By Charli XCX
Get It: Apple Music
Avant-pop art-party provocateur Charli XCX has so dominated gloriously druggy dance grooves over the past decade that it’s surprising to realize just-dropped Charli is only her third album. Regardless, the British singer-songwriter-slayer instantly establishes here that her reign will continue unabated. So, just get high and go along with her.
Most of Charli’s 15 tracks feature vocal collaborations, and the guests eager to bump mics with the mighty XCX include Lizzo, Haim, Sky Ferreira, Troyw Sivan and, on the instant smash “Shake It,” Big Freedia, Cupcakke, Brooke Candy, and Pabllo Vittar.
Get It: Korn Official Site
For their 13th studio long-player, The Nothing, all-time nü-metal titans Korn rock as hard as ever while digging deeper than any sane mind might have ever expected. As always, the grooves slay, the riffs pummel, the beats blast, but Korn aims mercilessly for the heart here, and they connect.
The Nothing starts and ends with frontman Jonathan Davis wailing the words, “Why did you leave me?” In between, the band erupts 13 tracks of raw grief and unbridled outpourings of emotion, inspired by the tragic 2018 death at age 39 of Davis’s wife, Deven. Choose your accompanying strain of smoke wisely — The Nothing is the heaviest of trips.
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