Entertainment

High Times: The Best “Alternate” Movies for Stoners

Have you ever noticed that most movies about getting high, from Dazed and Confused to Pineapple Express, aren’t really that much more fun to watch if you actually are high?

Granted, classic stoner films like The Wall, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Cheech and Chong’s entire catalog give us bong loads of comedic and audiovisual treats.

But after you’ve seen those, like, twenty times, wouldn’t you just dig something new? I mean, the double-chamber is great, but wouldn’t you love a new hookah?

Even the most jaded and most faded want something new every once in a while.

We’ve got you covered.

Here are some films that will come in handy when you just can’t get stoked at the thought of another viewing of Drugstore Cowboy or Half Baked. Frankly, they’ll blow your doors off, and you might add them to your list of classics pretty damn quick.

aquateen

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters

Cartoon Network’s trippiest late-night series became 2007’s trippiest motion picture in this hilarious animated tale of giant talking food products squaring off against a sentient exercise machine from the future (or is it the past?) bent on world domination.

And really, when it comes to weirdness in this film that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Fans of the hit TV show will be happy to find most of their favorite characters in the film – from the Space Invader, heavily anti-social Mooninites to the reincarnated rapper MC Pee Pants (who this time returns from Hell as a fly with a taste for, yes, dog shit). And then there’s the Aqua Teen’s long-suffering, creepy slob of a neighbor, Carl.

Neil Peart of the band Rush has a cameo as himself – well, himself with the power to resurrect the dead via drum solos. Naturally. If all of this sounds a little too crazy to the uninitiated, just toke up and enjoy – and soon everything will make sense. Sort of.

ghostdog

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

You don’t even have to be high to enjoy Jim Jarmusch’s 1999 moody samurai/gangster adventure, but it makes it even cooler.

Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker stars as the title character, a self-made modern samurai warrior who works as a hit man for the low-level mob boss who once saved his life.

The movie has parts that are just custom made for stoners — long, hypnotically dreamy sequences set to RZA’s original soundtrack, broken-up with scatter-shot violent action scenes, with a cool and intriguing story of double and triple-crosses.

Plus, Whitaker’s somber narration, mediating on the samurai warrior’s code, heroism, friendship, and loyalty leads you right into numerous stoner ponders. Whoa. Dude, I can totally relate to that.

paprika

Paprika

Be careful with this one–if you’re too high, this 2006 anime hit about the intersection between dreams and reality might actually blow your mind.

The story revolves around a new technology that allows individuals to record their dreams and for others to view them. The device, called the DC Mini, is intended for use in psychotherapy–but several prototypes are stolen and fall into the wrong hands. Of course.

The stolen DC Minis are abused, and as a result the dreamworld starts spilling over into reality. One of the device’s creators, the rather buttoned-down Dr. Atsuko Chiba, assumes the alter-ego of the free-spirited Paprika in order to enter the dreamworld and put things right.

In addition to a tight, engaging storyline, Paprika’s biggest strength is its creatively unsettling visuals. As the dreamworld spills into reality, you’re treated to a multitude of totally strange and often creepy sights. Not “head in the refrigerator” creepy – creepy in that un-namable way usually only found in dreams.

If that’s not clear to you, picture a parade… of expressionless dolls… and kitchen appliances…. slithering through the streets. That should clear things right up for you. It’s in there.

belly

Belly

Music video director Hype Williams’ first (and, understandably, only) feature film straddles such a strange line between being predictably derivative and totally incomprehensible that being stoned is practically a requirement for viewing.

The movie stars 90s rap icons Nas and DMX as career criminals looking for a way out of the game, in a convoluted plot likely to make even sober viewers feel high. Characters and story threads are randomly introduced, only to disappear without ever being heard from again (a subplot about a new form of super-heroin seems to be from a totally different movie).

Even the film’s voice over narration does little to clarify just what the hell is going on. So why the recommendation? Well, Hype Williams may not be able to write a screenplay to save his life, but the one thing he can do is make it all look good–and he does that with a vengeance.

The first half of Belly, especially the opening scene of a highly stylized heist, features some of the most visually inventive, highly-trippy cinematography around. Sure, it’s the ultimate triumph of style over substance, but it looks so fucking cool.

darkcity

Dark City

Over a year before The Matrix subjected the movie-going public to Keanu Reeves’ monotone heroism, Dark City told basically the same story — but with much more visual style and flair.

It’s a neo-noir tale of an amnesiac on the lam in a city where it’s always night that engrosses you into looking at the amorphous nature of reality. Totally stoner.

As the hero is pursued by both the police and the chalk-skinned, vaguely demonic “Strangers” lurking in the shadows, he begins to uncover a trippy conspiracy that might involve everyone in the city.

It’s mind-jarring, far-reaching, and as an added bonus has Jennifer Connelly as a hottie lounge singer femme-fatale. Sweet.

Leave a Comment

  1. Honour Chick says:

    awesome movies… im high all the time so this really helps :}

  2. dRU says:

    List is way to short.

  3. Johnnie pot seed says:

    Awesome glad to see Dark City on a list somewhere! More for the introspective/sci-fi stoner, but a great effort by Alex Proyas who has lived in Australia since he was three but comes from greek parents(just for a bit of background GO AUSSIES). I really recommend to any Dark City fans they see the Directors cut if they haven’t already (just a bit better) and check out the track “Quivver – Space Manouvers Part 3 (Breaks Mix) ” which has the great line by Kiefer Sutherland as the Dr but I won’t repeat it because it would be a spoiler. It’s a great spacey sci-fi breaks track not like a party breaks track, one of my top five favourite tracks ever, but probably cause I know the movie.

    Thanks for the article, other movies look like a good stoner movie night fest. Dark City total must see on a good screen with good sound, very visual and audio type movie, I saw it nicely toasted in the cinemas when it came out and it blew me away.

    Only one I felt was left off this list is “Primer” but I reckon it’d make a top ten, along with Cube 😉 ey?

  4. gusta says:

    I’m definitely gonna check out the movies from this list that I haven’t seen, but i have a question about a “stoner” film that was mentioned in the article’s intro, the movie “the wall”. i can’t seem to find it on imdb. does anyone know who directed it or who acted in it so i can check it out?

  5. gusta says:

    my bad, i just figured out he was talking about the Pink Floyd movie…. just didn’t connect it with the typical “stoner” movie….

  6. Calvin Phelps says:

    For anyone who hasn’t seen it, The Big Lebowski is probably the funniest Coen Brothers movie to watch while stoned. Mistaken identity, kidnapping, neo-nazis, and a cast of wonderfully excentric supporting characters go nicely with Jeff Bridges as a hilariously apathetic, middle-aged stoner.

  7. pepper says:

    nice list now i’ve got something to do

  8. ben danger says:

    Here are a few way better ones.

    Waking Life

    Altered States

    Smiley face

    Fantastic Planet

    Idle Hands

    Where the buffalo roam

    Brazil

    Scanner Darkly

    Pineapple express

    spun

    Koyaanisquatsi

    Riki Oh

    Etc…

  9. shannon says:

    I believe “The Wall” was written and directed by Roger Waters of Pink Floyed. I could be wrong though.

  10. Sam says:

    Dark City is a kick ass movie whether you are high or not.

  11. crescentfresh says:

    I love these types of movies, but Spun literally made me nauseous. I’d say it’s worth checking out, but I don’t recommend it for anyone looking for a light movie to pass a fun evening.

  12. REKERWERX says:

    Ghost dog was a horrible movie..and I was high as Hell too.
    then i watched it not high, it still sucked.

    Shannon..
    I believe “The Wall” was written and directed by Roger Waters of Pink Floyed. I could be wrong though.

    You are correct.

  13. ben danger sucks says:

    yo ben danger, i dont know if you read the start of the article but pineapple express was already described as “aren’t really that much more fun to watch if you actually are high?”

  14. REKERWERX says:

    gusta >>
    Try Pink Floyd, “the wall”
    its an album as well
    it was Directed by Alan Parker
    written and screenplay by Roger Waters
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084503/

    How are you not going to include A Clockwork orange?

  15. MrMugglez says:

    I wouldn’t recommend Waking Life or Scanner Darkly.

    Both are visually stunning but Scanner Darkly kinda bummed me out and Waking Life wasn’t funny enough.

    Dark City is rad.

    Big up to the Big Lebowski, one of the best stoner/non-stoner flicks out there. Grab yourself a white russian and try not to spit it all over the TV when you crack up laughing.

  16. joulez says:

    the wall is trippy to watch…… but how come no ones mentioned grandma’s boy..

  17. Morgan says:

    The Wall was directed by Alan Parker (Fame, The Life Of David Gale)

    I like the movie Rolling Kansas… And Robocop is awesome when you’re baked.

  18. Savlbcjt says:

    66QjGH comment3 ,

  19. Mannywankenobi’s flying elbow drop off the top ropes

  20. LottaLalune says:

    ALLEGRO NON TROPPO!!! seriously, watch it!

  21. LottaLalune says:

    Oh and "the 5000 fingers of Dr. T" (dr. seuss), and "Return to Oz"

  22. Jessii says:

    i`m so sick of all the movies i have, Everytime i get stoned at home, i have to sit down and watch a good movie.. i`ve watched the basic movies, how high, half baked, cheech and chong, harold and kumar.. all pretty good (Especially cheech and chong) but yeah i overwatched them to shit, I NEED MORE STONER MOVIES..
    I bought this stoner movie called smiley face.. anna farris and adam brody are in it..
    its okay like but i prefer something more chilled out and funny,
    any suggestions? xx

  23. Rukshad says:

    My life revolves around smoking up with the intentions of watching good stoner films. I've seen almost every movie mentioned here. And all are good films..I've scavenged the internet to see if any one felt the same. And there's no mention yet. If you're Stoned????? WATCH WALL-E!!!!!!!! Trust me on this. In all my pot smoking years, nothin blew my mind quite like Wall-E..If it were an alternate reality, i assure you, that the movie immensely dark, twisted and fucking beautiful to just view..Thank me later..

  24. Nervarke says:

    Everybody thinks they are getting away with something by illegally getting high, but the Gov. has you docile and non-agressive in your basements and off the streets where they want you. They pretend to be against it to get you to do it. Sorry, I dont have a solution, just warning you.

  25. p0pc0rn says:

    nervarke… do you really think we give a shit? nope. just sayin. we like to smoke weed, legal or NOT legal.