Film, OldVenue

Under the Influence

How High (2001)

Sometimes you can’t beat indulging in some straight up ridiculousness. How High is off the chart in terms of its unashamed silliness and completely ludicrous plot. What better way to entertain a baked, hazy mind than to get lost in an hour and a half of two underachieving stoners (played by Method Man and Redman) smoking their way into college?

The most outrageous thing about this film is its twist on the supernatural- Silas and Jamal smoke their dead friend’s ashes in order to summon his ghost, so he can tell them answers to exam questions. That’s some creative genius right there.

It’s got the right level of farce and self-awareness to keep you occupied, and is completely devoid of paranoia-inducing big questions, unless you were to watch it as a serious social commentary of two hallucinating drug addicts who just want to prove society wrong and earn a degree. Now that would be weird.


Pineapple Express (2008)

Pineapple Express easily claims the ‘stoner film’ title for a number of reasons, and not just because Seth Rogen and James Franco’s escapades are mostly marijuana-induced. It’s also incredibly relatable thanks to its casual presentation of weed smoking. The comedy itself is ridiculous: from the fight scene between Red, Saul and Denton to the random smittering of equally ridiculous dialogue such as … rather on-point observation of cous cous: “the food so good they named it twice”. It’s hard not to feel stoned whilst watching the film sober. The difference of picking up a joint rather than popcorn when watching Pineapple Express is that ultimately, you find yourself not laughing at Saul and Dale, but laughing with them.


Yellow Submarine (1968)

In all honesty, you probably don’t need to be under the influence to experience the dream-like and colourful world of The Beatles’ iconic animated film, Yellow Submarine. However, the bizarre and vivid landscapes, colours and creatures will certainly have you reaching for the nearest hallucinogen (or the nearest exit if you are having a bad trip) and can certainly creep you out whilst sober. But every time a Beatles classic such as Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and All You Need Is Love reaches your ears, it lifts you up and brilliantly compliments the creative and psychedelic visuals. Although there isn’t much of a plot, the swirling animation and blissful musical sequences are enough to make your narcotic experience one full of wonder and imagination.


Lost Highway (1997)

Lost Highway epitomises the intense, chaotic dream worlds Lynch creates in his films. A nonsensical neo-noir, it follows a married couple from the modern L.A suburbs into a 1950s fantasy mafia underworld. It is not the plot but the style that the audience remembers. Who wouldn’t want to experience a trip to a soundtrack of David Bowie, This Mortal Coil and Marilyn Manson? The latter may incite fear at a potentially satanic experience, but in the right mind-set, one should expect total exhilaration. Lost Highway is explosively vibrant with a frantic visual style so there is no threat of falling into a depressive funk. When Bill Pullman tells us “I like to remember things my own way, not necessarily the way they happened,” he locates the imaginative potential for the film in its total disconnection with reality. Obey the trailer, follow the Mystery Man and take a trip on David Lynch’s Lost Highway.


About Author

silviarose Silvia is an English Literature & Creative Writing student from the mountains in North Wales. You will spot her in the square wearing too many colourful prints (and probably laughing too loudly). Nothing makes her happier than good food, fabulous company and a hard throbbing cock.

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May 2022
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