By Paris Spence-Lang
VANCOUVER — Let’s talk about stoner movies, possibly the most challenging genre for any director to earn their stripes with. To make a good stoner movie, you need to be a stoner (or extremely lucky, à la Reefer Madness). The only problem is, it’s hard to operate expensive camera equipment and finicky editing software while eating the devil’s salad. To facilitate your audio-visual experience on the 20th (or the weekend [or, frankly, in the middle of the day, every day, because that’s your life, isn’t it?]) I set out to find the best stoner movies, because operating the TV is hard when you forget you left the remote in the fridge while looking for food. Better to queue these babies up in advance.
I figured it would be best to let the experts handle this one, so I assembled a crack team of bong-rippers to inform me on the ins and outs of 4/20 filmography. Working with Matt and a guy who asked me to call him “Danger,” we uncovered three must-see stoner films.
“It’s a Nam movie that explores the usage of pot during war,” says Matt, a surprising choice for an inherently bad genre. “It’s got everything: Charlie Sheen back when he was an actual actor, shotgunning smoke with an actual shotgun, a killer soundtrack, and Willem Dafoe Jesus metaphors.” I always considered Platoon to be more of a psychological war horror, but hey, Willem Dafoe also played The Green Goblin. That’s no coincidence.
Bong of the Dead
“Danger” (a name so stupid I can’t remove the quotes) tells me this is his favourite. He offers a nice synopsis: “Two stoners in the zombie apocalypse learn that zombie brains grow amazing weed really fast.” If you’re looking for a nice date movie, this might be the one—there’s also a little love story thrown in. Apparently this movie was made for $5,000, but they still found room in the budget for a zombie-powered shower and a zombie-slaying vehicle that puts the original Dawn of the Dead’s to shame.
“Perfect stoner comedy,” Matt tells me. “Especially if you’re a stoner.” I figured that was a given, but you can’t argue logic with someone who’s high. “It’s like it was designed to get stoned to.” It probably was, or at least designed while getting stoned. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the masterminds behind this movie and other stoner favourites like The Interview and This is the End, as well as every comedy released in the past decade, smoke a lot of weed when they write. Keep your eyes peeled for Seth’s infamous cross joint, which plays a starring role.
Popcorn for Stoners
Popcorn is important when you’re sober. When you’re high, it’s a federal mandate. Now that you’ve got your movies lined up, it’s time to handle the snacks. Matt gave me some simple advice on making your popcorn four-twenty worthy: “Nab some peanut M&Ms and pop that shit in your popcorn.”
Since time moves slower when you’re high, and since you probably bought in bulk, you might need more movies to tide you over till you’re sober. Here are some runner-ups: Half Baked, Grandma’s Boy, Super High Me, Dazed and Confused, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, the vintage thriller Reefer Madness, and anything by Cheech & Chong.4/20, BC, British Columbia, stoner movies