Welcome to our second instalment of stoner films, where this time we’ll be delving into the top pot flicks from the 1980s. Whether you’re partial to hits from the water pipe bong or you’re into vapes, pipes or hookahs, smoke up and get ready for some stoner movie trivia.
It could be said that Cheech and Chong pioneered the modern pot comedy, however, there do feature a few other notable entries of stoner films for the 80s. Although the canon of films in the 70s and 80s could be seen as more of a prelude to stoner films in the following decades (we’ll go into more detail in future blogs).
CHEECH AND CHONG’S NEXT MOVIE (1980) AND NICE DREAMS (1981)
The 80s definitely appeared to be Cheech and Chong’s decade as their releases dominated the stoner film subgenre, where the famous duo released an impressive six films in the first half of the decade. The most enjoyable out of the series after Up in Smoke (1978) are Next Movie and Nice Dreams. In Next Movie, follow the boys as they indulge in some smoke-enhanced high jinks, where things get kicked up a notch with the arrival of Cheech’s Texan cousin, Red. In Nice Dreams, Cheech and Chong are back, living every stoner’s dream (no future plans or responsibilities), until they start a business selling weed disguised as ice-cream vendors.
FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (1982)
The debut film of director Amy Heckerling and based on a screenplay by Cameron Crowe, Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a coming-of-age tale that follows a group of sophomore students growing up in southern California. Although not a traditional stoner comedy in the same way as Cheech and Chong’s films, Fast Times at Ridgemont High did introduce us to one of the most well-known movie stoners of all time – Jeff Spiccoli (Sean Penn). This iconic character would go on to influence characters like famous pairings Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World (1992) and Bill and Ted from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989).
THE BREAKFAST CLUB (1985)
John Hughes’ coming-of-age tale is heavily imbued with rebellion and teen angst, and what pairs better than some cheeky cannabis thrown into the mix? Teens always need an outlet for their frustrations and insecurities as well as a way to disobey their elders and getting high is the perfect way to do that. Although seminal 80s cult classic isn’t technically a stoner film, it’s made the cut because it does include an infamous scene of marijuana use. Oddly, smoking a joint is what unites this band of misfits, where lighting up in the school library is rule-breaking at its finest.
CLASS OF NUKE ‘EM HIGH (1986)
Blending comedy with the horror genre comes this sci-fi B-movie from Lloyd Kaufman and Richard W. Haines. Also known as Atomic High School, the film charts the journey of Tromaville high school’s honour students who, following a toxic waste leak into the water supply, are dramatically transformed into crazy, rampant freaks.
LES FÈRES PÉTARD
Translating as ‘The Joint Brothers’ and directed by Hervé Palud, this French stoner flick follows two broke dudes, brothers Momo and Manu, as they attempt to sell drugs, they accidentally discover in the statuettes they have been tasked with ferrying to Amsterdam. They know next to nothing about selling drugs which ends up getting them into some hilariously sticky situations.
Maybe you’ve seen these movies before, or maybe you’re scouting out your next stoner film for your next smoke sesh. Whatever the reason, we hope you enjoy our picks for stoner films from the 80s. Stay tuned for our next blog on stoner films from the 90s.