Welcome back to Part II of our selection of ‘Stoner Films of the 90s’, where we’re going to continue exploring the most sacred of film genres. As we’ve covered in our previous blog, there are some classic picks from this decade, cementing the stoner film as a credible genre worthy of attention. It’s safe to say that the 90s was truly the decade that the stoner film genre really started to gain traction and come into its own. With stand-out performances and memorable scenes, it’s no wonder that these films are now viewed as iconic films in their own right and not just stoner films. Get your marijuana pipes prepped because without further ado, here is part two...
This stoner comedy from director Richard Sears features an ensemble cast of familiar faces including perennial favourites Luke Wilson, Jack Black and Brittany Murphy. Jack Black in particular is as hilarious as you’d expect him to be. Not only is this a stoner comedy, but it’s also a slacker movie and a romantic comedy all neatly rolled into one. Wilson plays aspiring artist and pot dealer David, whose life gets somewhat turned upside down when he meets and falls for the alluring Serena (Alicia Witt). The plot involves an LSD trip, campfire songs, searching for magic mushies and a burning building, and is absolutely as wacky as it sounds.
Half Baked (1998)
Written by and starring the incredibly talented Dave Chapelle, Half Baked could be the film that gets credited for inspiring a number of stoner comedies of the 2000s (think Dude, Where’s My Car, How High and Pineapple Express to name a few). Chapelle’s Thurgood Jenkins/Sie Smoke-a-Lot gets up to mischief with best bud Brian (Jim Breuer) and others, where the group do little to dispel clichés about stoners and stoner culture. They’re silly, lazy and unmotivated, but their slapstick comedy makes for a very entertaining watch.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Terry Gilliam’s mad adaptation of Hunter S Thompson’s 1971 novel ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream’ will leave your head spinning long after watching, even without the help of illicit substances. And although marijuana use doesn’t take centre-stage in Fear and Loathing, we couldn’t skip on featuring this cult classic in our top picks. Starring Johnny Depp as the journalist Raoul Duke (based on Hunter S Thompson), the film is a chaotic venture into the drug-fuelled adventures of the Duke and his compadre Dr Gonzo, a crazed Samoan lawyer, as they take on Sin City.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
We can all thank the Coen brothers for giving us the stoner icon to trump all stoner icons in the form of Jeffrey “the Dude” Lebowski. The Big Lebowski is another stoner comedy to gain cult status with its bonkers plotline and entertaining characters. Follow the Dude, played expertly by Jeff Bridges, as he gets mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, accidentally becoming embroiled in a kidnapping case. Featuring stellar performances from John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Julianne Moore, we can guarantee that a White Russian will really complement this film.
There you have it – our top picks to round off the 1990s. Join us next time as we venture deeper into the genre. Make sure to have your doobs or bongs at the ready.