Looking for a Sunday night movie recommendation? We’ve got you covered with our shortlist of classic stoner films - helping you to wind down and maybe even to light up, but either way just to have a good laugh before you prepare to launch into the new week. Here are some of our favourites:
CHEECH & CHONG UP IN SMOKE
Cheech & Chong are a comedy duo consisting of Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong who found commercial and cultural success in the 70s and 80s with their stand-up routines, studio recordings and feature films which were based on the hippie and free love era - especially drug and counterculture movements, and most notably their love for cannabis. In this, their first full-length feature film, an unemployed pot-smoking slacker and an amateur drummer called Anthony Stoner (Tommy Chong) ditches his strict parents and hits the road, eventually meeting kindred spirit Pedro de Pacas (Cheech Marin). After the cannabis-loving duo are arrested for possession of marijuana, they get released on a technicality which allows them to continue their many misadventures, and ultimately compete in a rock band contest where they perform the raucous tune “Earache My Eye.“ While panned by critics and loathed by parents upon its 1978 release, this movie, while far from perfect, is still funny. To say that the story is a jumbled mess completely misses the point - it also blazed (haha) a trail for the stoner comedies that emerged in the 1990s and beyond.
Stoner Dale Denton’s (Seth Rogen) enjoyment of a rare strain of marijuana may prove fatal when he drops his roach in a panic after witnessing a murder. Upon learning that the fancy weed can be traced back to them, Dale and his dealer (James Franco) go on the run, with a dangerous drug lord and crooked cop hot on their heels. Hijinks, hilarity, and explosions ensue. Arguably one of the most famous and last great weed films of the prohibition era, this one is a must-watch classic.
DAZED & CONFUSED
This coming-of-age Richard Linklater film follows 24 hours of mayhem surrounding a group of rowdy teenagers in Austin, Texas, who are celebrating the last day of high school in 1976. The graduating class - a cast made up of then babyfaced future Hollywood titans like Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck - heads for a popular pool hall and joins an impromptu keg party. Meanwhile star football player Randall “Pink” Floyd has promised to focus on the championship game and abstain from partying, while throughout the movie the incoming freshmen are just trying to avoid being hazed by the seniors - most notably the sadistic bully Fred O’Bannion.
This is the story of a few not-so-bright men who come up with a series of crazy schemes to get a friend out of jail. Thurgood (Dave Chappelle), Scarface (Guillermo Diaz), Brian (Jim Breur) and Kenny (Harland Williams) are childhood friends who grow up together, discover marijuana together and live together in an apartment in New York. During a smoke, they send Kenny on a munchie run where he sees a horse, and starts feeding it treats. The horse (apparently diabetic and also apparently belonging to a cop), dies and Kenny goes to jail. His bail is set at $1million, and after Thurgood is given some medicinal marijuana by a scientist the guys decide to sell more of it to raise the bail money. Weed sales go through the roof, and what follows is typical pothead behaviour with a ton of cameos. Many customers partake, including John Stewart, Snoop Dog, Willie Nelson, Stephen Baldwin and Bob Saget. They become pals with rap star Sir Smoke-A-Lot and the rivals of dealer Samson Simpson while on the side, Thurgood seeks the love of Mary Jane, an anti-pot daughter of a dealer.
Following a ridiculously awful flight that leads to his pet’s death, Nashawn Wade (Kevin Hart) files a lawsuit against the airline and wins a multimillion-dollar settlement. Determined to create a better flying experience, Nashawn starts his own airline that caters to an African-American clientele. Going into business with a tricked-out plane piloted by the smooth but scared-of-heights Captain Mack (Snoop Dogg), the airline hits a snag when it has to deal with passengers in the form of the family of Elvis Hunkee. Hated by some and loved by others, we’ll leave it up to you to make the call on this one.
FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH
At Ridgemont High, a group of teenagers are looking for something as part of discoveries in their lives. Arguably the hero of the movie is the quintessential Californian pothead Jeff Spicoli, who is permanently stoned and dreams on becoming a great surfer in Hawaii - but his history teacher Mr. Hand is giving him a hard time. Fifteen year-old virgin Stacy Hamilton wants to have sex and her friend and fellow waitress Linda Barrett acts as her mentor on the matter. Her brother Brad Hamilton works at a fast-food diner and is paying off his Cadillac - but he wants to break with his girlfriend Lisa now that he is senior to date other girls. The shy Mark ‘Rat’ Ratner is into Stacy and his friend Mike Damone is his constant companion. Through the semester, the group of teenagers share crazy experiences and make surprising discoveries about friendship and love.
THE BIG LEBOWSKI
In 1991 Los Angeles, Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, a middle-aged bachelor with a penchant for cannabis and bowling, is assaulted by two goons hired by the pornographer Jackie Treehorn. They demand money owed by the wife of another Jeffrey Lebowski (the eponymous “Big Lebowski”) - a case of mistaken identity that explains why he’s roughed up and has his precious rug peed on. In search of recompense, The Dude tracks down his namesake who offers him a job delivering the ransom money for his kidnapped wife. What follows is a hilarious mission aided and hindered by his pals Walter Sobchak, a Vietnam veteran, and Donny - a master of stupidity. The Dude abides.