Drugs are bad, mmmkay? Even drugs made famous or popular by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Timothy Leary, and Ken Kesey- in other words, hallucinogenic drugs- are bad, mmmkay? But sometimes, there are acceptable circumstances in which hallucinogenic drugs can improve your movie-watching experience because they add faux emotional depth to the film. It’s not real emotional or intellectual depth but it sure does seem important at the time. Here are some examples of movies made better by hallucinogenic drugs. That’s what I’ve heard, anyway. I wouldn’t know because drugs are bad, mmmkay?
Hello Again (1987)
Shelley Long chokes on a piece of chicken, comes back to life thanks to her occultist sister, and throws a monkey wrench into the wedding plans of her partially-widowed husband, Corbin Bernsen (who made said wedding plans before his dead wife, Long, was brought back to life). The only drawback to watching this after ingesting mushrooms or LSD is that you may just laugh yourself to death. But if you plan ahead, you can have your occultist sister resurrect you to take more hallucinogenic drugs and then you can finish the movie.
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Grace Slick was a wise woman. “When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go and you’ve just had some kind of mushroom and your mind is moving low, go ask Alice. I think she’ll know. When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead; and the White Knight is talking backwards; and the Red Queen’s “off with her head!”; remember what the dormouse said. “Feed your head. Feed your head. Feed your head”.
The Waking Life (2001)
If the intense philosophy of the movie doesn’t drop anchor in your brain, then the intense visuals will. The best part is that if you don’t like a scene or if it starts to steer you wrong, you can flip right to the next one with nary a problem because the plot is non-linear. The only real issue here is that your trip will be guided by Wiley Wiggins.
Transmorphers 2, a.k.a. Transmorphers: Fall of Man (2009)
The only meaningful way to watch the generic fake version of a real movie made by Michael Bay is by completely demolishing your reality, visually and intellectually, beforehand. If you aren’t enjoying hallucinogenic drugs, then you might as well forget ever watching this movie. It stars Bruce Boxleitner, but his magic has limits.
It’s bright, it’s colorful, there’s no linear plot, the music is stimulating, and it’s Mickey-approved. Just watch out for Satan.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
As your attorney, I advise you to take a tiny taste of this movie while enjoying the effects of hallucinogenic drugs. It’s not so much that Terry Gilliam’s adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s legendary novel needs any help. Far from it. But twisting your mind in magical ways adds a special depth to Fear and Loathing. It stops being a movie and becomes a tremendous game. Which special effects are real? Which ones are created in your own head? Is there really a herd of anthropomorphic talking lizards plaguing my living room? Just remember- when terrible things start happening all around you, it’s only the movie. Maybe. Probably. Or is it?
If you thought your mind was giving meaning to the world before, try grabbing a drug that puts you in a seriously self-aggrandizing mood and watch a documentary of anthropological world scenes, complete with the sensitive touch of the 1990’s.
Enter the Void (2010)
On second thought, maybe that’s a horrible idea. But you should definitely watch it sober.
El Topo (1970)
Watching this sober is liable to induce a hallucinogenic trip. It received worldwide release because of how much John Lennon- the author of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds– loved it. Take it straight from the Wikipedia page. El Topo is half-surreal Western and half-love story about redemption and re-birth. That’s putting it mildly.