Now that the Halloween season is done, I felt like I had to clear my palette from my month long horror film marathon. So I decided that something silly and innocuous would be a perfect choice. Naturally, I went with stoner comedies. Considering pot is a topic that has me at my most square, I’m not sure if this was my best idea.

Wednesday Double Feature - Stoner Comedies, Up in smokeCheech and Chong kind of counts as a childhood guilty pleasure for me. At a summer camp, I went to, a friend had several of their cassette tapes so we listened to them over and over again. I still have several of their routines memorized.

I don’t think I really understood the drug culture that the two parodied and romanticized at the time. From my perspective, they were just a pair of goofballs. (I was pretty sure I was aware they were a bunch of goofballs on drugs, but because most of what I knew about marijuana came from those reefer madness drug awareness health classes from elementary school, I mostly ignored it.) I think a lot of their appeal at the time was it was something the adults wouldn’t approve of, so therefore we couldn’t get enough of it.

Besides the records, I had never seen any of Cheech and Chong’s movies so I was interested in watching their first film, Up in Smoke, directed by Lou Adler.

Up In Smoke has our pair meet up for the first time. From there, they stumble around the film looking for some weed, get chased by the police. Get sent south of the border come back driving a van made entirely of marijuana (don’t worry, it barely makes sense in context and hilarity ensues when it catches fire) and then finally entering a battle of the bands.

I’m not sure what I think of this film. It’s funny and our heroes are almost as funny as they were when I listened to the cassettes, though my sense of humor’s matured since then so that’s not quite as much of a compliment.

In a way, the movie feels about as stoned as it’s main characters. There’s an almost dreamlike quality that pervades with Cheech and Chong jumping from scene to scene with nothing mattering besides the moment.

Wednesday Double Feature - Stoner Comedies Harold and Kumar go to White CastleThe next film on my list was Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. The name pretty much says it all. Harold Lee and Kumar Patel played by John Cho and Kal Penn are two best friends and roommates. After recuperating from a long week with a couple of joints they get a bad case of the munchies and decide to drive to a nearby White Castle restaurant. What happens is a picaresque journey through New Jersey at the dead of the night dealing with racist cops, cheetahs and Neil Patrick Harris as Neil Patrick Harris.

I’ll be honest I never heard of White Castle until I heard of this movie.

I’m not sure just what I thought of this film. For the most part, it really depended on what scene I was watching. For the most part, I liked the more surreal scenes, such as when they find a cheetah in the woods. (Again it barely makes any more sense in context.) By the end of the film, I decided to pretend that the whole movie was a dream and our two heroes were asleep, stoned in their living room.