We all know the excessive drug consumption will turn you into a toothless, dribbling maniac (or Pete Doherty *shudder*) but still, there’s something about seeing them up on the safety of the silver screen that makes them much more appealing
Here’s my run down of my top 7, from the timeless cool flicks to the cheesiest guilty pleasures
Director: Justin Kerrigan
Cast: John Simm, Lorraine Pilkington, Shaun Parkes, Nicola Reynolds, Danny Dyer, Dean Davies, Peter Albert, Jan Anderson, Terence Beesley, Sarah Blackburn, Anne Bowen, Neil Bowens, Peter Bramhill, Jo Brand, Stephanie Brooks
Genre: Comedy, Teenage
One of the best films depicting the 90’s rave scene, Human Traffic follows the lives of a group of mates who work rubbish jobs and have countless problems, and shows us what they get up to once the weekend has landed. It charts their lives from leaving work to hitting the clubs and finally tells their eventual comedown with a sense of honesty that makes it all the more realistic. Ok, Danny Dyer is in it, but he hasn’t fully developed his cockney geezer persona, so it’s still perfectly watchable
Human Traffic uses archive footage from 1991, a touch which really recreates the vibe perfectly, and the soundtrack features dance giants like Underworld and Orbital. It’s one of the few films which really creates that awesome Friday night feeling, and even if your ideal night out is more kebabs than Ketamine, this will certainly have you screaming the Milky Bars are on me!!
Director: Jonas Åkerlund
Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Mickey Rourke, Brittany Murphy, John Leguizamo, Patrick Fugit, Mena Suvari, Chloe Hunter, Elisa Bocanegra, Julia Mendoza, China Chow, Nicholas Gonzalez, Deborah Harry, Josh Peck, Charlotte Ayanna, Eric Roberts
Genre: Drama, Crime
Spun explores the lives of a group of addicts caught up in a crystal meth ring. Filmed in a jerky, twitchy way to reflect the effects of meth, Spun is one of the most convincing cinematic portrayals of addiction ever depicted and is similar in many ways to the great Requiem for a Dream by Darren Aronofsky. The cast is amazing, Mickey Rourke plays a crystal meth lab creator, the late Brittany Murphy shines as scatty but stunning meth addict Nikki, and there’s even an appearance from Debbie Harry as Ross’ lesbian neighbour
Throw in some bizarre pornographic animation sequences, a hallucination of Mickey Rourke describing his love of porn with an American flag backdrop and a heavy metal soundtrack (Smashing Pumpkins‘ Billy Corgan was heavily involved) and what you get is Spun - an amazingly cool film. There’s no moralizing, or consequences to be shown. Just 97 minutes of violence, sex and insanity – what’s not to like?
Director: Ted Demme
Cast: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Franka Potente, Rachel Griffiths, Paul Reubens, Jordi Mollà, Cliff Curtis, Miguel Sandoval, Ethan Suplee, Ray Liotta, Kevin Gage, Max Perlich, Jesse James, Miguel Pérez, Dan Ferro
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance
The definitive movie on cocaine smuggling, Johnny Depp stars alongside the sultry Penelope Cruz in this based loosely on a true story biopic of drug smuggler George Jung. Starting with his humble beginnings selling pot, before a spell in prison teaches him all he needs to know about cocaine smuggling. Despite his wealth & riches he finally becomes depressed and disillusioned, and tries to get out of the drug game. But even a cocaine induced heart attack can’t stop him, and George finds himself on a terrible downward spiral
Unlike the other flicks on this list, there’s a heavy emphasis on the consequences of George‘s actions. The final image of the real George Jung, aging, consumed and trapped in prison contrasts heavily with the spectacularly luxurious decadence of his previous lifestyle. If you can ignore the hideous 70’s outfits and series of dodgy wigs Johnny Depp is forced to wear (at some points he looks like David Essex!) then this is a must see movie
Director: Paddy Breathnach
Cast: Lindsey Haun, Jack Huston, Max Kasch, Maya Hazen, Alice Greczyn, Robert Hoffman, Don Wycherley, Sean McGinley, Toby Sedgwick, André Pollack, Jack Gleeson, Mike Carbery, Anna Tikhonova, Goranna McDonald, Berry Murphy
Genre: Horror, Slasher, Teenage
A decidedly less cool hallucinogenic experience, Shrooms is still worth a laugh. It’s a budget horror with a drug induced twist. A bunch of teens go into the woods, where one of them tells scary campfire stories about violent drug-induced murders. Naturally they decide the best idea is to take some magic mushrooms, which results in – you guessed it! – them being killed off one by one while tripping off their nuts. The dialogue is terrible and despite an unnecessary amount of montage dream sequences, the special effects are actually alright
The actual drug effects are quite well filmed, and considering its set in the woods, there’s no dreaded shaky camera action. There’s even a talking cow who forewarns a character that if he follows the mysterious girl in the woods, he’s fucked, dead fucked. If you want a break from the seriousness of films like Trainspotting and Thirteen, this is definitely worth checking out
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