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Welcome back to Heady Entertainment, MERRY JANE’s weekly guide to just-released movies, books, and music — all fresh, dank, and THC-friendly. In specific, we choose our picks based on how they can enhance your combined consumption of cannabis and entertainment.
If you want to melt in front of the big screen this weekend, pick a paranoia-inducing hybrid for the horror sequel Annabelle Comes Home, then indulge in your most psychedelic stash for the Beatles-based fantasy Yesterday.
Streaming-wise, lit laughs come from veteran stand-up Mike Epps on Netflix, while rising funnyman Rammy Youseff makes his hour-long special debut on HBO. On Adult Swim, the season 2 premiere of the sci-fi send-up Final Space is an interstellar riot — a perfect show for your giggliest weed and maybe a mushroom.
Our vintage cult flicks include the all-time screamer scare-comedy Night of the Creeps and the riotous revolutionary satire of Putney Swope.
For the weekend’s marijuana-ready music, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib team up to twist hip-hop as only they can, Spirits Having Fun bend indie rock into trippy shapes, Thom Yorke goes maybe more avant-garde than ever, and the Black Keys make their long-overdue smoking blues return.
So let’s get straight — but not “straight” — to this week’s fresh-rolled recommendations.
Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
Director: Gary Dauberman
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Iseman
Look, the scary doll star of Annabelle Comes Home and her two previous movies are enough to freak out anybody regardless of the frame of mind they’re in once they lock eyes with those creepy peepers.
So it’s best, then, to be plenty blazed when approaching that (literally) damned doll’s latest adventure, in which she raises fresh new hell by bringing to life an entire collection of cursed objects that subsequently run wild.
Director: Danny Boyle
Cast: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ellie Appleton
Imagine a world in which there are no Beatles. Beyond the loss of the astounding music, humanity might (somehow) be in even worse shape if the Fab Four didn’t do their thing in the ‘60s. Where would we be without some of the original advocates of pot and LSD? We want no part of that boring two-dimensional world, thank you very much.
Director Danny Boyle’s musical fantasy Yesterday pretty much sticks to just pondering what would happen if the Beatles never existed until today, but it naturally goes better when you watch it while conferring with two of the lads’ most impactful goddess figures: Mother Mary from “Let It Be,” and the thoroughly self-explanatory “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”
Final Space: Season 2
Watch It: Adult Swim
After blasting minds on TBS last year, the animated comedy-adventure Final Space lands on Adult Swim for its second season. Chronicling the intergalactic travels of Gary Goodspeed and his best bud, a planet-wasting alien who goes by the moniker Mooncake.
Both characters (and others) are voiced by Final Space creator Olan Rogers, and an array of comedic heavy-hitters, including Fred Armisen and Tom Kenny (to name a few), who supply the show’s endlessly inventive array of cosmic oddballs.
Mike Epps: Only One Mike (2019)
Watch It: Netflix
Decades into the stand-up game, Mike Epps is still growing when it comes to provoking scream laughter. Case in point: his new accurately titled Netflix special, Only One Mike. Now 48-years-old and the father of four daughters, Epps expounds uproariously on how his old, dog-like behavior keeps coming back to bite him in the brain. This isn’t any kind of “dad joke” marathon, though — it’s Mike Epps. Light up and laugh along.
Ramy Youssef: Feelings (2019)
Watch It: HBO
You’ve already gotten high and giggled hard while watching Egyptian-American comedian Ramy Youseff’s autobiographical Hulu sitcom, Ramy. Now HBO is offering the opportunity to get turnt and crack up to his first-ever hour-long stand-up special, Ramy Youssef: Feelings. It’s a whole new way to appreciate Ramy’s intoxicating observations and potent punchlines.
Cult Classic Collector’s Editions
Night of the Creeps: Two-Disc Collector’s Edition (1986)
Director: Fred Dekker
Get It: Shout Factory
“The good news is, your dates are here. The bad news is — they’re dead!” So goes the most famous line from Night of the Creeps, one of the ’80s most beloved horror-comedies. This insane overload of blood, guts, and clever guffaws works on multiple levels, all of which go great with hot ganja.
Cult superstar Tom Atkins (Creepshow, Halloween III) stars as hard-boiled detective Ray Cameron, who unwittingly takes on an invasion of space alien slugs that infest a local college campus and convert students into stumbling, bumbling zombies
Writer-director Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad, RoboCop 3) turns what might otherwise be a standard flesh-chomping-fest into a raucous orgy of in-jokes, high style, and splatter-strew hysteria. In every sense, Night of the Creeps is a scream.
Putney Swope (1969)
Director: Robert Downey, Sr.
Get It: Vinegar Syndrome
A socking-it-to-the-man satire, Putney Swope mixes absurd situations with deadly serious real-world issues. It all combusts as a savage take-down of white supremacy and corporate mind control that’s also a nonstop bombardment of laughs arising from both high bliss and blistering anger.
Writer-director Robert Downey, Sr. (yeah, Iron Man’s dad) and his astounding cast and crew made hell-raising history with Putney Swope. Now, the heroes at Vinegar Syndrome have lavished the collector’s edition Blu-ray of this scorching cinematic restoration and an avalanche of awe-inspiring special features.
By: Thom Yorke
Get It: Anima Official Site
As the frontman of Radiohead and Atoms for Peace, Thom Yorke has reigned as the dark, mystical visionary of our culture for the last quarter-century. Of course, we especially appreciate him through the filter of cannabis consumption.
Anima, the latest of Yorke’s solo LPs is a wildly lit, avant-garde leap forward into what he describes (perfectly) as “layers of electronic fuzz and deconstructed noise,” further fortified by multimedia mind-fucks such as Anima Technologies posters promising a camera that can capture your dreams, and an accompanying film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson premiering on Netflix and in IMAX theaters at the same time.
By: Spirits Having Fun
Get It: Bandcamp
Each of the nine tracks on Auto-Portrait, the new LP by Chicago-based auditory adventurers Spirits Having Fun, is an experiment unto itself — and each one is smokingly successful. The final outcome runs through a whirlwind of sonic soul, innovative ideas, and elevated expression in 27 built-to-get-blitzed-to minutes.
By: Freddie Gibbs and Madlib
Get It: Apple Music
Piñata, the first collaboration between the motor-mouthed rap master and the primo producer Madlib, is already five-years-old. The world has changed much since then and so, too, have both of these toke-friendly mega-talents.
Fortunately, that evolution has been all for the better, as Bandana showcases Freddie Gibbs at his most vociferously fired-up and Madlib at his most viscerally hallucinogenic to date. Wrap yourself in this Bandana and let those sounds get you stoned in ways you haven’t yet imagined (but also, yeah, actually get stoned, too).
By: The Black Keys
Get It: The Black Keys Official Site
For Let’s Rock, the Black Keys’ first album in a half-decade, the band says they drew inspiration from stoner culture totems like Danny McBride, Funhouse by The Stooges, and This Is Spinal Tap — and you can hear all that merry, weed-adjacent madness in every groove, power chord riff, and swooping, sweeping vocal.
The Black Keys long ago established themselves as the premiere mainstream rock act for 21st century potheads. On Let’s Rock, it sounds and feels like they’re at once tapping everything great about the classics while propelling that esteemed status decades into the future. Let’s Rock? Sure. But first: let’s roll!