It was down to this or R2D2, and it's really no challenge for a Star Wars nerd to write about Star Wars, so I give you the best and worst examples of drug use in movies by decade, this is a terrible thesis statement
The 70s was a decade of lava lamps, and people who listened to terrible music. Well at least that's what I've learned from watching That 70s Show.
Midnight Express (1978)
A cautionary tale for children, Midnight Express tells the story of a man caught smuggling hash out of Istanbul only to be caught and thrown in a Turkish prison where he is tortured and driven to insanity, as well as almost being raped.
Harold and Kumar 2 isnt so funny now huh?
So this is pretty much one of the best drug movies ever made. Period.
On top of that, Midnight Express introduced a new way of describing how much pot/hashish you have smoked/sold/fed to your dog/got busted with. Instead of saying "my first grade teacher gave me a large amount of weed" you now say "my fourth grade teacher gave me a Midnight Express amount of weed".
Mad props to Cheech and Chong for inventing dumb stoner comedy and Apocalypse Now for, well, being Apocalypse Now.
The 70s is synonymous with terrible B movies that were most likely given the greenlight after hours of Fear and Loathing size doses of ether.
Drug use in the 70s brought us such great cinematic classics like:
Ahh the great ideas you come up with when dropping acid
Killer mutant rabbits eat people, the best movie ideas are thought up when eating quaaludes at the pet store
"We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls"
The 80s is when shit got crazy. Everybody, even your sweet Aunt Beatrice, was doing truck loads of cocaine. While the Christian do good types voted for Reagan, the rest of America's population was either listening to terrible TERRIBLE hair metal music and doing enough cocaine to pierce Don Johnson's septum, or discovering AIDS and crack.
This is beyond any shadow of a doubt the best remake ever made, some advice to everyone in Hollywood remaking movies that are nowhere near their expiration date, it's good to have about fifty years separating your remake and it's original work.
Scarface, for lack of better words, is fucking crazy. It pretty much sums up the cocaine gold rush that was happening in the eighties. Sure your step-mom is a born again Christian who voted for McCain and drives a minivan, but in the eighties she ran through the streets of Miami with a lethal dose of Bolivian marching powder up her nose, wielding a bloody chainsaw.
This is your step-mom in 1983
Much like the seventies, the eighties saw countless bad movies, except this time the producer's were spending almost all of the film's budget on cocaine.
Even Pablo Escobar thought this was too much cocaine.
Trainspotting was great for a lot of reasons. It's a dark and edgy drama about heroin use that still manages to be lighthearted and funny, and you get to see Ewan McGregor's dick. Yes, you heard me correctly you get to Obi Wan Kenobi's penis.
Frankly, we're not impressed
But aside from Obi-Wan Kenobi's baby penis Trainspotting is a nearly perfect piece of cinematic genius.
Half Baked (1998)
This era-defining Socratic tragedy about a Vietnamese woman being raped by wolves captivated the hearts of a generation and took home best picture in 99.
Okay the movie I just described is not Half Baked and probably doesn't exist, at least not legally in the United States.
Though If you happen to be in Thailand I got a guy who can hook you up with some Vietnamese wolf-rape porn.
Look, If you haven't seen Half Baked statistics show that you're probably a soccer mom.
Plain jane, simple minded, boring, uninteresting, conservatives, still coke snorting chainsaw wielding maniacs in the 80s mind you.
Soccer moms are the worst, since my proposed nationwide soccer mom mass suicide idea never came into fruition maybe you guys could message me some ideas. Needless to say soccer moms are the only American demographic to have not seen Half Baked. If you saw Half Baked and didn't think it was the hands down greatest movie ever made, well then you were probably sober, or at least not as high as I was in ninth grade.
Me in ninth grade
This film, to me, is the epitome terrible independent film making. It defines how 90% on independent filmmakers take the beauty of not having a big movie company and ten producers on your balls and turns it into a bunch of random ass shit that's supposed to be "artsy".
Here's the premise, a bunch of Garbage Pail Kids from Ohio huff glue and kill cats all day. Yes this is the movie that Good Will Hunting Director Gus Van Sant describes as "Venomous in story; genius in character; victorious in structure; teasingly gentle in epilogue".
This is a really terrible movie, some if it's many failed attempts at being artsy includes, a random scene where a drunk guy is flirting with a gay midget, a random scene where a dudes trying to prostitute his sister who has down syndrome, a random scene where two skinheads are slapping each other, and a random opening sequence with a boy in rabbit ears standing on a bridge in the rain. Not to mention it all ends with a Roy Orbison song. This movie is unwatchable without a Midnight Express amount of hash, and is not just the worst drug movie of the 90s, but possibly the worst drug movie ever.
So people like this can talk about how the skinhead slap fight was a "commentary on oppression in the lower economic class"
Charlie Bartlett (2007)
Okay so I know what your gonna say. "Garden State, where's Garden State? Isn't that the definitive pill movie of the decade?" Yes, it absolutely is, I wrote a whole long paragraph about how good of a movie it was, and how sexy I think Zach Braff is and how I want to marry him. As I was typing away about the film's presence and meaning, and arrangements for the wedding, I remembered another drug movie I had seen a few years ago that has received very little praise. I immediately erased my opinions on Garden State/profession of love and wrote this paragraph.
Charlie Bartlett is a flick about a new kid at school, who despite getting his ass kicked and being scoffed at by the preppy girls, still keeps a very awkward and quirky self confidence about himself. How does he find away to fit in and become the popular guy in school? By dating the principal's daughter and playing pseudo-therapist, selling prescription medication out of a bathroom stall.
Reviews for Charlie Bartlett were mixed and tend to lead toward the negative side, as it currently holds a 56% Rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It's sad this movie suffered the fate it did, It's actually a really funny, and at times moving, teen drama.
Yeah Garden State is a good movie, but every douche bag listening to The Shins is praising it somewhere on the internet, I felt the need to give a shout out to a movie that isn't on every hipster's top ten list.
This movie isn't just terrible because of semen demon Michelle Trachtenberg's poor acting skills. It's one of those forgettable movies that fails completely at everything it attempts to do yet still manages to leave eerie resounding echoes of itself in your day to day life
You probably don't remember much of the movie at all because of how completely forgettable it is, yet how many times have you met some kid who can't play guitar trying to nail out 'Scotty Doesn't Know"? How many times have you been jerking off and for no apparent reason the nude beach scene with all the old men pops into your mind and completely ruins the mood for you, you have to blow out all your candles, turn off Michael Bolton, and clean up the rose pedals around your bed.
And how many times have you been flipping through the channels, come across Gossip Girl and have to live the terrible pain of Michelle Trachtenberg's awful acting all over again??
On top of that, it's just bad. I mean there's a brother and sister make out scene. That's in poor taste even for the guys who produced Old School.
Pineapple Express (2008)
Okay, now before everybody grabs their torches and pitchforks and puts me on trial as a witch, please understand, I love Seth Rogen. He's great, yeah he's been of accused of playing the same two dimensional stoner character in all of his movies but his impov skills are almost other worldly and he seems like quite possibly the nicest guy on earth.
I put Pineapple Express on my Worst list for failure to meet potential. Sure Pineapple Express is a decent movie to watch with your smoking buddies but I feel like Seth Rogen and James Franco in a Seth Rogen penned comedy would be lightyears past that lack of jokes in this movie. Yeah I laughed a few times, and the premise was interesting enough, but with Pineapple Express it just felt like Rogen was too busy rolling around in his Knocked Up money to really care.
And don't even get me started on Observe and Report,
I want to give a shout out to Kevin Smith, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, Altered States, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Easy Rider, and Reefer Madness. They should be on the Best lists of their respective decade, but I can only do so much.