It’s the end of a long week and you want to unwind, but for one reason or another, you’re stuck at home. And while you may not have anywhere to be this weekend, you do have a tab of acid, a hit of molly, a boof’s worth of ketamine and a plethora of streaming services available at the click of a button. The ideal situation for most of these drugs isn’t sitting down and staring at a screen, but if that’s what you have on the agenda, allow me to be your cinematic sommelier and make some recommendations of films that pair well with specific substances.
I’ll be frank: I can’t imagine a situation in which I’d want to watch a movie on cocaine. A stimulant known for making you alert, energetic and hypersensitive, it just seems like sitting down to stare at a screen would bring you little pleasure in your jittery state. “Coke is better suited for video games,” agrees MEL drug correspondent Ian Lecklitner “Doom Eternal feels like a game that’s supposed to be played directly after a mammoth line.”
But according to Reddit, some people apparently do enjoy movies while doing bumps. The general consensus seems to be toward movies that are similarly frenetic and bombastic, with suggestions ranging from Quentin Tarantino flicks (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Pulp Fiction), Martin Scorsese crime epics (Casino, Wolf of Wall Street) or other films about erratic dudes like Uncut Gems.
I suppose I can understand wanting to have something that matches your pace while skiing.
Molly as a drug is more physical than it is visual, releasing dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin at a level that induces a state of ecstasy. It makes almost every sensation feel euphoric, meaning you likely won’t be able to pay attention to your screen consistently. This is where you’ll want to go for movies that prioritize ambiance over plot.
Put on something with a killer soundtrack and arresting visuals that doesn’t require too much attention like Sofia Coppola’s decadent biopic Marie Antoinette or vibrant Hong Kong romcom Chungking Express. Or if you’re on an especially horny roll, head in a direction that feels and sounds more sensual like Korean erotic thriller The Handmaiden or a vampire flick like Only Lovers Left Alive. It’s “no thoughts, just vibes” cinema.
With a taste like stale popcorn and hallucinogenic properties, shrooms are a perfect pairing with a night of movies. But due to the sensitive nature of their psychoactive properties, it’s best to pick your selection carefully. Everyone trips differently, but shrooms have a tendency to make you feel the enormity of all existence, so if you know you’re more sensitive, it’s best to pick something relatively non-abrasive. If anything, Gregg Araki’s Smiley Face, a comedy starring Anna Faris as a lackadaisical stoner who eats too many edibles and is late on rent, feels more like a shroom movie than a weed one.
Ideally, the place to do such mind-expanding is in nature, while taking in natural beauty, but something artificially dazzling can be the next best thing. When I was in the wake of a heavy trip recently, the most comforting thing was experiencing the Wachowskis’ melty real-life anime film Speed Racer for the first time.
As an even heavier hallucinogen than mushrooms, my recommendations would be similar for LSD. Chill out with something comforting, possibly something familiar that you can see through a new light. A Studio Ghibli film like Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle or Porco Rosso can be a great aid when you’re tripping balls (honestly, Ghibli movies make a great accompaniment for just about any drug). If anime isn’t your bag, try something visually breathtaking with sweeping scores and grand in scope that you can take a ride with, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
As someone who does ketamine occasionally and watches movies obsessively, K is the perfect drug for a relaxing evening of cinema. With its dissociative qualities, nothing feels especially overwhelming; most things simply feel more saturated and vivid. Sure, you may not always understand what’s going down in the picture, but you don’t need to understand vivid absurdist films like Sorry to Bother You or Wild at Heart.
K can make everything just seem so silly. As a result, dramas seem goofier and comedies have you laughing so hard you can’t breathe. The first time I saw the Barbra Streisand comedy What’s Up, Doc?, it was after boofing a bit of K, and though I felt completely lost as to what was actually happening (something about expensive rocks, I gather), I couldn’t help but crack up deliriously at Babs’ every over-expression.
You know, maybe movies were the gateway drug all along.