Stephen King used to smoke pot and drink beer while writing his horror classics, which would, in term, become classic horror movies. Some argue that a few of Stephen King's stories make more sense if you're drunk or high, and some would even argue that King's work declined in quality once he went sober.
The point of that anecdote is that horror, booze, and weed seem to go hand in hand. There is so often a stoner character in the traditional slasher film. Many teens have been known to get high before seeing new horror films in the theater.
Well, I can safely assure you that none of the films on this list are new. These are cult classic horror films that probably slipped under your radar. They may have been somewhat forgotten by the passage of time. But one thing is for certain: if you're a pothead looking to get high while watching a spooky movie, then watch one of these films.
Let it never be said that the Japanese are not a unique bunch.
House is the 70s horror classic that you probably never heard of. The set up is simple enough. Girls go to a haunted house, see weird things... that's not breaking any new ground, right?
Except that this film is trippy. Really, really trippy.
Girls get eaten by pianos. Bright colors bombard an otherwise grim scene. A girl's decapitated head flies around laughing like a kid on a sugar high. No doubt the use of cannabis would enhance the watching of this film, for no sane human being in a right state of mind would have any idea what is going on in front of their eyes.
Only downside? Subtitles. Try to at least remain coherent enough to read, please.
In the Mouth of Madness (1995)
I have read multiple times that John Carpenter was a pothead. If that is the case, then some of you might want to follow the guy's example, especially when watching his later films. Many of John Carpenter's late films tended to be underwhelming compared to his masterpieces in the 80s and 70s.
In the Mouth of Madness, however, is genuinely good. It's also genuinely weird.
Sam Neill (Dr Alan Grant from Jurassic Park) is a private investigator sent out to find a missing best-selling author (kind of like Stephen King), and uncovers an eldritch mystery that may or may not result in the end times.
Though the title draws from HP Lovecraft's film In the Mountains of Madness, the reality is that this film draws from pop culture at the time and the mainstream interpretation of horror therein. Still worth a watch.
Oh, and Sam Neill is going to pop up twice more on this list. Just a warning.
Full disclosure: David Cronenberg's Videodrome is one of my favorite science-fiction horror films. Cronenberg practically invented the genre of body horror, but arguably none of his films perverts the nature of the flesh and humanity more than this classic.
In this film, James Woods (Hades from Disney's Hercules) plays a sleazy television executive who stumbles upon a pirate signal. One featuring perverse torture, rape, sex... and that's all before he realizes the signal is twisting his perspective of reality.
Aside from being a deep, brilliant meditation on the nature of humanity's relationship with technology (sex imagery with VHS tapes and BDSM TV sets feature here), it is seriously weird. Like, vagina-chests and tumor guns are in this. So yeah, weed may be your only solution to watching this without losing your mind.
Are you tired of the man putting you down? Then maybe that rebel in you might enjoy Society - even if it is one of the grossest, weirdest films ever created. I don't care how you watch it – with or without weed – because you are going to take a long step back, and ask "What the hell were they thinking?!"
Society tells the story of a rich kid who notices that there's something off about his family. And all the rich people in town. People seem to go missing around town, and everyone acts a little... off.
And if I tell you anything else, it'll spoil the last 10 minutes of the film, which are, by far, some of the strangest things you will ever see in your life.
I can't tell you that Society is scary. I can't even tell you that it's the grossest film ever released. But I can tell you this: the filmmakers had to have been high – and more – while making this weird movie.
David Lynch's directorial debut is one of the greatest experimental films of all time. It is also one of the strangest films of all time. Teenagers back in the 70s would go see this movie, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and El Topo while tripping acid. I do not advocate acid or hard drugs. At all. But you may need something to help take in this film.
Our hero finds out his girlfriend just gave birth to their son in an apocalyptic wasteland. It just so happens she gave birth after a month-long pregnancy. Oh yeah, and there's a chipmunk cheek lady in a radiator, a weird man living inside a planet pulling cranks, and everything looks like its dying from radiation poisoning.
Why? Who knows? I don't know. Lynch enjoys not explaining this film. While many people believe the film is a metaphor for the anxieties of fatherhood, the simple truth is we just don't know.
So you may as well be high while watching it. I guarantee you it won't make the film any less unexplainable.
This Sam Neill film (remember?) was so controversial, that it was banned from England for almost two decades.
The film features Sam Neill and his wife, played by Isabelle Adjani, as a couple going through problems. And by problems, I mean it's the end of their relationship. At first, the tension derives from the uncomfortable chemistry between the leads... but then it takes a turn for the weird.
I'm not going to tell you how, because part of this film's trippy charm is learning how this film will take that jarring left turn from sane but depressing into Lovecraftian territory.
Possession, as mentioned before, was banned in England as part of its Video Nasties program. 72 films were banned from the country until the late 90s. Among these are some verifiable classics. And a few films that would have been forgotten if not for their inclusion on the list - like this next one.
Night of the Demon (1983)
Not to be confused with the far more fun and entertaining (and all around better) film of the same name from the 50s, Night of the Demon is about a guy who returns from a camping trip completely devastated. Or maybe he just really likes wrapping himself in toilet paper.
So this starts a story about hunting Bigfoot. This film is the perfect movie to watch with friends you like talking to, because there are long stretches of the movie where people walk around wearing nothing but plaid shirts talking about nothing with poor sound recording equipment. So why watch it, you ask?
Because it's demented!
You ever want to see Bigfoot pull a guy's penis off while he's out peeing? You wanna see someone get their face roasted off a frying pan? Do you want to see a Bigfoot-human hybrid? This film is a cornucopia of bizarre imagery too zany and crazy for you to possibly take it all in. Your only salvation from the bizarreness of the film is the sanctity of either cannabis or a long, stiff drink. One of the two.
Event Horizon (1997)
What do you get when you take Morpheus from The Matrix, the guy who made the Resident Evil movies, and Sam Neill (told you he'd come back again!) and mix them all up in an obvious fusion of Alien, Hellraiser, and Warhammer 40K? You get this film.
Event Horizon tells the story of a ship that can fold space. It vanishes on its maiden voyage, only to return outside of Neptune years later. A crew goes to investigate what went wrong, only to realize that the ship has transcended reality, and come back not from another corner of the universe, but from Hell itself.
This film is a little too over-the-top to really be scary, but it's a ton of fun. The film is notorious among horror fans for a missing chunk of footage that would have been too violent for the film to earn an R-rated release. While horror fans hope beyond hope that the damaged footage is fixed up for a director's cut down the road, we have this sci-fi horror cult classic in the meanwhile.
So, I wonder, what would a pothead enjoy about this film?
Well, to that I say "It's a trippy, gory horror film that will bombard you with so much chaotic imagery and weirdness that some people can only handle it when under the influence of some substance."
So yeah. Liberate tuteme ex inferis.
Plan 9 From Outer Space (1957)
This film isn't scary. It isn't intelligible. It isn't even logical. But my God, this is one of the greatest bad movies you will ever see in your life.
Plan 9 is the passion project of schlock-meister Ed Wood, a man who loved to make movies despite his lack of actual talent at it. But my God, did he try! In this one film, he managed to get footage of his personal hero and friend, Bela Lugosi (you know, Dracula), after the man died two years earlier. So what if he didn't have enough of it? He worked his way around that by putting his wife's chiropractor in a Dracula cape, and cutting back and forth between shots of Bela Lugosi and his replacement.
So aliens come down and reanimate the dead to stop mankind from developing a weapon that can destroy the universe by using light... atoms... yeah. I think that covers it.
You want to see a movie with some of the worst gun safety ever on camera? Want to see a guy get stuck rising from the grave? Want to see a late-night horror host, the original Dracula, and a fake TV psychic star in the same movie at the cost of all their personal dignity?
Then by God. Watch it. Please.
What happens when you take a bunch of guys with no money who want to make an atmospheric horror film that will change the genre?
You get The Evil Dead or Night of The Living Dead, some of the greatest horror films of all time.
...or Phantasm, I guess.
I admit. Phantasm is not a great horror film. Hell, it doesn't even make any coherent sense if you even ponder the plot for a moment or two. But Don Coscarelli doesn't really care about making a film that makes sense. He cares about making you feel like you're in a living nightmare.
Phantasm is the nightmarish story of a young boy who realizes that the local undertaker may be an interdimensional monster harvesting bodies from graves for some unknowable reason. Or not. A lot of this film follows dream logic – in other words, no logic.
Many horror viewers sober may nitpick this film to death. There is a lot to make fun of, from the production design to the acting to the cheapness of the film. But those people who do that miss the point. This film is a product of love from a cast and crew who are really trying their hardest despite limitations to make a film like nothing no one had ever seen before in the horror genre. And that pays off.
Full admission here: there is a scene early on involving the main character in bed that terrified me for years as a kid. It genuinely is one of the scariest moments I've ever experienced in a film as a child.
So you need to simplify your sense of perspective. Return to that innocent state of mind. If you can do that without cannabis, go for it. If you need marijuana to reach that accepting state of mind where dream logic becomes real logic, then go for it.
But this – and many of the other films on this list – should not be nitpicked. They should be accepted on their own terms. If you need marijuana to reach that mindset, then go for it.