12 obscure films to add to your stoner film list

by Angelica Leicht

When it comes to the essential stoner films, we all know what the top choices are. Ask any cannabis enthusiast and they’ll tell you that any Cheech and Chong film, and movies like “Friday,” “Jay and Silent
Bob,” “Clerks,” or even “Soul Plane” belong in the stoner film canon. These films are not exactly a hidden stoner secret by any means.

But what happens when you grow weary of watching Harold and Kumar try to track down their missing car?
What do you watch when the phrase, “You got knocked the fuck out!” no longer drives the belly laughs it once did? What is a stoner to do then?

Well, when that happens, it’s time to dig out the more obscure stoner films, of course. These films may not have been top of mind when you created the long list of stoner movies currently on rotation in your Netflix queue, but perhaps they should have been. After all, variety is the spice of life, and when you add in the less common stoner flicks, like “The Package,” you’ll never run out of movies to binge while you’re blazed.

To help get you started here are 12 obscure stoner films you need to watch during your next cannabis-fueld film binge.

#1. Akira

What to smoke: You’re going to need a clear-headed sativa for this one.

“Akira,” a film based on the beloved 1982 manga, is an excellent option to binge while stoned. Set in a dystopian future of 2019, this film revolves around a secret military project that gives a biker gang member incredible telekinetic abilities. This, in turn, endangers all of Neo-Tokyo.

If this plotline sounds a little complicated and out there, well, it is. And that’s why we love it. Akira is quite possibly the best example of how, when done correctly, it is possible to translate complicated source material from manga (or any other source) to the screen.

This film takes you across a fantastical post-apocalyptic cyberpunk world, exploring deep and foreboding concepts like nuclear war and the strong grip of the military-industrial complex. And, it somehow does so without teetering on the edge of being preachy or in your face.

Even better, though, is the fact that each frame is as brilliant as the one before it. And, it’s even better when you’re stoned, as the subtle nuances of the animated film come alive when your head is swimming with good ol’ THC.

#2. Mac & Devin Go to High School

What to smoke: In honor of Snoop Dogg, you’re going to want a heavy indica, duh

Not familiar with “Mac & Devin Go to High School”? Well, while this film isn’t as commonly cited as epic stoner material in the way that other films like “How High” are, it probably should be. After all, it has two epic stoner leads: Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa.

The plotline of Mac & Devin is pretty simple, which is why it’s OK to go with an indica for this one. You don’t need to use your brainpower to follow along.

So, here’s the gist. Snoop and Whiz are two high school students (in HIGH school, get it?), and Snoop Dogg must graduate — OR ELSE. To make that happen, Wiz Khalifa has to help out ol’ Snip Dogg while he’s also struggling to write his valedictorian speech.

Before we go any further in our promotion of this film, let me be clear about something: You should not attempt to watch this film while sober. This film is only tolerable if you smoke a little somethin’ somethin’ while watching it. Or a lot of somethin’ somethin.

And, if you’re stoned, it can actually be quite entertaining. That’s because there’s a little bit of everything thrown into the mix. You’ll get some weird musical scenes, some jokes, and a very weak plotline that will still make sense if you miss a little (or a lot). What more could a stoner ask for?

OK, maybe you could ask for a lot more. This film is honestly pretty bad, but it’s also very good when you’re stoned, which is why we love it. So maybe it’s best that you watch this one with your chatty stoner friends.
They’ll distract you JUST enough that it’s funny when you tune in to Snoop’s antics.

#3. 2001: A Space Odyssey

What to smoke: A hybrid that keeps your brain focused juuuuuust enough that you can process Kubrick’s insanity

If you aren’t familiar with “2001: A Space Odyssey,” are you even a stoner? This film by the man himself, Stanley Kubrick, is one for the stoner books. You almost certainly have at least one friend who swears by it.
Just ask around.

But if you happen to be living in your own little world and have never ventured into watching this film, stoned or otherwise, here’s the gist, according to IMDB: “The Monoliths push humanity to reach for the stars; after their discovery in Africa generations ago, the mysterious objects lead mankind on an awesome journey to
Jupiter, with the help of H.A.L. 9000: the world’s greatest supercomputer.”

That brief couple of sentences can’t possibly do the film justice, of course. What you need to know about this film is that it’s a total and complete mindfuck — and it gives you plenty of food for thought — so you need to be capable of rational thought (but must also be stoned) when you watch it. The rest will fall into place.

#4. Interstellar

What to smoke: Your call! Dealer’s choice!

OK, so let’s say you’re not ready to be mind-blown like you would be if you watched “2001: A Space Odyssey” while high off your gourd. That’s fair. Maybe you know what you’re playing with — and just don’t want to get that mind-melted on a Saturday. Well, you may want to opt for an “Interstellar” binge instead.
That’s because this film is a little dumb, but a lot easier to grasp when your head is high up in the clouds.
Rather than being a trippy A.I.-filled journey into space and time, we’re dealing with a little bit of much Matthew McConnaughey and a whole lot of cosmology.
In this film, McConnaughey, who is a gotdang national treasure, opts to throw himself into a wormhole in anattempt to find another planet when life on Earth goes haywire. You’ll still get talk of black holes, tesseracts, and a bunch of other space nerd stuff like you would with “2001: A Space Odyssey,” but you won’t have the potential to be sucked into the black pit of existential despair that comes with every Kubrick film ever recorded. So that’s a win.

#5. The Package

What to smoke: Giggle weed. You’ll want giggle weed.

Looking for a somewhat terrible but totally entertaining black comedy? Good, good. Sounds like you’re
looking for “The Package, a film about five friends-slashcrushes- slash-people — three dudes, Sean,
Jeremy, and Donnie — and two chicks — Becky and Sarah —who are on a camping trip. Thrilling, right?
Just wait. So these homies are camping in a booze-filled environment and everything is all fun and raunchy and dumb. BUT THEN someone loses an organ. Whoops!

That, of course, causes chaos to ensue as everyone looks for this missing body part — which, by the way, has to be found within a 12-hour window so it can be reattached.

It’s a mix of absurdity and stupidity and horror as the wolf pack of drunken morons try and fail to get to the missing schlong-a-dong-dong — and if you’re stoned, you’ll think it’s the best thing since sliced, pun intended, bread. If you’re sober, though? Well, in that case, you should enter this film at your own risk. We wouldn’t try it, but you do you, boo.

#6. Chef

What to smoke: You wanna get hungry? An indica.

Listen. If you aren’t aware of what an actual American treasure Jon Favreau is, were you even around for “Swingers”? And, he’s at it again in “Chef,” as Favreau — who plays Carl Casper — quits a cushy job at an L.A. restaurant to open a food truck with his best friend and son. Sounds a little boring, right?
Wrong.

This film is not just Favreau playing a chef at a food truck. He’s also a human who’s stuck balancing a love triangle with the characters played by Scarlett Johansson and Sofia Vergara — and it’s a little spicy, if we do say so ourselves.

Now, we’re not saying “Chef” reinvents the feel-good love triangle wheel, but this predictable film is still filled with delicious shots of amazing food, and requires absolutely no brain power to absorb the plotline. As such, it’s kinda great. You can toss it on while stoned, get yourself some entertainment, and then fall asleep dreaming of all of the delicacies from the film.
In other words, the plot won’t keep you up at night while questioning your life, but the food imagery will — and that’s enough to sell us on this film.

#7. Moonwalkers

What to smoke: A dreamy indica

We’ll just warn you right now that “Moonwalkers” is a relatively trippy and slightly insane stoner film, but
that’s also why it can be highly entertaining when you’re blazed.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s the deal with it. So, this film is set in 1969 and is about an agent, Tom Kidman, an unstable, hard-assed Vietnam vet who is tasked with finding Stanley Kubrick. The goal is to pay Kubrick a hefty sum of money and film a fake moon landing as a cover-up in case the Apollo
11 mission goes wrong.

In a bid to track down Kubrick, Kidman meets up with Johnny, a struggling musician who is dealing with some big money issues and a few loan sharks. Johnny tells Kidman he’ll arrange a meeting with Kubrick, but alas, that does not happen (as you may have guessed). Instead of producing Kubrick, Johnny has his stoner roommate act as a Kubrick imposter instead in order to get his hands on the money from Kidman.

As you may have guessed, things go a bit haywire thanks to all the lies and impostering and whatnot, and there’s a so-called loan shark named Iron Monger that’s eventually added to the mix.

It’s basically everything you’d want from a stoner film, from Kidman’s trippy, odd, and slightly frustrating character to all of the hilarity that ensues as the odd couple track down Kubrick — or faux Kubrick — or whomever else they’re tracking down.

#8. Bad Times at the El Royale

What to smoke: More giggle weed!

If you’re looking for a flat-out fun stoner movie, “Bad Times at the Royale” is it.

This mystery thriller, set in the 1970s, follows seven strangers who check in at the El Royale Hotel, a deserted old hotel that’s staffed by a single desk clerk. And, as you may have guessed by the fact that this is a mystery thriller, some of those guests are not who they appear to be — and some have nefarious reasons for checking into the hotel begin with. Each guest is hiding their own secret, and things emerge as they cross paths at the rundown hotel — which, of course, has its own dark past.

You can think of it as a Tarantino-esque ride through a mystery thriller, but it’s a whole lot more fun than some of Tarantino’s darker films. You’ll dig it. Especially if you’re blazed.

Now, this film isn’t particularly old or obscure, mind you — it first hit the box office in 2018 — but when it did, it flopped bigtime, and that’s a bummer. It’s completely underrated.

And, as a stoner film, it’s basically kind of perfect. You’ll get plenty of entertainment from the cast, which includes Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson and Cynthia Erivo — and while the plot may seem familiar at times, it’s a good familiar … the type of familiar that only a well-written stoner film can be.

#9. Showgirls

What to smoke: ANYTHING

OK, OK. The terrible- yet-brilliant film known as “Showgirls” may not be obscure, but it’s not exactly a film you’d think of when you picture stoner films, so it counts for this list.

Now, why exactly do we think you should watch Nomi Malone try to rock a pole in a strip club while you’re stoned? Because you should. You just should.

What makes “Showgirls” a great stoner film is that it’s equal parts puzzling, entertaining, and flat-out absurd.
We’re not sure if it’s an erotic thriller, a comedy, a dance flick, satire, or something even further out in left field. It’s confusing and it’s great.

But let’s say you aren’t familiar with this iconic film. Well, here’s the plot.

Elizabeth Berkeley, who played the uptight Jesse character on Saved By the Bell (“I’m so excited! I’m so …. scared.” ) is the lead character, Nomi Malone, who heads to Vegas to pursue her dreams of becoming the main dancer is a very escandaloso dance show called Goddess. This Vegas dance show involves a lot of nudity, a lot of weird chaos a la Mad Max, and very little coherent plot line.

Anyway, enough about the show Nomi is going after. It’s an afterthought, really. The true sauce in this film comes from what happens outside of the dance show — which includes some very bungled lap dances performed by our very own showgirl herself. You get the gist.

Now, let us make it clear that this film isn’t even sort of good, but it’s a great film to watch when you’re stoned. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (you won’t cry), and you’ll cringe as you watch Nomi fumble everything that should otherwise be sexy about a showgirl.

So, blaze up a bowl and switch this bad boy on. If you’re anything like us, you’ll think it’s great. It’s just so freaking great. But only if you’re blazed.

#10. Brick

What to smoke: Maybe stick to the sativas with this one?

If you’re looking for an obscure stoner film, “Brick” is it. We haven’t seen much about this movie in the mainstream, but that’s OK. It can be our stoner secret.

As Rian Johnson’s first directorial effort, this film is a special one. It follows teenage loner Brendan — who is played by freaking Joseph Gordon-Levitt — as he works to investigate what happened to his missing ex-girlfriend. As Brendan works to find said ex, he is plunged into a seedy underworld filled with high school crime — and it’s just an epic ride from there. (We won’t spoil it for you.)

There’s a lot to unpack with this gritty mystery film, but what’s super cool about it outside of sir
Gordon-Levitt’s lead is that the filmmaker’s now distinct visuals truly flourish under the weight of the narrative. It’s a wild ride, both visually and emotionally, and there is nobody more compelling who could have taken the lead.

And, while this film holds plenty of water while sober, it’s even better when you’re stoned. Johnson’s visuals come to life even more when your head is buzzing with bud, and you’ll be suckered into the absorbing detective story before you know it.

#11. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

What to smoke: The most indica of all indicas to ever indica

You got us. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is not really an obscure film unless you’re under the age of 25.
After all, if you aren’t familiar with this 1988 cartoon-meets-real-life film, what kind of stoner even are you?
Probably a young one.

But even if Roger and Co. aren’t obscure, this film is still worth a spot on this list because it’s a great stoner movie and you’ll love it.

Anywho, here’s the plot line for any young’n who needs it: This film takes place in a 1947 Hollywood, which is a world where cartoons live alongside real-life humans. In said world, a toon-hating detective is the only hope for a cartoon rabbit — i.e. Roger Rabbit — who needs to prove his innocence after he is accused of murder.

Oh, and there’s also a sexy rabbit lounge singer, some crazy cartoon antics, and a lot of creative and artistic flair to this film — which is just one part of why we love it.

But that love turns into lust when you watch the film while stoned. Everything about this gonzo concept tends to pop with a little help from cannabis, from Jessica Rabbit’s sultry tunes to Roger’s over-the-top mannerisms.

It’s easy to get immersed in this Robert Zemeckis film, and we highly suggest you do so the next time you toke up a bowl or six. You can thank us later for the suggestion.

#12. O Brother Where Art Thou?

What to smoke: WWGCS? (What would George Clooney smoke?)

If you took a nose dive into the world of The Soggy Bottom Boys back when this film first emerged in 2000, you know how brilliant this film can be. And, what’s more is that it can be even better when stoned.

After all, who wouldn’t love some harmonizing and some entertainment from a film set in Depression- era
Mississippi when they’re blazed? Nobody, that’s who. This film is part classic novel, part caper film, and it’s absolutely the bees knees whether you’re stone-cold sober or stoned. But, since we’re basically always stoned, we go with the latter for an epic time.

Not familiar with “O Brother Where Art Thou?” Well, silly you. Here’s the plot.

So, this film follows three convicts — Everett, Pete, and Delmar — as they break free from their chain gang and go on the run in search of the treasure Everett stashed before he got locked up (…they won’t let him out, sung in the voice of Akon). On the way to find said treasure, they cross paths with a young bluesman named
Tommy. This leads to them accidentally recording a hit single because, well, why not? They also manage to embarrass the KKK, lose Pete in the mix, and gain a new member of the group (of the non-human kind).
And yes, they eventually find the treasure, but is it the one they were looking for? Eh, you know it ain’t.

While perhaps not terribly obscure, “O Brother Where Art Thou” isn’t exactly the type of film that comes to mind when one is thinking of putting together a stoner movie list, but it should be. It’s perfect for a smoke session film fest in your living room, and if you haven’t added it to your Netflix queue yet, what are you even doing with your life?

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