Prepare to blaze as controversial director Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers, Gummo) brings his unique brand of arthouse provocation to the stoner comedy in The Beach Bum, starring Academy Award-winner Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar).
The Beach Bum follows the outrageous misadventures of Moondog (Matthew McConaughey), a rebellious weed-smoking, beer-chugging burnout who lives life by his own rules in the Sunshine State. If Moondog can put down the bong and brews for one minute, he might just be able to put his poetic talent to good use and write the next great American novel.
But with a rag-tag bunch of friends including R&B singer Lingerie (Snoop Dogg) and pyromaniac ex-addict Flicker (Zac Efron) plus some wild, neon-soaked parties, perhaps Moondog is doomed to a life of slumming it on the sandy beaches of Florida…
To celebrate the release of The Beach Bum, we’re taking a look back at some of the best tripped-out slackers in film.
EASY RIDER (1969)
Dennis Hooper’s countercultural landmark Easy Rider captured the American national imagination on its release in 1969, with its exploration of the hippie movement and drug use. The film follows two weed-smoking hippies played by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper traveling up to Los Angeles after scoring big on some Mexican cocaine. One of the very best road-trip movies, our two hippy heroes travel through America on their iconic chopper motorcycles with plenty of liberal drug use and ‘free love’. Made for just $400,000, Easy Rider was a major hit raking in $60 million at the box office. For a free-wheeling, trippy good time, head out on the highway!
WITHNAIL AND I (1987)
Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann are Witnail and I in the classic British black comedy about two hedonistic unemployed actors living in London. The film follows their drunken antics and thoughtful musings, as they encounter a parade of colourful characters on their journey out of London for a hilariously awful retreat in rainy Yorkshire. In one memorable scene the pair receive a visit from drug-dealer Danny who introduces them to the legendary Camberwell Carrot, a joint made up of 12 spliffs and filled with pure weed! A mainstay of critics ‘Best Of’ lists, the film wasn’t a big hit on its initial release but has since gathered a legion of adoring fans. So sit back, roll up a fatty and enjoy!
TRUE ROMANCE (1993)
The late Tony Scott teamed up with Quentin Tarantino to make one of the best films of the 1990s, True Romance, which features a scene-stealing Brad Pitt performance as pot-smoking layabout Floyd. The character is the roommate of aspiring actor Clarence (Michael Rapaport), who’s negotiating a drug deal for star-crossed lovers Clarence (Christian Slater) and Alabama (Patricia Arquette). In a movie full of memorable scenes from the likes of Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken, Pitt somehow manages to stand out without even bothering to stand up! Pitt has since admitted art was mirroring life as he was spending a little too much time on the sofa himself at the time and ‘just turning into a doughnut.’ In the words of a fed-up Clarence, ‘hey Floyd, why don’t get outta my beer and get a f’kin job.’
FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (1998)
Terry Gilliam’s drug-addled Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas takes a psychedelic leap down the rabbit hole as Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) tour Sin City high on a potent cocktail of psychoactive substances. Cue our two anti-heros hallucinating giant lizards, stumbling around on ether and emparting their LSD-tinged wisdom. The film is based on the novel from the infamous writer and gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson and has become a cult classic for its dark and vivid hallucinatory tale. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the jewel in the crown of hedonistic, mind-altering cinema. Get ready for a crazy trip!
THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998)
Veteran directors the Coen brothers created an iconic character in ‘The Dude’ a weed-growing slacker with a passion for bowling and played by the always excellent Jeff Bridges. The Dude soon embarks upon a wild ride as he’s sucked into a shady criminal underworld when a young woman is kidnapped and he has to deliver the ransom money… but of course he has time for a few white russian cocktails along the way. A stone-cold cult classic, The Big Lebowski has even spawned its own philosophy ‘Dudeism’ with a sacred ‘Dude Day’ every year on 6 March and a church, ‘The Church of the Latter-Day Dude’.
The Beach Bum is in cinemas and on demand now from Blue Finch Film Releasing