Thursday, 26 January 2012

Cheech & Chong's Nice Dreams (1981)

If you ask me who the biggest heroes of the late 70’s and early 80’s were, I’ll give you the damned answer straight away – they were Cheech & Chong! Although this wicked duo started as a rock group, they never went big with their music and LPs they released eventually wound up stocking up bargain racks in music shops around the world! It didn’t happen untill they got into movies that their natural talent for smoking weed and making fully blown comedy gags finally shone through. As they burnt a big hole through US box office with their debut picture "Up In Smoke" (1978), they suddenly became America’s new hipster’s hipsters. Frenetic cult has followed, which slowed down only a bit in the late 80’s, but never actuallly died! Today Cheech & Chong are as strong as never carrying their freedom message everywhere they toke up!

At the top of my personal list, floating on the silk mattresses of heaven, there’s one wonder flick they scored for Columbia Pictures, called "Nice Dreams"! The only movie which made me laugh so much, that I actually got hiccup and became scared I’d have to get hospitalized. "Nice Dreams" is a third picture in Chech & Chong’s series and although many fans point up to "Up In Smoke" as "the masterpiece", at least the same number praises the value of "Nice Dreams" as the ultimate stoner joke (clapping)! In fact, there’s a lot of arguments supporting this thesis such as absolutely ground-breaking screenplay – a virtually flawless gig, which doesn’t leave any loop holes that might be potentially spotting the action! This comes along with Cheech & Chong’s high level, drug-fueled acting as exemplified by outstanding scene in the restaurant, which carries a strong resemblance to Marx Brothers unforgettable performances!

And last but not least there is a message of the movie itself. These characters might be dopers and dropouts, but at least they see clearly all the shit and hypocrisy of the modern world preferring to do their own thing than drown in it. Their lifestyle unveils a crucial, moral dilemma – Cheech & Chong are doing harmless thing, they’re smoking weed, which is punished by law, but on the other hand forbidden because the laws are unjust and rotten to the core! Police forces chase the bad guys around while not giving a shit about the laws themselves indulging in drugs whenever they can. It’s solely their position of power, which lets them do it without any scare, while local communities are hassled, prejudiced and cracked down on without a scruple. Cheech & Chong represent freedom of choice and the liberties fundamental for communities in every democratic society, while their opressors are power mongers interested in limiting them to minimum – eat shit & die, fuckers!

However, the story of "Nice Dreams" is a very intimate one! Cheech & Chong go around the town dealing dope from an ice cream truck, from time to time trying to score with some chicks, but the law executioners are constantly on their tail and will bust them as soon as they get to the source of their awesome weed. This in certain order leads to Crazy Jimmy character, who just invented a new system of growing very potent buds. This shit is in fact so strong that can turn people into lizards, about which sergeant Sedenko will find out very soon when tempted to quietly smoke it himself. Cheech & Chong’s business gets very good in the meantime – they even plan to buy a tropical island, which they would rule as the kings of the sun being praised with thousand joints every day (great gig, man). Though when they’re visting Jimmy’s grow to get more stuff, cops are doing a bust. In effect, they’re on the run now making it through Chinese restaurant (where they meet Donna, Cheech’s ex girlfriend and get coked up), hotel sex & violence adventure (where they meet the furious biker), psychiatric hospital (where they get to meet Timothy Leary and trip on acid) to finally land bled’n’dry in a strip club to entertain the ladies… cause nothing lasts (as Ken Kesey would say)!

"Nice Dreams" is definitely one of the best movies in it’s class. What am I talking about? It’s one of the best movies ever! It beats "La Dolce Vita", "Psycho" or "Zabriskie Point" and even "Mean Streets" or "Boogie Nights". It’s as good as "Reservoir Dogs", "Network", "Five Easy Pieces" and only slightly worse than "Easy Rider", "The Holy Mountain" or "Apocalypse Now"… so if you want to see something really ass-cracking, go for this stoner classic NOW and remeber that a toke with Cheech & Chong is a quality toke!