5 Psychedelic Escapades In Movies

The ‘Psychedelic’ movie genre is characterized by the influence of psychedelia and the experience of associated highs. In fact within this genre, the movies and highs go hand in hand to create these often very trippy masterpieces. While most fans like to think that you have to be high to enjoy this particular movie genre or any movie with the sense of trippy humour attached to it, and, while some of my friends even prefer to watch some of the movies while consuming a beer or two to ‘enhance their viewing experience,’ I always like my movies clear headed.

I don’t think any movie is made in a manner where your mind has to be nonexistent in order to enjoy the flick. Psychedelic films typically contain visual distortion and experimental narratives, which are meant to give you the same experience as a person who is on those drugs and most of the times they succeed in giving that effect while sober. Such flicks mostly contain hallucinations and emphasize psychedelic imagery. They might reference things directly, or merely present a distorted reality resembling the effects of psychedelics. They even try to change the perception of movie goers by such effects and shake their ideas of reality.

Check out the list below to see some of the best movies the cinemas have produced for the Psychedelic genre:


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades. One standout scene is when Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) take acid and head into a casino bar and are soon confronted by reptiles acting like humans. While an extremely odd film at times, it will be remembered for years as a modern masterpiece and is one of our favourite gambling movies.

Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko (2001)

This is one good movie where a troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident. The movie comes with quite a lot of twists and turns and fields some good effects.

Natural Born Killers

Natural Born Killers (1994)

This is the benchmark for a movie of the Psychedelic genre. You will see two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media. This one is the most controversial films ever thanks to its opening scene where Mickey and Mallory wipe out an entire family. You have to watch it!

Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream (2000)

Four drug-induced people from Coney Island are shattered when their addictions become stronger than they can handle and things reach a whole new level of movie making for the genre. In one particular scene from the movie, a fresh shipment is distributed to a mob of eager junkies in the back of a supermarket and their portrayal is so vivid that you can’t help but feel like you are watching reality rather than a fictional creation. The camera-work and visualisations here are phenomenal.

Enter the Void

Enter the Void (2009)

A U.S. dealer living in Tokyo is betrayed by his best friend and killed in a drug-deal gone wrong. His soul, observing the repercussions of his death, seeks resurrection. Enter the Void is provocative, extreme, maddening and an outrageous ordeal. Despite its’ whining melodrama and crazed Freudian pedantries, its sheer deranged brilliance is magnificent. This is a grandiose hallucinatory journey into, and out of hell; drugged, neon-lit and with a fully realised nightmare-porn aesthetic that has to be seen to be believed. Enter the Void is brilliantly made and one of the best original movie I have seen.


Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express (2008)

A process server and his marijuana dealer wind up on the run from hit men and a corrupt police officer after he witnesses the murder of his dealers’ boss and a competitor whil e trying to serve papers on him. Pineapple Express got all the best juices flowing in it which you expect from the genre: male bonding, immature sexually-led desires, verbal abuse, fight scenes, gunfire and of course explosions. It’s a quality movie with some good twists and a hearty dose of humour. The end result? … It’s a comedy that will make you laugh.

Bonus:  Disney

Disney itself released a 1940 trippy flick that left viewers feeling like they had the same euphoria as a legal high. Perhaps considered one of the more ‘child-friendly’ of our choices, Fantasia was a huge hit for Disney and Mickey Mouse as colours and objects swirl around the screen under the influence of magic. Some people have even suggested the Amazing Spiderman series that Disney has remade having bought out Marvel in 2010 is dark enough to fit into the category, but the only Spiderman-related content we found with enough visual effects to match our other choices was the Spiderman Slot machine we played and won on the other week where the bonus game lit up our screen like a fireworks display. Verdict: Not trippy enough to make the cut.

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