Posts Tagged ‘Hunter S. Thompson’

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

May 19, 1998

Fresh off of the hard-hitting journalism of Tea Leoni in DEEP IMPACT and Maria Pitillo in GODZILLA, summer of ’98 offered an alternative approach. Johnny Depp (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET) plays Raoul Duke and/or Hunter S. Thompson in Terry Gilliam’s adaptation of Thompson’s 1971 Rolling-Stone-two-parter-turned-book about covering the Mint 400 desert motorcycle race for Sports Illustrated. You do see a glimpse of dirt bikes (well, mostly dirt), but the real story is his crazed debauchery while “searching for the American Dream” with his lawyer (who we never once see doing legal work) Dr. Gonzo (Benicio del Toro, SICARIO), ingesting much of the contents of a briefcase containing “a serious drug collection,” turning hotel rooms into Vietnam War movies and barely avoiding death or prison like some silent film clown accidentally dodging a series of falling objects.

And the movie itself keeps ducking dangers with miraculous precision. This is 118 minutes of what mostly feels like aimless madness, depraved variations on bad behavior and hallucinations, but to me it never gets old. I actually feel more exhausted at the end of Gilliam’s more polite movies like BRAZIL, THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN or TWELVE MONKEYS. Somehow I’m endlessly amused by Duke and Gonzo’s deadpan craziness as they live out the type of lifestyle where you’d only be a little surprised to wake up with an alligator tail growing out of you, a microphone taped to your face and a giant smoking hole in your hotel bed. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern Reviews FREE LISL: FEAR AND LOATHING IN DENVER, A New Wayne Ewing/Hunter Thompson Documentary!!

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

I’m not sure how I missed this in the e-mail box, but I did, and in a way I’m glad I did, because it now has a great Vern opening.

You know I love you, bud. As always, Vern’s got something to say and I strongly urge you to pay attention:

Howdy boys,

I sent you guys this review several days ago and you never ran it, so I added this new paragraph to get your attention. Rocky Rocky Rocky, dragons, silver surfers, x-men, etc. As well as boobs and ass, boner boner boner, everybody has a boner, bodily fluids all over the place, geekgasm, etc.

Now to FREE LISL: FEAR AND LOATHING IN DENVER. I know, what kind of a name is Lisl, but I didn’t name her. This is the new documentary by Wayne Ewing, who did the great Hunter S. Thompson documentary BREAKFAST WITH HUNTER. It is his third Thompson-related movie, although with the good doctor’s passing each one gets more removed from the man himself. This one is not really about Thompson, but it’s about a cause he aligned himself with in his last years. Lisl Auman is a woman who, at the age of 21, was sentenced to life in prison for a murder everyone agreed she did not commit. She was actually handcuffed in the back of a police car while a dude she just met the day before, who had been helping her move, killed a police officer and then himself. Because she was an accomplice to his crime she was considered guilty of the murder. (read the rest of this shit…)

When I Die

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

(The Gonzo Monument… A Documentary)

After the great Hunter S. Thompson died last year, we all heard about how Johnny Depp had put up the money to make good on Thompson’s wish to have his ashes fired out of a cannon from a giant statue of the two-thumbed gonzo fist. You may have seen him discussing this in an old BBC documentary, it showed him making the plans and sketching it up with Ralph Steadman. And last year it actually happened at a memorial service at his Woody Creek ranch.

The whole thing was pretty mysterious. There were some distant, blurry photos, but no press were allowed during the party. Some fans criticized it because it was attended by many celebrities, and because a whole bunch of police and security people kept the fans away. At least one thing I read complained because John Kerry was apparently there. They said Hunter would’ve hated it. (read the rest of this shit…)


Thursday, February 24th, 2005

Yesterday I was talking to a guy – I don’t want to say his name, so we’ll just call him BARELY LEGAL ALL STARS #3. And he asks me if I’ve heard “the rumor about Deep Throat.”

You might assume he was talking about a rumor that the landmark pornographical work DEEP THROAT was getting an arthouse re-release to tie in with the already released documentary on its making and cultural impact, INSIDE DEEP THROAT. But I knew that was not a rumor, it was an actual fact, so it could not be what he was talking about. So I figured it was that rumor about that other Deep Throat, the mysterious whistleblower who gave Woodward and Bernstein the tips about Watergate, changing our country’s view of government forever and creating an annoying suffix for all future government scandals. (Just wait until there’s a scandal involving fences, so that every wiseass in the world will think they’re the first one to call it Gategate.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Breakfast with Hunter

Thursday, July 8th, 2004

I’m sure alot of you out there have that Criterion edition of FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS. Yeah, me too. So you may remember a special feature on there showing Hunter S. Thompson filming his cameo for the movie, and that footage was actually an excerpt from this movie, BREAKFAST WITH HUNTER. The same movie I am now reviewing as we speak.

Well that was a pretty good special feature, but as a movie it’s even better. What this is is a “cinema verite” or “direct cinema” or “not narrated” type documentary about the famous maniac/journalist. The directionist followed Dr. Thompson for several years, often acting as his road manager so as to get a chance to film him. Of course this is shot in recent years so there is a heavy emphasis on the making of the FEAR AND LOATHING movie. He celebrates anniversaries, receives honors (including a party from his old friends at Rolling Stone) and reunites with Ralph Steadman, who has come to support him and do some real high quality court room drawings as he fights a phoney charge of drunk driving. (read the rest of this shit…)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Thursday, April 1st, 1999

This is a movie where Ichabod from Sleepy Hollow teams up with a fat Mexican dude named Benicio Del Toro, and these two drive to Las Vegas on 700 different types of drugs to cover a motorcycle race for a magazine. I believe Bill Murray played this same Ichabod character back in the ’80s based on the real guy, Hunter S. Thompson who wrote the book.

Now as you know I’m sober as the Pope during Lent, but I can still appreciate a good drug movie at least as long as it’s this good. The filmatist behind this one, Terry Gilliam, creates a nightmare Las Vegas world where hallucinations of dripping floors and cocktail drinking lizards and nippled buffaloes becomes reality. And the real trip is in the last act of the picture when suddenly Ichabod wakes up in the most trashed hotel room of all time – it looks like a junkyard on top of a lagoon – and tries to remember what happened. All the sudden he has an alligator tail and he’s dictating to a tape recorder duct taped to his mouth. I mean I think we can all relate to that type of morning in my opinion. (read the rest of this shit…)