UP IN SMOKE (1978) opens with a fine cameo from Strother Martin and Edie Adams as Tommy Chong's irate parents, who demand that he find a job. Chong storms out of the house. He and a full drum set take off in his VW. The car dies in the desert; Chong (as Anthony 'Man' Stoner) hitchhikes and is picked up by Pedro de Pacas (Cheech Marin).
The two musicians quickly bond. 'Man' lights the biggest doob of all time. After the car is filled with dense smoke and they're both righteously high, 'Man' explains that his Olympic-sized spliff is part Maui Wowee/part Labrador, meaning, the dog ate his stash so he followed it around for a week with a baggie to collect some poop.
That's the sort of lowbrow humor pervasive throughout this first C&C comedy.
An interesting irony is that Pedro and 'Man' are desperate to score some herb and never realize that the step van they're driving back from Mexico is made of 9 billion bucks worth of high-grade THC! Later, their ride goes "up in smoke" and half of L.A. probably had the munchies that day!
Watch for Tom Skerritt as Stoner's cousin. (He's been weird ever since Nam. Whatever you do, don't stare at the big red mark on his neck. It makes him mad, man!) This segment includes spilled bathroom cleanser that's mistaken for "snow," and polyester-clad Sgt. Stedenko (Stacy Keach), who's convinced he's seized high-grade stuff when this pile of AJAX starts turning blue.
THE comedic highlight is a Rock Fight show-stopping performance of "Earache My Eye," C&C's popular song that was subsequently issued as a single. On stage, scruffy vocalist Cheech is attired in a pink tutu and Chong's so loaded he keeps tipping his drum kit over, amidst loud boos. Once they get started we hear a fine brass-accented heavy metal tune, plus these classic lyrics:
"My momma talkin' to me tryin' to tell me how to live But I don't listen to her cuz my head is like a sieve My daddy he disowned me cuz I wear my sister's clothes He caught me in the bathroom with a pair of pantyhose!"
Strange days indeed.
TRIVIA: Tommy Chong was 40 years of age when this movie premiered in September 1978.
Cheech and Chong's antics have survived well through time. However, while no longer really relevant humor for the current day, it is still a very funny film. The dynamic between Cheech and Chong is pricelessly funny and authenticly heart warming to witness. Not the best acting, not the best editing, not the best story, but through it all it still manages to put a smile on your face. Plus a plethora of great extras for Cheech and Chong fans this is a film that's worth seeing, even if it's just too say you've seen it. Whether you're a ex-stoner, a current stoner, or someone who's never done drugs there's something in this film for everyone to enjoy. Just a fair warning though, more than 90% of the humor in this film is drug oriented so if you have a strong anti-drug stance or simply don't find drug humor funny you will most likely not enjoy this film.
I love this movie, I never tire of their stupid humor! These guys were the greatest actors when they worked together, there is endless humor! I am sure some would not find this movie funny as it is older and dumb, dumb, dumb humor...but what else would two stoners being doing, but stupid stuff. I love how they get themselves in and out of trouble. My favorite part is when Cheech gets handed an unknown substance to calm down and then Tommy Chong tells him "wait man, I almost gave you the wrong stuff", then Cheech says "What, I already took it"...the rest you have to see for yourself!!! :)
I bought this for my little brother, who decided he wanted to watch a Cheech and Chong movie, but couldn't find one anywhere in town. I thought it would be a fun gag gift to surprise him with. When it arrived in the mail I gave it to him and he watched it right away, ever since he's been watching every Cheech and Chong movie he can find and tells me about how funny they all are. So I guess it was a really funny movie!
For those of you who grew up in the 70's, Cheech & Chong where the Laurel & Hardy or Abbott & Costello of those times. Seeing this film in DVD is a joy, since I must have seen it on tape more than a 100 times, till it was unwatchable. Now, for the first time we can see the film in it's original panoramic (widescreen) format, and for those who saw it before on tape, you'll see all you've missed before. The copy is pristine clear, and it includes a load of deleted scenes, some actually funnier than what we saw on the original run of the film. Included on those missing scenes, is the infamous one featuring Harry Dean Stanton, who doesn't remember ever appearing in a Cheech & Chong film. Plus there is an audio commentary by Cheech himself and Lou Adler, the director, who prior to this, had never directed a film before. You'll be astonished to learn how much this film influenced other people, guys like Quentin Tarantino, for example, not to mention the numerous rock groups who grew up watching this guys and re-recorded their music. All in all, a real pleasure to discover this seminal gem from the 70's, given it's full use or advantage on DVD. If you saw this guys' films way back then, do yourself a favor, and get hold of this DVD. For those too young to remember them, but who heard of them from an older brother or "stoner" uncle, get hold of it and discover what kept us laughing during those daze, er, uh, days. Filmakers of today, take notice that films can be made without a million cuts per second and only with long continous shots.