The big-screen version of Hunter S. Thompson's seminal psychedelic classic about his road trip across Western America as he and his large Samoan lawyer searched desperately for the "American dream"... they were helped in large part by the huge amount of drugs and alcohol kept in their convertible, The Red Shark.Written by
During the initial development hell to get the film made, Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando were originally considered for the roles of Duke and Gonzo, and Nicholson was attached, but he, and Brando, both grew too old. Afterward, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi were considered for the duo, but that fell apart when Belushi died. John Malkovich was later considered for the role of Duke, but he too grew too old. At one point, John Cusack was almost cast, but then Hunter S. Thompson met Johnny Depp, and was convinced no one else could play him. Cusack had previously directed the play version of "Fear and Loathing", with his brother playing Duke. See more »
At the Mint Bar, Gonzo has his sunglasses on, but then in one shot Duke turns to Gonzo when he's mumbling, and he has his sunglasses off. Then it switches back to Duke, then back to Gonzo, and he has his sunglasses back on. See more »
We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like:
I feel a bit lightheaded. Maybe you should drive.
Suddenly, there was a terrible roar all around us, and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, and a voice was screaming:
Holy Jesus. What are these goddamn animals?
[swatting the air]
Huh! Huh! Huh! Fucking pigs.
Did you ...
[...] See more »
The Ralph Steadman drawings from the book are put in with the credits, along with the Gonzo & Duke in the Red Shark picture that takes up the whole screen at the end. See more »
The film perfectly encapsulates the philosophy of extreme over-indulgence that has probably inspired every young mind at some stage, it allows the viewer to both share the utterly unadulterated experience of psychedelic excess in all it's wonderful glory, whilst ultimately reinforcing the likely unsustainability of such a philosophy in the real world.
Freelance writer Raoul Duke and his Attorney come partner in mayhem Dr Gonzo embark on a mission to report on a Desert Rally in Las Vegas, naturally stocking up for the trip with wildly excessive quantities of just about every mind-altering substance known to man...:.
"We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, a whole galaxy of multi- colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge. And I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon".
Sheer brilliant mayhem ensues, the Depp/Del Torro duo deliver comedic excellence, whilst Depp in particular, having spent weeks learning Hunters impulsive mannerisms packs the film full of endlessly quotable Hunter-esquire commentary.
A few days into the trip, with a growing list of offences in their debris-strewn wake, the two lead characters barely know who they are, let alone who won the race, but that's no reason to go home.
An unrestrained portrayal of the semi-autobiographical book, with no content compromise for anyone the story is told as intended, with numerous canny nods toward Hunter S Thompson all adding to the quality of the final product (check out the IMDb Trivia page).
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