A hugely talented but socially isolated computer operator is tasked by Management to prove the Zero Theorem: that the universe ends as nothing, rendering life meaningless. But meaning is what he already craves.
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
The character of Dr. Gonzo is based on Hunter S. Thompson's friend "Oscar Zeta Acosta", who is said to have drowned sometime in 1974. See more »
During the Steadicam tracking shot of Duke and Gonzo walking away from the hotel at the start of the film, immediately after the dwarf employee is knocked over by the swinging doors, they walk behind some random cables that come into view on the right side of the frame at the very last second of the shot. 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 »
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans (as Raymond Evans)
Published by St. Angelo Music
Administered by MCA Music Publishing, A Division of Universal Studios, Inc., Jay Livingston Music, Inc., and St. Angelo Music
Performed by Debbie Reynolds
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets 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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