Ah feel like ahcid
December 29, 2006 9:51 AM   Subscribe

The best films to see while tripping? LSD, HDTV, surround sound, on DVD? Looking for visual effects, chromakey, 3000 miles from home, set controls for the center of the sun, etc.

Especially interested in swirly, surreal, pleasant. Not sure I'm up for 120 Days of Sodom tonight.
posted by klangklangston to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (90 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (Or the Satyricon).
posted by klangklangston at 9:53 AM on December 29, 2006

I haven't done this, but I always thought that Moulin Rouge would be cool on psychedelics.

Spirited Away is gorgeous and surreal, but parts of it might be disturbing.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:57 AM on December 29, 2006

Defintely check out 2001 while under the influence
posted by buggzzee23 at 9:58 AM on December 29, 2006

Response by poster: (And to be kinda jerky, I'm really looking for a movie I haven't seen before while hallucinating, which unfortunately knocks out both Waking Life and all of the Miyazaki flicks).
posted by klangklangston at 10:01 AM on December 29, 2006

Pixar movies are great. I personally steered away from the heavier stuff, but I remember with great fondness the scene with the aliens and The Claw in Toy Story. They're not super-effecty, but I found I was making most of the special effects myself, and the colors and shapes are awesome.
posted by mckenney at 10:05 AM on December 29, 2006

Well if you have major guts try The Pawnbroker, if you have want pure enjoyment then go with Dark Crystal or Fantantic Planet.
posted by Freedomboy at 10:06 AM on December 29, 2006

Dreamscape and Altered States are both fun in that state of mind if you like cheesy sci-fi
posted by InfidelZombie at 10:07 AM on December 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

YMMV, but I really enjoyed Hollywood Boulevard while tripping at the drive-in way back in '76. Part of the movie is seen through the eyes of the main characters after they dropped acid and you kind of lose track between what is their hallucinations and what is your own hallucination. As an added bonus, Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen did the soundtrack. Last time I checked, it was available at Netflix.
posted by buggzzee23 at 10:08 AM on December 29, 2006

Koyaanisqatsi, and be sure to give a trip report later.
posted by hortense at 10:09 AM on December 29, 2006

Fantasia (the original).

Very swirly, surreal and pleasant.

You could try Fantasia 2000 while you're at it.

posted by NoraCharles at 10:14 AM on December 29, 2006

El Topo?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:16 AM on December 29, 2006

Oh, Betty Boop, now THAT"S surreal
posted by Freedomboy at 10:16 AM on December 29, 2006

It's a short one, but Rupert and the Frog Song is a perennial favorite of mine. All kinds of whimsical, and a great soundtrack to boot.
posted by anotherbrick at 10:17 AM on December 29, 2006

If you like a sound track dissociated from the visuals, Pink Floyd's whole Ummagumma album is great to trip to. Just beware of the sudden screams ... they gave me a terrible fright the first time.
posted by anadem at 10:17 AM on December 29, 2006

Fuck that hi-tech shit, kick it analog with some Gimme Gimme Octopus
posted by The Straightener at 10:18 AM on December 29, 2006

I'm of the mind that when on hallucinogens, one should stay as far away from the television as possible. You'll see much better mental pyrotechnics outside.

But if you insist on watching movies, then I always thought a stack of really over the top kung-fu films out of Hong Kong would be fun while frying. The pre-Hollywood oeuvre of Jet Li ought to serve you well, with maybe a dash of Michelle Yeoh in there somewhere.
posted by EatTheWeek at 10:20 AM on December 29, 2006

The original Willy Wonka. Skip the boring part in the beginning and head straight for when the kids arrive at the chocolate factory.
posted by jrossi4r at 10:20 AM on December 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

FreedomBoy - Oh! That's a good idea, too! Cartoons!

klangklangston - Get your hands on some Max Fleisher Superman cartoons! They're beautiful and bizarre. Maybe while tripping, the bits where the Man of Steel punches laserbeams will seem plausible!
posted by EatTheWeek at 10:22 AM on December 29, 2006

or you could turn on your computer and watch all these ;)
posted by seawallrunner at 10:23 AM on December 29, 2006

77 Million Paintings

Otherwise, I would recommend running MilkDrop (Winamp Visualization Plugin) on full settings output to your TV set in conjunction with your favorite tunes or a long mix set. If you thought your music felt alive before when under the influence... be prepared to see the notes being written across the entirety of your interior space, in the best possible way.

There's also the Disinformation DVD series which can be pretty hilarious in that context if you've never seen much of them.
posted by prostyle at 10:23 AM on December 29, 2006

Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii
posted by chillmost at 10:26 AM on December 29, 2006

posted by matteo at 10:28 AM on December 29, 2006

I heartily second chillmost's recommendation of Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii (I was beat to the punch).
posted by goml at 10:29 AM on December 29, 2006

Watch any of these visuals, but listen to this album while you do it. You won't be sorry.
posted by milarepa at 10:36 AM on December 29, 2006

The best ones have been dumb and fast-moving, to counter the tendency for your attention to wander. If you just put something on that you just sit there for and absorb you might just find that looking at the houseplants might be more fun while it runs in the background. With that, I suggest Troll.
posted by rhizome at 10:41 AM on December 29, 2006

Hoodwinked! will f you up, in a good way. What a blast.
posted by aeighty at 10:42 AM on December 29, 2006

I love The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
posted by kimdog at 10:48 AM on December 29, 2006

Wow this is the best question I've seen ever..

let's see, I'd go with:

Pink floyd's The Wall
2001 space odyssey
run lola run
cheech n chong nice dreams
the doors
the rescuers sp?
requeim for a dream
eternal sunshine

hmm those are the obvious ones I remember but there's tons more obscure titles I can't remember
posted by 0217174 at 10:49 AM on December 29, 2006

oh yeah, twin peaks fire walk with me was a good one too.. or any david lynch. try eraserhead
posted by 0217174 at 10:50 AM on December 29, 2006

The Three Stooges.
posted by dog food sugar at 10:51 AM on December 29, 2006

Suggestion: Just run electricsheep (electricsheep.org). You can download the movies via bittorrent (free & legal) and just watch them in vlc.

Counter suggestion: Put on some mellow music (jazz, classic, new age, anything flowing). Put on a blindfold, close your eyes and lay back. Actual visual input is a waste and will distract from the full experience that happens inside your mind.

Seriously consider my counter suggestion. I speak from experience here (probably a little too much experience). Blind journeys are much deeper and more intense. I suggest getting a sitter if you can for such work.

Travel safe, travel well!
posted by chairface at 10:56 AM on December 29, 2006

Hmm, this isn't for visuals, really, but if you like playing with your mind (if you're taking acid you do) see Schizopolis I guarantee you will have an interesting day. Or two.
posted by efalk at 11:00 AM on December 29, 2006

Un Chien Andalou Luis Bunuel.

Awesome movie. "An all out assault on the brain by way of the eyeball" Reviewer on the link above.

Surrealism at its best.

Also a big fan of the Greatful Dead Movie, but need to be a big fan.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:00 AM on December 29, 2006

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
posted by nola at 11:01 AM on December 29, 2006

posted by infinitewindow at 11:02 AM on December 29, 2006

Just one quick warning here: if you see a film for the first time tripping, basically it will always be "trippy" to you. In other words, when you watch the same movie again five years from now sober, you'll be perceiving things in it that nobody else can grasp.

This may be a good thing, but I wouldn't recommend it for a canonical film; i.e., a movie that you may want to be able to discuss intelligently on the same level as the rest of the world.

Personally I don't care for a lot of the "dark" choices here for the reason that acid tends not to give you the trip you want but rather the trip you need. If that "needed" trip is going to be soul-wrenching, there's no need to make the experience any more horrifying.

And so, how about Spirited Away -- perhaps with the original Japanese soundtrack and the subtitles turned off?
posted by La Cieca at 11:03 AM on December 29, 2006

chairface and klang: You know, spot has a dvd, called spotworks, rentable from netflicks.
It's the best of electricsheep, synchronized to music.

I cannot possibly recommend this enough.
posted by Freen at 11:03 AM on December 29, 2006

A fairly recent one, MirrorMask,
posted by edgeways at 11:06 AM on December 29, 2006

I second these suggestions:
Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii

and if your into it, Koyaanisqatsi.
posted by Freen at 11:07 AM on December 29, 2006

Why not just close your eyes and watch whatever is playing on the backs of your eyelids?

On acid, you can blow a lobe with Shakespeare in Love. I once watched in rapt attention to an infomercial for Blue-Blockers. Then the Smurfs came on, and I had to leave the room.

Save the trippy movies for after a bowl or two.
posted by jimfl at 11:14 AM on December 29, 2006

Oh, BTW: a buddy of mine puts on surfing movies or undersea animal planet sorts of stuff, but turns the sound off and plays music instead. Surfing Flicks + Diamond Fist Werny = awesome.
posted by jimfl at 11:16 AM on December 29, 2006

I agree with the people saying you should either find some non-visual stimulation or save the movies for when you're kind of coming down anyway. I would recommend, if you go with listening to music blindfolded or anything like that: Mozart- like the Mass in C-Minor (K.427). I had a very, very enjoyable experience doing this recently (I didn't blindfold myself but I found that once I started listening I automatically shut my eyes because the sensation of listening was so overwhelming). And for movies, I haven't seen most of the movies people are recommending but I've heard of some of them and they sound promising. My personal experience has been watching Pulp Fiction, the Maltese Falcon, and Paris, Texas, when tripping. I didn't plan to watch those specifically, more I joined other people who were watching them, but of the three I definitely had the most profound-seeming experience with Paris, Texas. The visual imagery in the movie is amazing and the soundtrack is also very beautiful.
posted by Oobidaius at 11:23 AM on December 29, 2006

What La Cieca said, on all counts, and also what Burhanistan said. Wait 'til the tail end.

That said, go for stuff without too much narrative. Surf docs like Step into Liquid or Riding Giants (haven't seen that one, so I"m guessing) or animation with little story like Allegro Non Troppo or Triplets of Belleville.
posted by jessenoonan at 11:25 AM on December 29, 2006

...like jimfl said...
posted by jessenoonan at 11:25 AM on December 29, 2006

It was something like 20 years ago, and music tastes vary, but Talking Heads' concert film Stop Making Sense worked well (and subjectively seemed to last about a week) for me in this context.
posted by aught at 11:30 AM on December 29, 2006

Get/ rent :

Criterion's BY BRAKHAGE (you will need to supply the soundtrack)

BARAKA (same cinemtagrapher who did KOYAANISQATSI and POWAQQATSI)

TRAILER TRASH is an amazing DVD -- probably very hard to find now. Trippiest collection of trailers ever -- just place the trailer for STUNT ROCK on repeat and that would be a great hour right there. (Highly Recommended)

If you are taking acid and watching a film on a television monitor -- the trashier the better in my opinion. FACES OF DEATH, TRACES OF DEATH, BUM FIGHTS, WORLD'S MOST VIOLENT VIDEOS, etc. are the kind of crap you should watch...

So pick something artful and pick something trashy.
posted by cinemafiend at 11:35 AM on December 29, 2006

Serial Experiments: Lain. Watch the whole damn thing and be amazed, and let me know what it means.

Wong Kar Wai's 2046 is a gorgeous film, very dreamy. Though perhaps a touch melancholy.

If you can get hold of some Brakhage, that is some astonishing stuff.

On reflection, you wouldn't even need chemical stimulation with these suggestions. Oddly I'm finding it hard to think of surreal/trippy but pleasent, most of my ideas are too infused in dark, as I suspect the majority of surreal/trippy films are.
posted by MetaMonkey at 11:35 AM on December 29, 2006

I agree with these:

I would recommend running MilkDrop (Winamp Visualization Plugin) on full settings output to your TV set in conjunction with your favorite tunes or a long mix set.

Talking Heads' concert film Stop Making Sense worked well
posted by ludwig_van at 11:37 AM on December 29, 2006

I dropped some blue microdot right before I went and saw Tron on the big screen. The live action was a bit of a bummer, but things were in high-gear by the time you first see the MCP. Yowzer!
posted by Thorzdad at 11:40 AM on December 29, 2006

nthing the opinion you should steer clear of active visual entertainment. I think visuals detract, unless you're in a truly incredible space of some kind (a cathedral or amazing natural area).

That said, I've always wanted to listen to Tool's "Lateralus" while tripping. Or Biosphere's (masterful) "Substrata", an ambient and extremely hallucinatory experience to begin with.
posted by dmaterialized at 12:04 PM on December 29, 2006

In that state, and generally my taste runs to the visually sumptuous, fantastic, and outright gorgeous, so I'd stay away from Scanner Darkly and Jacob's Ladder and the like--I think those are movies resembling bad trips, and who wants to induce that? I'd lean toward the dreamy with a tinge of strangeness: I second Wizard of Oz, Spirited Away, Moulin Rouge. Also there's A Company of Wolves, a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood as coming into puberty story, with werewolves. Are Yellow Submarine or Fear and Loathing too obvious? I'd love any of the the LOTR, Delicatessen or City of Lost Children. Terence Malick's The New World is gorgeous and Microcosmos, because who, on acid, wouldn't want to watch snails have sex?
posted by tula at 12:04 PM on December 29, 2006

I third the Stop Making Sense concert video reccomendation.
posted by Freen at 12:09 PM on December 29, 2006

Fox News?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:10 PM on December 29, 2006

...or "Home of the Brave" by Laurie Anderson?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:11 PM on December 29, 2006

Another vote for Koyaanisqatsi.
posted by MaxVonCretin at 12:12 PM on December 29, 2006

Ghost in the Shell

Trust me, watch this flick, even if you've already seen it or maybe arent a big anime fan. The animation is gorgeous and there is a lot of subject matter to think about.

And yeah, save it for just after peaking and you're on your way down. It blew my mind... No, really.

Other recommended activities are: Super Puzzle Fighter (psx or arcade) and walking.
posted by utsutsu at 12:28 PM on December 29, 2006

How about Withnail and I for that "now what am I going to do until I can fall asleep" phase?
posted by timeistight at 12:34 PM on December 29, 2006

I forgot Woodstock.
posted by timeistight at 12:38 PM on December 29, 2006

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
posted by stlboi at 12:40 PM on December 29, 2006

Just in case you can't actually get your hands on the required psychotropics, this (youtube) may actually have a similar effect. The trip may be shorter, but perhaps just as mind bending.

BOBUS: includes martial arts and Lynchian themes as suggested upthred.
posted by Exchequer at 12:52 PM on December 29, 2006

A dalmation that likes to run around a lot.
posted by youngergirl44 at 1:20 PM on December 29, 2006

Koyaanisqatsi, yo.

No plot, no dialogue, just 87 minutes of mind-blowing time-lapse filmography. I mean, fer gosh sakes, it's an acid trip movie straight...
posted by Aquaman at 1:40 PM on December 29, 2006

A friend suggests: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
posted by stungeye at 1:41 PM on December 29, 2006

whoops, I see folks have already suggested it. My quickie page search must have been mis-spelt...

Still, WATCH IT!
posted by Aquaman at 1:41 PM on December 29, 2006

On the flip side, DO NOT, under any circumstances, watch Masque of the Red Death (starring Vincent Price) while tripping. Just don't.

You've been warned.
posted by Aquaman at 1:44 PM on December 29, 2006

bobus / bonus...whatever...

Hey, didja hear about James Brown?
posted by Exchequer at 1:47 PM on December 29, 2006

While tripping on acid I saw the 3D video Captain EO (Michael Jackson) in a theatre filled with screaming kids in Disney Land, Florida in the late 80s.

It was interesting.
posted by sic at 2:47 PM on December 29, 2006

The Blue Sea, especially the "The Deep" which includes plenty of shots of bioluminescent sea life. Beautiful.
posted by mosspink at 2:58 PM on December 29, 2006

No one said Apocalypse Now???

2001 A Space Odyssey was the first thing that popped into my mind.

I suppose either of these might fuck you up forever if you are in the wrong state of mind.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 3:14 PM on December 29, 2006

The Monkees movie, Head. My personal fave under the circumstances.
posted by Ruki at 3:36 PM on December 29, 2006

Microcosmos: French doc about insects.
posted by dog food sugar at 4:04 PM on December 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

The Beatles, Help! Seriously. Something light and fluffy.
posted by fieldtrip at 4:27 PM on December 29, 2006

If you've got VHS (yes, VHS) and haven't seen it yet, you MUST MUST MUST see the maxx. There is simply no alternative.
posted by juv3nal at 4:36 PM on December 29, 2006

Chronicles of narnia

Lady Vengeance

The King and I

The ricki lake show (I realise it is not a film but used to totally trip me out when I was 'flying' all those many years ago. To be young again...)


When a stranger calls (original ed)

Charlie and the chocolate factory (original ed)
posted by mycapaciousbottega at 5:36 PM on December 29, 2006

I don't know about tripping, but Natural Born Killers was very entertaining while stoned.
posted by timepiece at 5:43 PM on December 29, 2006

Seconding Microcosmos. Also Fast, Cheap & Out of Control.

[Natural Born Killers??]
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 6:10 PM on December 29, 2006

Endless Summer 2
posted by Dave Faris at 6:49 PM on December 29, 2006

I have a friend who has done more drugs than the 60's. LSD, E, DMT, 2CB, 2CI, DXM, K, AMT, Speed, Uppers, Downers, Ether, nootropics, pot, hash oil, psychotropics, snuff, yope, ayahuasca, Mushrooms, 5MeODMT, alcohol, GHB, salvia, khat, ibogaine, 2CT7, coke, heroin, peyote, DIPT, methylone, nitrous, poppers, 1-4 diol, amanita and just about everything on erowid that has a name. And a few that don't.

I have seen himsuccessfully negotiate his way out of trouble (on separate occasions) with cops and gun toting gangsters ON ENOUGH LSD TO KILL AN ELEPHANT.

He recommends this when tripping.


I recommend the funniest simpsons episode evar.
posted by lalochezia at 8:00 PM on December 29, 2006

Yellow Submarine, Help! and A Hard Day's Night. Just trust me on these.
posted by Lynsey at 10:43 PM on December 29, 2006

OOh, I love this question as it relates to many of my weekends. I recommend MirrorMask or Battle Royale and do NOT recommend Spirited Away. We in fact just watched Spirited Away tripping the other night and hated it. Instead, we peaked out to hours and hours of ROBOT CHICKEN on DVD. This is my ultimate suggestion. It was a LOT of fun.
posted by infinityjinx at 11:02 PM on December 29, 2006

Try Eno┬┤s Thursday Afternoon.
posted by JJ86 at 6:05 AM on December 30, 2006

Since no one's mentioned it yet, I'll recommend what I think is easily the best english-language film of 2006: The Fountain.
posted by dobbs at 6:34 AM on December 30, 2006

Howabout (if you can find it), The Red Balloon?
posted by kimota at 8:38 AM on December 30, 2006

For that matter, FoodTV or the NASA direct feeds are fun.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:19 AM on December 31, 2006

Response by poster: Well, I promised a follow-up, so here's what happened:
Went out and rented Koyaanisqatsi, along with a dvd of Peter Greenaway shorts, the Spike and Mike Classics, and a documentary about Pollack. I was kinda amused by the plurality of the "Make your own mental movies!" sort of thing (perhaps I should have clarified that I've tripped many, many times before and was mostly watching these films post-peak, so didn't need the "have a spiritual moment" sort of well-meaning guff).

We put Koyaanisqatsi on, but we were mostly screwing around with glowsticks and making out then, so maybe I'll try watching it again straight so that I can say I've actually seen it. We also caught Winged Migration, which was fantastic in HD, but a little repetative (goose, goose, crane, goose, goose, stork ... ). Then we watched (on the come-down) Iron Monkey, a kung-fu flick that was done by Tsui Hark and was all beautiful wire work, telling the story of Wei Fong's inspiration (his father and another kung-fu doctor save a town), also in HD. And that was gorgeous.

All told, not bad for two tabs each, purchased with the help of a MeFi member after the Vancouver meetup.
Thanks folks, I'll return to this thread as soon as I can find some more acid...
posted by klangklangston at 7:33 AM on January 1, 2007

Once (when I was tripping) the movie Vidocq was playing on the ceiling, no sounds, which was fun to watch because it's fascinatingly pretty. Only two weeks later did I actually watch the movie, which, even sober, is great. Sorry the answer's later than it shoulda been, i couldn't for the life of me remember the title.
posted by hopeless romantique at 7:26 PM on January 4, 2007

0217174, what a terrible suggestion! Fire Walk With Me is a downer with absolutely no upside, and the OP specifically requested "pleasant.".

My suggestion would be Zabriskie Point but then I'm in the group La Cieca describes.
posted by Rash at 5:43 PM on January 23, 2007

Dr. Seuss's The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. And I'm not kidding one bit.
posted by mds35 at 3:23 PM on April 4, 2007

Mad Max 3. Thunderdome. Hold on!
posted by telstar at 2:54 AM on December 25, 2007

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