Customer Review

December 29, 2009
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.
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