Cinematic psychedelics are films in which psychedelics are used to great effect. A common feature of psychedelic films is the use of psychedelic drugs to create surrealistic images and narratives that are infused with psychedelic imagery. It is common for their experimental narratives to deliberately distort the viewer’s perception of reality or normality. Non-psychedelic ‘Top 10 Psychedelic Films of All Time’ is here!
To put it another way, “Reality” as we know it is an illusion created by our society and the language we use to communicate with it. in the words of Terence McKenna
10. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
It’s an American psychedelic black comedy road movie called Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It is based on Hunter S. Thompson’s 1971 novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Terry Gilliam co-wrote and directed the picture, which stars Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro as Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo. Their initial journalistic aims gradually morph into a study of the city under the influence of psychotropic substances in the video, which follows their journey around Las Vegas.
Johnny Depp plays Hunter S Thompson, a close friend of Depp’s, with aplomb, to the point where you almost believe you’re looking at Thompson and not Depp. Psychedelic Films of All Time’s most fun film is here.
Netflix has a copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas available to stream.
9. A Scanner Darkly (2006)
For Robert Downey Jr. fans and those who appreciate trippy flicks alike, this underrated film is a must-see.
Undercover agent Bob Arctor is on a mission to uncover drug trafficking organizations. Meanwhile, he develops a dependency on drugs and tries to conceal his true identity.
Netflix has made A Scanner Darkly available for viewing.
8. Fantastic Planet (1973)
Animated by René Laloux, Fantastic Planet depicts Oms, a little humanoid creature, as they deal with their blue-skinned oppressor, Draags, who rules over the planet Ygam.
The story of the film is based on Stefan Wul’s 1957 novel Oms en série, which depicts the lives of humanity on a distant world dominated by huge humanoid aliens who consider them animals.
7. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
In Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance, Godfrey Reggio directs an experimental film that explores the concept of balance in the world. You may watch the movie on YouTube.
It was a psychedelic plot that I couldn’t adequately describe, so please watch the video to see for yourself.
6. The Holy Mountain (1973)
Warning: This one is not for the uninitiated, since it requires a high degree of psychological and psychedelic acuity to comprehend it.
The Holy Mountain, a Mexican surreal-fantasy film directed, produced, co-scored, and edited by Alejandro Jodorowsky and starring Jodorowsky himself, is one of a kind.
Alexandro Jodorowsky portrays a Mexican master who guides a Christ figure, Horacio Salinas, and other disciples to a mountain of immortal wise men in the film. It’s going to be a psychedelic ride like nothing you’ve ever been on before. This is one of my personal favorites and one of the best psychedelic films ever made.
MX Player currently has The Holy Mountain streaming.
5. El Topo (1970)
Alejandro Jodorowsky wrote, composed, directed, and starred in El Topo, an acid Western film originally titled El Topo. In addition to its use of mutilated and dwarf actors, the film is recognized for its rich Christian symbolism and Eastern philosophy.
The story revolves around the title character, a deadly gunfighter dressed wholly in black, and his journey for spiritual awakening. The Beatles’ manager Allen was blown away by Alejandro Jodorowsky’s work after seeing this one, and I hope you are too!
4. Waking Life (2001)
Richard Linklater’s Waking Life is an experimental philosophical adult animated docufiction film that he wrote and directed. Philosophical issues are examined in the film, including the nature of reality, lucid dreaming, consciousness, the meaning of life, and free will.
In a sequence of dream-like realities, a young guy goes through a series of people who participate in philosophical talks with him.
Folks, be prepared to have your mind bent!
3. Samsara (2011)
In Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson’s non-narrative documentary Samsara, images from all across the world are combined to tell a story.
My advice is to have a few cocktails or whatever your preference is before you watch it, and then sit back and enjoy the masterpiece!
2. The Trip (1967)
Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda bring the ’60s back to life in this period piece.
Jack Nicholson wrote and directed the psychedelic picture, The Trip, which was distributed by American International Pictures in the 1970s. Paul Groves, a young television commercial director, is played by Peter Fonda in the film.
Actor Peter Fonda takes on the role of commercial director Paul Groves. In the midst of his wife’s infidelity and the subsequent pain of divorce, Paul swallows his first LSD pill (Susan Strasberg). A “guide” named John (Bruce Dern) introduces him to the world of psychedelics but he swiftly abandons him out of fear.
1. Enter The Void (2009)
Finally! Enter the Void is the best psychedelic film ever made!
Enter the Void is a 2009 experimental drama film directed and written by Gaspar Noé. Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, and Cyril Roy feature in this picture, which takes place in neon-lit Tokyo nightclubs.
When Oscar, a young American drug dealer, is shot by the police, he continues to witness events unfold from an out-of-body perspective. A first-person perspective, it floats above the city streets and occasionally portrays Oscar looking over his shoulder as he recalls events from his past.. The film is described as a “psychedelic melodrama” by the director, Noé.
Filmmaking from the first-person perspective may seem weird at first, but when done properly, it results in a film that has aged gracefully.
So, with that, we conclude our survey of the best psychedelic films ever made. When a film is made available through a streaming service, it will appear on this list of the Top 10 Psychedelic Films. Please let us know if you think we omitted a title in the comments section below.