Review: Meth-addled Fever Dream

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May 21, 2014 - Culture

By Bert Jones, culture critic

2 Stars

I don’t have a lot of meth-addled fever dreams these days. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I just don’t have the energy to go all the way to the movie theater, purchase a ticket, go to theater 7, and execute a quick drug deal with the usher. I’ve also found that meth-induced trances all feel the same these days. The same story beats, the same big setpieces, the same mind-bending bouts with psychosis.

That said, I hadn’t had a waking coma in quite a long time, and I heard that Dwayne had some new shit from Tempe that I should really try out. So, last week, I went to the AMC 16 in Santa Anita, paid my $50 for a dime bag of crystal, and settled into the back seat of my station wagon thinking I was about to have a great experience.

Boy, was I wrong.

This was quite possibly the most rote, uninspired meth nightmare I’ve seen in years. Not a touch of heart, just the same paint-by-numbers stuff we’ve all been seeing for more than a decade. Boy meets girl. Girl turns into a shrieking silver banshee. Boy loses girl. Boy cackles and devours his own face. I mean, could it be more cliche?

Maybe I’m just getting old, but they don’t make terrifying drug hallucinations the way they used to. Back in the ‘70s, when the meth flowed like tap water and the corporations hadn’t cornered the whole damn drug market, things were different. No two fever dreams were the same, and each one had a distinct conceit. Those visions had vision, dammit.

Nowadays, you’re lucky if you access even one plane of reality you haven’t been to a thousand times before.

So try Dwayne’s new shit if you must. Try it if there’s nothing good on TV, or if you burned through your stash and need something to tide you over for the weekend. But if you want to peer over the edge of mortality in new and fascinating ways, I simply can’t recommend meth-addled fever dreams. In fact, I don’t think I’ll be returning to them ever again.

No, from now on, you’ll find me getting back to basics and doing peyote in Death Valley.

 

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