The Scoop: 1994 R, directed by James Melkonian and starring MIchael Kopelow, Bradford Tatum, and China Kantner
Tagline: Better than Dazed and Confused!
Summary Capsule: One night. Two stoners. Not nearly enough Blue Öyster Cult.
Yeti’s Rating: While the tagline (ergh, the closest thing the film has to one) is ambitious, there’s no doubt The Stoned Age is as fine as the chicks in it.
Yeti’s Review: At first I planned on arguing The Stoned Age as the ultimate “cult” flim. But then I realized I have no idea what that means. Most of the definitions for cult didn’t apply to my feelings toward the film.
- “An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest.“
As close to my heart as the film is, I wouldn’t call my interest in it artistic or intellectual.
- “intense interest in and devotion to a person, idea, or activity”
This one certainly applies. Then again, this could apply to any film I enjoy. Or person (Dave Franco). Or activity (Super Smash Brothers). It doesn’t necessarily make it “cult”. Just because you have an extreme passion for running doesn’t make it a cult activity.
So The Stoned Age isn’t a cult film. It seems a film has to be widely regarded as good, yet at the same time not recognized by many people. Yes, more people have probably seen Leonard Parts 1-5, but generally that’s because TSA is not watchable by most people’s standards. The acting is amateur. There are continuity errors and goofs throughout (you can see the crew in the reflection of the microwave oven in one scene). The story is unoriginal and played out. It’s not, on any technical level, a strong film.
Having said that, I absolutely love it, and it’s the ultimate… something. What that something is, I have yet to figure out. Am I discouraged? Absolutely not. Will I now write gibberish in an attempt to figure out what I mean? Yes. Well, yes. I can confirm unorganized gibberish.
The Stoned Age first came into my possession after my best friend (I’ve known this guy since I was around two years old. We didn’t talk much at that age, but our moms were best friends and we rolled around together. It’s been over twenty years. Still rolling around.) and I rented it on VHS at my local video store. They had deals on older films that were incredible. Four movies. Four days. Four dollars. Needless to say the two of us had many a sleepovers.
So we pick up this flick after noticing the title. The Stoned Age. A comedy. We dig comedies. The Stoned Age. Cavemen seem fairly funny. Oh yes, that’s right. Even after witnessing the cover (as you can see above) we still assumed this was about cavemen in the age of the dinosaurs. We were in junior high at the time but I’d like to believe there was some common sense established by then. It clearly has a car on the cover, but in self defense so does this.
We get home, watch four movies straight, stay up until nine in the morning, fall asleep until two in the afternoon, and quote every line from this film for the rest of our lives. If I had to estimate, I would guess twenty lines we regurgitate to each other on a daily basis. Yeah, sure we do the “Big gulps huh? Wlelp, cya later!” just as much as the next best friend duo, but this was our thing. Only we understood when one of us abruptly claimed “I gotta take a dump”. Clearly not a very funny line without the context. But to us, it means the world. It’s our friendship.
Let’s fast forward five or six years to freshman year in college. Obviously my best friend and I went to the same school together. Maybe that’s not obvious, just weird. So my freshman year I joined a fraternity. I can’t give you a good reason why. Before college I made fun of fraternities. During college I made fun of (my own included) fraternities. And upon graduation, I am proud to say I still mock fraternities. Meh, I blame Old School.
During pledging we have to be the designated drivers during the weekend. Usually they would put us in pairs, and one weekend it was myself accompanied by another random pledge. We drive some of the older clowns to a party and just stand there. Stand in the middle of the party being as awkward as imaginable. I’m pretty depressed about the situation, so I’m spacing out for minutes that turn to hours when my fellow pledge, who hasn’t talked for the entirety of the night, points to the cliche Dazed and Confused poster on the wall.
“There’s this movie that’s better than Dazed and Confu…“
“The Stoned Age. I can’t believe you saw The Stoned Age,” I replied.
Needless to say he’s been a good friend ever since college. We might not always keep in touch as much as we’d like, but when we do meet up there’s always the suggestion of meeting at “that Frankie Avalon place by the beach”. And yes, my sleepover best friend (best friend number one?) received a call immediately upon hearing there was another one of us. One of us. ONE OF US.
You probably want to know something about the film. I’m assuming you didn’t click the link to listen to me gush about my best friends. But the thing is, you’ve already seen this film. It’s a story that’s been told many times over in different variations. Guys looking for chicks. Trying to have a good time, man.
It’s the seventies. Joe and Hubbs are a pair of…best friend….stoners. They cruise in the Blue Torpedo every weekend looking for a party. Once they get wind of a couple of chicks from up north they do every thing in their powers to party with these babes. As always, there are plenty of obstacles for this bodacious duo. You have the competitive nature of other single, testosterone filled guys. Word spreads fast about these girls. I mean come on, the one looks like the chick from that Virgin Killers ablum. Not to mention there’s cops and parents seemingly around every corner. And who could forget those chumps from Palos Verdes
It’s clear why they compared it to Dazed and Confused. It’s a bit of a rip off. There’s an article somewhere online that argued Dazed and Confused as the greatest American Graffiti rip off. Then went on to claim The Stoned Age as the best Dazed and Confused rip off. So, in some vague way, this made The Stoned Age the greatest American Graffiti rip off. I don’t know, it made sense at the time.
Again, it’s a story that’s been told before. So what separates it? Nothing, really. Only instead of saying,
“That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age. “, my (two) friends and I say,
“151! Are you going to boogie with the foxes tonight? Shake it, maaaaan.”
The film is a 90-minute life long bond I will have with a few people. We don’t need to watch it together to share laughs, only bring up a few memorable lines. Every one has a film like this. Maybe one of your friends farted during the “Okay” scene during A Fault in Our Stars while on a double date. Fine, a strange example, but you get the point. Any time one of you passes gas you’ll say how “this is our Always”. And laugh. Man, that’s a terrible example. Not deleting it though. I think you get the point. I hope.
It seems I can’t figure out a word for this film. It’s not cult. Cult is something better, something worse. Something different. Truthfully, there is no one word for it. It’s akin to a relationship. Relationships are just more than one word. Friendship. Love. Joy. They are complex. But I think they’re the most important thing we have in this life. And if The Stoned Age is a link to some of the best relationships I’ve had so far in my twenty five years on this beautiful planet, then I can’t thank it enough. All I can do is crack open an Ox 45 and blast some BÖC.
- The producers initially titled it Tack’s Chicks and then Teenage Wasteland, before settling on The Stoned Age.
- The Stöned Age was produced by David Heyman, who went on to produce the Harry Potter film series.
- Blue Oyster Cult band member’s Eric Bloom and Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser are seen standing outside of a store trying to sell bootleg t-shirt’s for $5 after the movie’s final credits.
- Tack describes Lanie as “looking like that chick on the virgin killers album.” Actually, the ‘Virgin Killers’ album they are talking about was released by the Scorpions in 1977. The album was briefly banned in the US because it featured a 14 year old girl nude. The album cover was later replaced with a promo photo of the band, and thus, re-released in the US. The album with the original cover photo is extremely rare.
- The beer all the guys drink in the movie is called Ox 45. The script originally called for them to drink Colt 45, but Colt 45 wouldn’t allow it because they refuse to endorse under-age drinking. So their drink-of-choice was changed from Colt 45 to Ox 45.
- The film was originally conceived with Led Zeppelin as Joe’s favorite band. Unfortunately, the rights to their music were not available. Before they decided on Blue Oyster Cult, the producers considered Yes, Jethro Tull, The Who, The Grateful Dead, and Pink Floyd.
- China Kantner (who plays Jill) is the daughter of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship band members Paul Kantner and Grace Slick.
You guys probably think I’m a real butt head. You think I didn’t want to taste a beer when I was your age. Heck, they used to call me “Dixie Cup Dean”.
Okay, you get the Twinkies, I get the chocolate milk.
Let’s kick his rich boy a**.
Man I would, if he didn’t have so much upper body strength.
What can I do man, she was all over me.
Yeah, I can see that man. You’re blowing it! She ain’t even naked!
Just some dude.
It’s across the way from that Frankie Avalon place.
Who’s it going to be, just you guys?
Yeah, we can play…submarine.
Always got the crock.
Ahaha, the Schnappster!
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