Stoner Cinema: Welcome To Dopeland Hits The Spot


Welcome To Dopeland

​Talk about timely. Welcome To Dopeland, a small, weird, dark, quirky independent comedy containing some great big ideas, examines the theme of how corporate greed, control and denial continue even in the face of an apocalypse.

The movie, which came out last year with its original title, Everything Must Go, is like a Cheech and Chong road movie crossed with Dr. Strangelove. Two slackers, Mac (Jake Lyall) and Bobby (Ross Turner) are headed for trouble on a quest for drugs after Mac has a really bad day, getting fired from his job and losing his girlfriend.
When Mac asks Bobby to help him find some OxyContin, a string of comic screw-ups ensues, but the comedy turns scary as the biggest screw-up of all — the end of the world — threatens everyone’s capacity for denial.
It’s a buddy movie of sorts, and the interaction between Mac and Bobby is consistently entertaining; both Lyall and Turner are gifted actors, with Turner’s very funny and touching performance, especially, deserving a lot more recognition than it’s gotten.

Welcome To Dopeland
Bobby (left) channels alien intelligences; Mac lost his wife and job, and just wants some OxyContin.

Welcome To Dopeland really is a low-budget tour de force with its overall theme of nature vs. technology and humanity vs. corporate profits being both pertinent and timely, especially with the Occupy protest drama unfolding on streets worldwide.
This must-have film, directed by the Grateful Dead’s film/video producer, Len Dell’Amico, is a great choice for viewing while high, as it simultaneously tickles your funny bone and your consciousness, daring you to step outside your day-to-day concerns and take a look at the bigger picture. 

Welcome To Dopeland

​The film is punctuated with brief, intense visual montages from Dell’Amico, dream-like sequences connected to the trance states of (non-drug user!) Bobby. The “alien intelligences” which supposedly speak through Bobby during his trances aren’t too happy with how society seems to have valued greed and financial gain over human beings, and the combination of their words channeling through Bobby along with Dell’Amico’s powerful imagery makes for a film that you won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
In fact, if the mark of a great film is the depth charges it sets off in your mind, hours or days after viewing, Welcome To Dopeland may very well be a great film, because I find my mind returning to its message and its imagery again and again.
Are you ready to think about the larger forces that are shaping culture and society every day, and how they might not always be looking out for your best interests? If so, then Welcome To Dopeland will probably hit your cinematic sweet spot as enjoyably as it did mine.
As it so happens, this is a great time to buy the digital download of the film.
If you click here, you can get the movie digitally for just $2 if you use the code “Q802C088” at checkout (code valid until November 15, 2011).