How High (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This is a hybrid juvenile comedy directed by Bob Dylan's son, Jesse. About half of its provenance is Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, since it features two stoner musicians who hang out with dead people. The other half is sort of a modern version of Animal House, with the levels of gross-outs updated from mere food fights to the more daring shocks demanded by modern tastes.

A black slacker/stoner uses the ashes of a dead genius friend to enrich the soil in which he grows weed. This produces a magical kind of weed that enables him to commune with the soul of the dead genius. As a result, he and a fellow slacker end up getting perfect scores on the college boards, and entering Harvard. When they run out of the magical dope, they reason that the only way to keep up their IQ's is to mix a smart dead person into their dope. Since they are in Boston, they end up robbing the grave of John Quincy Adams and dragging his remains across campus and into their dorm room.

Ben Franklin also makes an appearance, the very white Spalding Gray makes a hilarious appearance as a passionate Black History professor, and it is hilarious to see the fantasies and delusions that the two stoners have when they are high. At one point, they are in the cornfield in Field of Dreams having conversations with Kevin Costner, at other times their diminished grasp of reality produces some hilarious imagined TV shows.


It is filled with sex and sex jokes, but no nudity.

Needless to say, as required by the unwritten law of the Animal House sub-genre, our lads must triumph over academic snobbery, snooty frat boys, and the evil Dean - in this case not Dean Wormer, but Dean Cain. Since there are no horses available to kill in his office, they lure pigeons in with a special food - that ends up making the pigeons explode.

This movie is lowbrow and vulgar. It is also very humorous. Rap stars Method Man and Redman are both funny and pretty good actors, and they basically apply their rapping skills to a sustained riff on these characters. They have excellent chemistry together, and flawless timing.  

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Commentary by Method Man and Redman

  • Production notes

  • WTHC Special (The Making of How High BET Special)

  • Deleted Scenes

  • Outtakes

  • Hide the Stash (DVD Game)

  • Music Video

  • Widescreen anamorphic format

There is no crossover possible with stoner films or gross-out films and this is both. If you don't like those things, stay away and keep your children away. This is positively immoral and offensive, and makes drug abuse seem like great fun. It was made by horrible, evil, naughty men who want to destroy the very fabric of civilization. Screen-it said that it contains extreme levels of disrespectful behavior, drug use, inappropriate music, profanity, and sex, as well as the desecration of the grave of one of America's most revered patriotic icons. Harummph!

Now leave the room so I can talk to the people with a sense of humor.

Are they gone? Good. It's fuckin' hilarious. As a gross-out comedy it is absolutely at the top of the line, because the gross-outs are not merely gross, but are actually funny.

The Critics Vote

  • 2.5/5

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 4.6/10. (This genre will never score high. Idle Hands, the Citizen Kane of gross-out stoner flicks, is only rated 5.4.) People over 30 scored it a deplorable 2.9. 40% of all voters scored it either a perfect 10 or a perfect 1.
  • with their dollars: It grossed about $31 million in the USA, easily justifying its $12 million budget. It was a real winner, because it amassed that gross on word of mouth, in only 1300 theaters.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+. Genre masterpiece, but from a genre with a limited audience.

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