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Film / Up in Smoke

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Up in Smoke is a 1978 Stoner Flick written by and starring Cheech and Chong; Lou Adler is credited as director, but Tommy Chong directed significant parts of it without credit.

The plot meanders quite a bit as it follows the two as they search for ways to score marijuana. Along the way, they are pursued by a set of highly incompetent drug agents who are trying to intercept a van made of pure "plasticized" marijuana that the duo are driving unawares.

The film is notable for being the first feature film starring Cheech and Chong and was a financial success with much of its revenue, perhaps surprisingly, coming from Texas and Canada.


This movie contains examples of:

  • The Alleged Car: Chong's VW Beetle (with the Rolls Royce hood). It doesn't even make it past the first five minutes of the film.
  • Battle of the Bands: Where Cheech, Chong and their band eventually end up... "Rock Fight Of The Century" at the Roxy.
  • Butt-Monkey: Sgt. Stedanko
  • Cool Car: Pedro's Love Ma-cheen!
  • Everybody Must Get Stoned: The DEA agents who are chasing them eventually get high when a vehicle made out of marijuana starts smoking while they're standing next to it.
  • Hollywood Nuns: A car full of them at the Mexican border, who Stedanko's squad mistakenly bust for weed smuggling.
  • Immune to Drugs: Chong's character, Man, doesn't get a buzz from a joint that sets everyone else on their ear.
  • Ms. Fanservice: One of the female hitchhikers is clearly not wearing a bra... and at one point does a little Toplessness from the Back.
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  • Mundane Object Amazement: Man is very impressed by Pedro's utterly crappy car and its cheesy stylings.
  • No Name Given: Man's real name is Anthony Stoner. His first name is mentioned by his parents in his opening scene, but everyone else just calls him 'Man'.
  • Not What It Looks Like: People think that Man is having energetic sex with a woman in a van when, in fact, she's just describing a friend's sexual encounter with some very enthusiastic sound effects.
    • "Hey, I didn't know your name was Alex."
  • Potty Emergency: Pedro's struck with one inside the "upholstery" plant.
  • Punishment Box: The back seat of Sgt Stedanko's car serves as one for his incompetent and clueless subordinates.
  • Running Gag: Getting a whiff of the super-potent weed truck leads to the munchies. Not even Stedanko's squad is safe in the end.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Played for laughs when Pedro takes Man to meet his cousin Strawberry.
  • Shout-Out:
    • At one point, Cheech is reenacting dialogue from the Laurel and Hardy movie Saps at Sea.
    • The song "Star Star" from The Rolling Stones' Goats Head Soup is playing on a record, until the record skips and repeats the line "Star Fucker, Star" ad infinitum.
  • Stoners Are Funny: This should go without saying.
  • Vanity License Plate: Pedro's Car: MUF DVR (A euphemism for oral sex on a woman.)
    • The Weed Van: YESCA (Chicano slang for marijuana.)
  • Watch It Stoned: Played straight as well as averted in the scene where Cheech has way too much of a very powerful joint and, as a consequence, suffers intense paranoia.


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