100 Discs of Christmas #44 – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)


Despite plans to translate Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas from print to screen some 40 years back (with the likes of Scorsese, Akroyd and Belushi supposedly keen to chip in), it wasn’t until the unsung success of Bruce Robinson’s Withnail and I that anything had come close to capturing the spirit, motifs and sheer mayhem of Thompson’s semi-true tale: two blokes, a fuck load of drink, drugs, a twisted journey and a bittersweet sense of cynicism as the swinging sixties dispersed into nothing more than memory.

Directed, fittingly, by ex-Python Terry Gilliam, Fear and Loathing is a vicious, semi-surreal assault on not only everything in correspondence to tee-total nobility and the American way, but on all things currently bathing in the mainstream of contemporary cinema. Canted camera angles, out of sync dialogue, dreamlike imagery, senseless plot development, fast-cutting and slow-moing to the max’- the film, like the novel, is outrageously droll and wildly entertaining in its take on jangled reality and western capitalism.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), directed by Terry Gilliam, is released on blu-ray and DVD in the UK by Universal Pictures. 




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