Listen, just because you may have never taken hallucinogens doesn’t mean you wont enjoy this list. You see, realistically, people who have never taken hallucinogens have often never taken them because the misconceptions and fears about them, which society only works at perpetuating. Jaundice journalism, if I may be so bold. But this list will show you what you have been taught is quite wrong, actually. For those who have taken hallucinogens, they know that the inch thick (proverbial) goggles we wear in our lives without ever knowing it get stripped off under the influence of hallucinogens, and we see life as we never had before, yet we see it like we were intended to. The colors are crisp, the thoughts are divine epiphanies, and the most predominant thing you feel is the constant joy at how new, stunning, and alive everything suddenly becomes. And if you can “trip” anywhere, you should trip in the woods. You really should. But on the off-chance it is cold outside, or stormy, or you have the inability to get yourself to a forest safely, the next best thing to do is create art, in any form. Be it music or painting or writing, like I am right now. But, if you are trapped inside and not feeling the creation vibe, the NEXT best thing to do when tripping is put on a movie and just sit back and bug out. The thing is, the movies you put on during a trip will form the feeling of that trip, so the films you choose are essential to heightening the already amazing experience. Here are six (yes, there’s an extra hidden at the end) movies to watch while tripping your face off, that will only make your trip that much more enjoyable. Well, except for The Wall. That one may tweak you out a little, but you should still watch it tripping.

Waking Life

Take a good long look at that picture there. That is exactly how the movie looks, and exactly how the movie feels. What is Waking Life about? Well, I guess you could say it is about lucid dreaming. To the same degree, you could say it’s about philosophy.  It is an inter-connected, rotoscope-animated series of vignettes about everything, from how we connect with other people, to how off our own perceptions are at all times. Waking Life was directed by Richard Linklater (who loves to ask intense questions through his films), and the film is so trippy and dream-like, you feel like you are tripping when you watch it sober, so imagine how the movie makes you feel when you are actually tripping? I mean, just look at it:

This film may be the closest you can come to actually walking through the subconscious. And the rotoscoped animation only makes it all the more visually delicious.

The Wall

I recommend this one hesitantly, only because it is an uber-intense ride, and some people bug out and can’t enjoy it based on the dark subject matter and unsettling imagery, and that is understandable. Never engage something that is disturbing you if you are tripping, unless it is something you are truly willing to face. Having that disclaimer out-of-the-way, I don’t care how dark and raw it gets (did he just cut off his nipple???!!), it is truly enthralling, from the first frame to the last. To use any other word than enthralling would be to sell this whole thing short. And  like most dark subject matter, The Wall incites some deep thought. Thoughts about childhood. Thoughts about the pain of love and the misdirection of lust. Thoughts of giant, talking assholes that condemn you for a life of emotional unavailability.

Oh wait, that last one is not so much a thought, as something that literally happens in the film.

Yes, it is dark. Yes, it can be troubling. But it is also a visual marvel and it melts the mind as much as it blows it. And on the other extreme….

Spirited Away

Honestly, this one was a tough pick, because ANY MOVIE by Studio Ghibli is an absolutely perfect companion to a night on your couch, tripping your face off. They are all fantastically animated, epic films about epic subjects. Pardon the overuse of epic, but if any other word could describe Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke, I don’t know what it is.

Spirited Away is the story of all young girl who gets whisked away to a fantasy world inhabited by a menagerie of fantastical creatures after her gluttonous parents get turned into pigs by a witch. If you don’t understand why this is a great movie to watch tripping, read that sentence a few more time out loud and it should hit you. Everything about this film, from the animation, to the story itself, are a true joy to behold, and it is all so wonderfully imaginative, it is hard not to get caught up in the energy and mirth you feel projecting from the film.

Ofcourse, that could just the acid talking. Regardless, you should watch it.

Beyond The Black Rainbow

Earlier this year, I consumed a great deal of psychoactive mushrooms deliberately, in an attempt to further my experience of watching, and writing about, Beyond The Black Rainbow. You can read that article here, and I suggest you do. Honestly, I use abbreviations very little in my writing, because I believe it undermines our language, and the gift we have to use it. But honestly, watching Beyond The Black Rainbow tripping my face off left me with very little else to say other than OMG.

While I truly believe going at the film blind will give people more appreciation for the film, the visuals are unlike anything you have ever seen in a movie, tripping or not. When you add to that the story, never actually hand fed to the viewer, of an institute that holds a girl against her will in an attempt to harness her psychic energy as a weapon, is engrossing in every sense of the word. I mean, I’ll say it again, just look at this film:

Beyond The Black Rainbow is another film that, if you watch while sober,  will make you feel like YOU are tripping. I’ve had a few brief exchanges with director Panos Cosmatos about the film, and he seems like a genuinely interesting and unique individual, and I am looking forward to seeing what other distinct, dreamlike movies he has in store for the world. And now, one final shot to the psyche.

Yellow Submarine

Here you have it, folks. A movie that was MADE for people who were on LSD and other hallucinogens. Everything about this film incites a perfectly peaceful, joyous state of being while you watch.  The movie ends up being an all-encompassing experience, overwhelming your senses of sight and hearing in the best ways possible.  Though there were a great deal of movies from that same time period that tried to accentuate people’s drug experiences, Yellow Submarine’s insane art style and heavenly soundtrack is actually one of the few films that succeed in doing so.  This is one movie that WILL, and I say will because it is a fact, make your trip better.

Watching it sober is like watching the movie through the wrong eyes. Sober, the film is cute and whimsical. Tripping, though, Yellow Submarine is an animated musical journey to a whole new world. I bet that all made you think of Aladdin, huh? Sorry, that wasn’t on purpose. But on a quick side note, Disney has some real gems, too. Namely Fantasia. As a matter of fact:

For a bonus, here is Fantasia in its entirety, in case you are tripping right now. Disney, please don’t sue me, I found it on Youtube.

Well, enjoy kids. I mean adults. Responsible adults.