Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Johnny Depp
Director: Terry Gilliam Cast: Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp
, Benicio Del Toro
Benicio Del Toro
, Craig Bierko
Craig Bierko
Terry Gilliam

Blu-ray (Special Edition / Wide Screen)

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Overview

Terry Gilliam (Brazil, Twelve Monkeys, The Fisher King) directed this colorful, stylized, pseudo-psychedelic $21-million adaptation of the 1971 Hunter S. Thompson classic, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey into the Heart of the American Dream, about stoned sportswriter Raoul Duke, Thompson's alter ego, on a wild drug-crazed road trip, a paranoid plummet into the belly of the beast, with his pal, lawyer Oscar Zeta Acosta. Originally serialized in Rolling Stone (November 1971), the book catapulted Thompson headfirst toward the Kerouac-Mailer-Capote pantheon and jump-started the entire movement of "gonzo journalism." Carrying a suitcase of drugs, Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp with shaved pate) and his attorney Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) drive a red convertible across the Mojave from L.A. to Vegas, where Duke has an assignment to cover the Mint 400 desert motorcycle race. As the drugs kick in, Duke ventures into voiceover, filling in the blank spots and narrative gaps. "This is not a good town for psychedelic drugs," says Duke, but even so, they consume vast quantities, eventually escalating to ether. Duke notes that with ether "you can actually watch yourself behaving this terrible way, but you can't control it." The two trash their hotel room, and Gonzo goes back to L.A. Thinking the hotel room holocaust will lead to an arrest, Duke begins a drive back to L.A., but after an odd encounter with a highway patrolman (Gary Busey) and a telephone conversation with Gonzo, he returns to Vegas to cover the District Attorney Convention on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs in the glitzy Flamingo Hotel. This time the drugged-out duo trash their Flamingo room. The crazed carnival atmosphere segues into a carney casino, Bazooko's Circus, where a barker (Penn Jillette) spiels amid aerialists, clowns, and a rotating carousel bar. Gonzo worries over runaway teen Lucy (Christina Ricci), who paints portraits of Barbra Streisand. Soon the hallucinations begin: Duke sees Gonzo transmogrify into a demon with breasts on its back, and an acid vision of a Vegas bar features large legit lounge lizards (courtesy of monster makeup man Rob Bottin). Flashbacks depicting Duke's intro to the drug scene jump back to love-Haight relationships in San Francisco's Summer of Love. Cameos and guest stars include Mark Harmon, Cameron Diaz, Flea, Lyle Lovett, Harry Dean Stanton, Ellen Barkin, Tobey Maguire, and Hunter S. Thompson himself. The film features a Geffen Records soundtrack mixing rock of the period with Vegas lounge tunes. Over the years, various script adaptations came and went as did numerous talents; people connected with past efforts to film Thompson's book include Martin Scorsese, Jack Nicholson, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, and writer-director Alex Cox. Shown in competition at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/26/2011
UPC: 0715515070218
Original Release: 1998
Rating: R
Source: Criterion
Region Code: A
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time: 1:59:00

Special Features

Digital transfer, approved by director Terry Gilliam, with dts-hd master audio soundtrack and an optional 5.1 mix; Three audio commentaries: one with Gilliam, one with stars Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro and producer Laila Nabulsi, and one with author Hunter S. Thompson ; Deleted scenes, with optional commentary by Gilliam ; Selection of Thompson correspondence, read on camera by Depp ; Hunter Goes to Hollywood, a short documentary ; A look at the controversy over the screenwriting credit ; Profile of Oscar Zeta Acosta, the inspiration for Dr. Gonzo ; Collection of artwork by illustrator Ralph Steadman; Excerpt from a 1996 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas recording featuring Jim Jarmusch and Maury Chaykin ; BBC documentary from 1978 with Thompson and Steadman ; Stroyboards, production designs, stills, and trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Johnny Depp Raoul Duke
Benicio Del Toro Dr. Gonzo
Craig Bierko Lacerda
Ellen Barkin North Star Waitress
Gary Busey Highway Patrolman
Cameron Diaz Blonde TV Reporter
Flea Musician
Mark Harmon Magazine Reporter
Katherine Helmond Reservations Clerk
Michael Jeter L. Ron Bumquist
Penn Jillette Carnie Talker
Lyle Lovett Road Person
Tobey Maguire Hitchiker
Christina Ricci Lucy
Harry Dean Stanton Judge
Tim Thomerson Hoodlum
Richard Riehle Actor

Technical Credits
Terry Gilliam Director,Screenwriter
Steve Arnold Art Director
Rob Bottin Special Effects
Harold Bronson Executive Producer
Patrick Cassavetti Producer
Lynn Christopher Set Decoration/Design
Alex Cox Screenwriter
Tod Davies Screenwriter
Richard Foos Executive Producer
Chris Gorak Art Director
Tony Grisoni Screenwriter
Nancy Haigh Set Decoration/Design
Kent Houston Special Effects Supervisor
John Jergens Associate Producer
Alex McDowell Production Designer
Jay Meagher Sound/Sound Designer
Laila Nabulsi Producer
Stephen Nemeth Producer
Philip A. Patterson Asst. Director
Nicola Pecorini Cinematographer
Elliot Lewis Rosenblatt Co-producer
Margery Simkin Casting
Lesley Walker Editor
Julie Weiss Costumes/Costume Designer

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