The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Our six-title celebration of the films of visionary auteur Terry Gilliam continues with screenings of possibly his most psychedelic movie—which is saying a lot!—the neon, nihilistic film Fear andLoathing In Las Vegas.

Adapted from the novel by Hunter S. Thompson, Gilliam’s film balances the high-wire act of bringing to life Thompson’sdrug-fueled visions and manic adventures while communicating his critical, glassy-eyed observations on post-1960’s American culture. Recounting the true events of a frenzied weekend in the city of sin, Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas follows gonzo journalist Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and his possibly psychotic attorney known as Dr. Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) as they barrel through the Mojave Desert towards Vegas to cover the Mint 500 desert motor-race.  A cornucopia of narcotics racing through his veins, Thompson stares on aghast as he witness the proverbial American dream slowly slipping away…and often, along with his grip on reality. 

A hilarious but unglorified look at drug use and Americana, descend into the dark imaginations of Hunter S. Thompson and Terry Gilliam with their alternately hilarious and surprisingly poignant 1998 classic.  …or as Thompson would say, “Buy the ticket, take the ride…”

“The strongest magnet in this psychedelic morass is Johnny Depp who, as the story’s antic, disgusting, and seductive spirit guide, is impossible to look away from.”
 – Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

“A beautiful cinematic showcase for Thompson at the peak of his writing skills.  9/10.”  – Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis 

“Gilliam captures the chaotic visions of debauchery with his trademark aplomb, bringing to life the already trippy patterns of hotel carpets and populating the dark bars of Vegas with genuinely reptilian lounge lizards.” – Joshua Klein, The A.V. Club