Each Monday, film fan and champion of the downtrodden Jordan Sims picks out an overlooked gem – and gives them the spotlight they so dearly deserve.
This week, it’s the turn of mind-bending 1998 caper Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. Here are five unconventional reasons why it’s an underrated classic.
1. Hunter S Thompson did some of the make up
The iconic and famously eccentric author of the source novel actually shaved Johnny Depp’s head for the film. Depp and Thompson were famed friends for a long time – and I suppose this was his way of ensuring the lead role wasn’t dominated by good-looks. Either that, or he just felt like shaving a head.
2. …and some of the costume design
Design may be a slight overstatement, but Hunter did dedicate most of his wardrobe to the studio’s costume department. Everything that Depp wears during the movie is straight out of Thompson’s closet. God knows what kind of horrific stains are embedded in that fabric. Feel free to shudder.
3. It’s dangerously loyal to the source
Anyone who has read the book will tell you there are some pretty crazy goings-on involved, but rather than shy away from the grim details, it seems that director Terry Gilliam actually emphasises them with shockingly vibrant props and scenes.
4. Martin Scorsese couldn’t handle the film
As legendarily talented as he is, Scorsese couldn’t actually manage to get the film off the ground, despite valiant attempts. If I had to take a stab at it, I’d say that it’s less of a film, and more of a riotous party of actors and writers doing crazy stuff – and I’m not sure that’s Martin’s style.
5. That car
The famous ‘Red Shark’ convertible driven throughout the film is actually Thompson’s own set of wheels. Either that man had unreal dedication to the adaptation (which I find unlikely), or he just didn’t care all that much for his automobiles (which actually sounds even more unlikely now I write it down).
Watch the trailer:
More underrated classics
From Dusk Til Dawn
The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists
The Assassination of Jesse James
Without a Paddle
Grave of the Fireflies
The Adventures of Tintin
The Invention Of Lying
The Money Pit
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