For more than 100 years, the film industry has worked with thousands of our everyday reality related issues. These include the deadly vices that cause so much damage to the human body. Drugs were showed as inducements that completely change the character, to reflect or create awareness to the viewer. Other times they only served as a game. But what is actually right?
If we go back to the beginnings of cinema, it may be noted that this topic was a huge taboo; as big as sex. Drugs were synonymous of destruction, of meanness or malice. You can notice this ideology in modern cinema by remembering “The Godfather” movies. They were casino gangsters. Their business were the casinos, prostitution and alcohol, never drugs.
Its aberration is so big that on the tape the mobsters agree that they will only sell drugs to blacks, those ones who looked like “animals”. That was in 1972. Some may wonder, didn’t the hippies freely express their love for drugs? Yes they did, but nobody said it was approved. Hippies were considered the dirtiest and most deplorable beings in society.
Some older films had already worked with the issue of drugs, but they were always presented as the poison that leads man to destruction. This cluster of stories ended up in the B series section, or in Hollywood’s forbidden trunk. In the 60s, the mondo films used these substances with an anthropological excuse, as an exploration of third World people, who were then consumers.
From the eighties, when companies were already fully aware of the problems caused by drugs, the offer diversified and we find so many examples. Some of the films are “Clean and Sober” (1988), “Neon Nights” (1988) or “Drugstore Cowboy” (1989). In the next decade “Naked Lunch” (1991), “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (1992) and “Trainspotting” (1996), the film that changed everything, were released.
It was with Danny Boyle’ masterpiece when drugs got protagonism in narrative therapy. It delves into the subject with reflection of psychological problems that cause addiction and, the main thing, the role of hallucinogens as a generator of artificial paradises for people seeking an alternative in their lives. “Trainspotting” made the difference and thanks to this step we reached the moment where we are with regard to this issue.
The following films are located between the genre of fiction and reality. In this section drugs help only serve as part of the plot of the film. Still, one can see that all are intended to “destroy” the physical health of the person.
Within the history of “Inception”, this drug induces shared dreams and streamlines the functioning of the brain.
It causes the mystery in the movie “Repo! The Genetic Opera “. They say it’s an addictive painkiller that causes euphoria and is extracted from death.
This altered milk transforms the person who drinks it into an ultra-violent beast in the movie “A Clockwork Orange”.
In the show Futurama, it is a honey that, when ingested in large amounts, causes a coma.
Cellophane patches inside the Doctor Who story, that release a substance to make the person happy, sleepy, angry or honest.
This drug belongs to the Star Trek universe. It is a strong type of nicotine Jem’Hadar soldiers need to survive.
In the universe of Batman, this is a strong and addictive steroid that is contained in a patch. Its use triggers a mutation.
Also from “Clockwork Orange”, this drug induces nausea, paralysis and fear. It is used during a “violence-aversion” therapy session.
Used in the film “The Hunger Games”, it’s a potent analgesic to alter the appearance but it also causes hallucinations.
In the film “A Scanner Darkly”, this drug is a substance that connects the two hemispheres of the brain.
Inside the Star Wars saga, it is a mild hallucinogen that triggers euphoria, but reduces the life time with each dose.
Seen in the “True Blood” series, it is vampire blood that sharpens the senses, stimulates the healing process and causes an intense sexual hallucination.
In the series “The Simpsons”, it is a drug that erases the memory and causes hallucinations.
In the cartoon Dragon Ball, it is a potent stimulator, catalyst and instant healing that cures and increases the power the person. Obviously it is a drug.
In the universe of Harry Potter, this “liquid luck” causes recklessness and arrogance if consumed in excess, but it helps everything go “well”.
In the movie “Robocop 2”, it’s very similar to a synthetic narcotic heroin.
In the world of Silent Hill, it is a hallucinogenic and mystical plant used to control the population.
Fortunately or unfortunately, these drugs only exist in the fictional world. They were created to intensify the drama in history. If you’re surprised by this, imagine how you’ll feel when you know the true effect of real drugs.