Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Stacey Keach
Written by Tommy Chong and Richard ?Cheech? Marin
Directed by Thomas Chong
Columbia Pictures 1981
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2006
91 minutes

Cheech and Chong created and perfected the stoner comedy. Cheech and Chong’s Nice DreamsĀ  features the two stoner comedians as a couple of guys riding around in a converted Ice Cream truck labeled Nice Dreams selling dope on the road. Stacey Keach plays a pothead cop part of a very ineffectual police force out to get the dudes. This is quite jarring for anyone used to seeing Keach as Mike Hammer.

Plot in a Cheech and Chong comedy is secondary to the adventures of the Cheech and Chong characters and the various sight gags that are all over the place. For example, the movie opens with a sting operation gone wrong when the cop’s car doesn’t start after they catch the duo selling some of their nice dreams.

Tommy Chong does a really good job directing this stoner comedy. Particularly original is the idea of showing some of the action from the point of view of the police helicopter doing surveillance on Cheech and Chong. A lot of the comedy in any Cheech and Chong doper epics comes from the dialogue so you definitely get a few bonus laughs if you listen closely. For example, the helicopter cops surveilling the duo see a bunch of topless chicks on the beach and one cop says, “Will you forget about the titties, we got a bust to think about.”

Another strength of Nice Dreams is also the many sight gags -some reminiscent of early silent comedies– sprinkled here and there that keep you interested in an otherwise rambling comedy. Particularly funny are the dope-smoking iguana, the particular technique Cheech uses to make pancakes and a scene in a bodybuilding gym where Cheech almost dies lifting weights while everybody else is paying attention to a buxom babe who broke a nail.

The funniest scene in Cheech and Chong’s Nice Dreams is when Cheech Marin is hanging naked on top of and outside a glass elevator because he is trying to escape an ex-girlfriend’s Mexican hating boyfriend. This scene alone is a comedy classic and worth the price of this stoner comedy on DVD.

Story wise, Cheech and Chong’s Nice Dreams is based on the very loose thread of a couple of cops surveilling the stoner duo as they go about their business. Their business is to get themselves into a funny situation after another. If you are looking for any rhyme or reason in this comedy, think again: the last few scenes make absolutely no sense. However, this does not matter. This is a comedy DVD for potheads and people whose drugs are not advertised on national television

Look for appearances by Dr. Timothy Leary, Paul Rubens (of Pee Wee Herman and theater fame), comedienne Sandra Bernhard in a very minor role in the asylum scene.


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