Up in Smoke 40th Anniversary Blu-ray Validates Cheech & Chong’s Classic as Highlarious 4 Decades Later (Review)

by | Apr 10, 2018

up in smoke bluray


UP IN SMOKE arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD April 10, 2018 from Paramount Home Media Distribution for it’s 40-year anniversary. Featuring new special features and more – here is my review:

Up in Smoke Blu-ray box art

In 1978, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong made their feature film debut in UP IN SMOKE, the outrageously funny classic inspired by their now legendary comedy routines of the early ‘70s.  Following massive success with over 10 million comedy albums sold, four Grammy nominations and a win for Best Comedy Recording for “Los Cochinos,” Cheech and Chong took Hollywood by storm when UP IN SMOKE became a smash hit, establishing the pair as the reigning comedy duo of a new generation.  Today, the film still has viewers rolling in the aisles and maintains surprising cultural relevance four decades after its original release.

In UP IN SMOKE Cheech and Chong play wannabe musicians and stoners who unwittingly smuggle a van made of marijuana from Mexico to L.A.  Their drug-laced humor keeps their spirits high as they unknowingly elude the police and meander their way to an outrageous finale at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood where Cheech performs in a pink tutu and Chong plays drums in a red body suit with a Quaalude logo.

up in smoke bluray


I’m shocked at how well Up in Smoke maintains its comedic genius 40 years later. The brand of humour that Cheech and Chong created four decades ago still resonates like a fine undying cloud of marijuana smoke in 2018. Even though the drug is now considered as harmless as anything else in 2018 (which it certainly was NOT in the 70’s), the movie doesn’t feel dated in that sense. To be honest, the pot comedy of Up in Smoke doesn’t eat up all of the movie’s runtime – there’s a lot of other shenanigans and debauchery going on. I laughed my ass off. A lot… And I haven’t seen Up in Smoke since I was a kid when I swiped my stepfather’s VHS copy to watch with my buddies in highschool.

From the chick snorting Ajax (still hilarious today) to the giant dog poo doobie, Up in Smoke is just as funny today as it was 40 years ago. They made this movie with a lot of love and clever jokes and because of that, it’s still highlarious in spite of the new landscape of marijuana acceptance by the public. I was worried that the comedy wouldn’t translate because we live in a different time, but that’s far from the case. Up in Smoke is one of the greatest works of cinematic comedy of all time. Period.

up in smoke

Special Features

The ‘How Pedro Met the Man’ feature, which is brand new for this Blu-ray is a must-watch behind the scenes segment. It’s fun seeing Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong reminisce about the making of the film and to see director Lou Adler as well. This 15-20 minute segment talks about how the trio met, the making of the movie and the legacy they created with Up in Smoke, which still resonates with people all over the world 40 years later. They even mention how their faces are the most tattooed pop culture figures in the history of humanity. No joke. The features are plentiful and entertaining, making this 40yr anniversary edition a must-have for fans even if they owned older copies on DVD.

Rundown of bonus features:

  • Feature film in high definition
  • Commentary by Cheech Marin and director Lou Adler
  • How Pedro Met the Man: Up In Smoke at 40—NEW!
  • Roach Clips with Optional Commentary (deleted scenes)
  • Lighting It Up: A Look Back at Up In Smoke
  • “Earache My Eye” featuring Alice Bowie: Animated Music Video
  • Cheech & Chong’s “The Man Song”
  • Vintage Radio Spots
  • Theatrical Trailer

Rating: [star rating=”4.5″]