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Review: Dan Fogler in 'Don Peyote'

Don Peyote should really be called "Dan Peyote" because it's a about a crazed stoner played by Dan Fogler, the actor I first saw and fell in love with in Balls of Fury.

This is Fogler's labor of love, along with co-director Michael Canzoniero, a project they've been working on for several years, dating back to the dire end-of-the-world predictions in 2012 when the Mayan calendar concluded.

Fogler plays Warren Allman, a shlubby slacker on the verge of marriage who's stuck on thoughts about the coming Apocalypse. Rather than focus on his upcoming nuptials with Karen (Kelly Hutchinson), Warren begins shooting a documentary with his equally twisted friend Balance (Yang Miller), who we first see in the shower coming down from a massive peyote trip.

Dan Fogler with his smoking apple pipe in "Don Peyote."

Warren's drug of choice is pot, which he smokes in an apple throughout the movie. Obsessed with a variety of conspiracies, from JFK to who buried Paul McCartney, Warren gradually dives into the deep end and comes out a modern-day shaman, thanks to a well-placed cup of ayahuasca given to him by a dumpster diver played by Josh Duhamel - one of several A-listers, like Anne Hathaway and Topher Grace, who come along on Fogler's magic carpet ride.

Check out Dan Fogler on The CelebStoner Show

This is not the kind of movie reviewers tend to like. Don Peyote has been panned by the Los Angeles Times ("tedious, incoherent"), Hollywood Reporter ("a bad trip"), IndieWire ("a complete miss") and the New York Times ("wooly and unfocused"). Even the positive reviews it's received call the film "incomprehensible" (Village Voice), "indulgent" (Paste), "frantic and disjointed" (We Are Movie Geeks), "not very funny" (Contact Music) and a "shabby piece of oddness" (Nerdist). Stoner movies often get this kind of response.

But Fogler pulls it off because he really cares about the complex and confusing state of the world. He wants to figure it out at whatever cost. Warren, his doppleganger, just can't move ahead until he has a few answers. Once that's accomplished, he can sing and dance to his heart's content. In fact, Don Peyote would work best as a musical. With Fogler's Broadway chops (he won a Tony for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), it may be a far-out idea, but not necessarily far off.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, editor-in-chief of Freedom Leaf, co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness, and the former editor of High Times.