Shout! Studios has just released Fear and Loathing in Aspen starring Jay Bulger (The Wannabe, Haymaker) as Hunter S. Thompson, telling the true story of Thompson’s run for Sheriff of Aspen, Colorado. You can catch it in select theaters and VOD now. It is available on Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Vudu, Amazon Video, Microsoft Store, YouTube as download or rent it on Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Vudu, Amazon Video, Microsoft Store, YouTube, DIRECTV online. See what Hunter was up to before his infamous trip to Las Vegas.
The film follows Thompson’s 1970 attempt to run for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado. Set just before Thompson’s 1971 novel ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, ‘ it is an account of the local hippie-led reform movement and revolutionary ‘Freak Power’ campaign. Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Suburgatory, RV), Nicolas Cage’s son, Weston Coppola Cage (Lord of War) and Micah Flamm round out the cast. The film was written and directed by Bobby Kennedy III.
The official synopsis reads, “Fear and Loathing in Aspen is the true story of an American band of misfits using establishment rules to challenge establishment rule. In 1970, Hunter S. Thompson, fed up with local pollution problems, threw his hat into the ring for Sheriff of Aspen, Colorado.”
While on his campaign trail he won over a certain demographic declaring, “(When elected as Sheriff I plan to) change the name Aspen, Colorado to Fat City. This would prevent greed heads, land rapers, and other human jackals from capitalizing on the name ‘Aspen’. These swine should be f-ked, broken, and driven across the land.” Thompson’s message centered around police reform and environmental justice.
Shout! Studios describes the film as, “His attempt to create a third party based around a new, gentler style of law enforcement entranced the national press and made him an overnight celebrity and hero to the “drop out” generation, who rallied around his “Freak Power” platform with notions of taking first Aspen, and then the world. The only thing capable of holding them back was Thompson himself.”
“Bobby Kennedy III has really pulled off a hat trick with this gem” said Jordan Fields, VP of Acquisitions at Shout! Studios. “Gonzo yet disciplined, nostalgic yet timely, and evocative of 70s auteurs Ashby, Ritchie and Altman. Jay Bulgar is superb and really honors the subversive, fiercely intelligent spirit of Hunter S. Thompson. A tonic for these times.”
Filmmaker Bobby Kennedy III said, “I’ve been following Shout! for several years, I completely connect with and appreciate their tastes and sensibility, and especially their great reputation! So when they made it clear they wanted this film I knew I was in. I’m really looking forward to working with the Shout! team to roll it out.”
The general response for most Thompson tales is, “That can’t be true,” but there is proof! The 2020 documentary, Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb chronicles Thompson’s push to inspire the Hippie generation of Aspen and the surrounding areas to unite and take control of the government using the rules in place by the government. It’s a great companion piece.