Movie News & Reviews

'Don Peyote' film to screen at San Luis Obispo theater

Drugs, dreams and doomsday prophecies come together in the psychedelic comedy “Don Peyote,” screening Wednesday in San Luis Obispo.

Dan Fogler, who wrote and directed the film with Michael Canzoniero, will participate in a question-and-answer session following the screening. Also attending are conspiracy theorists Daniel Pinchbeck and Freeman.

Fogler, whose credits include “Balls of Fury” and “Kung Fu Panda,” stars as Warren Allman, an unemployed stoner who finally finds his purpose in life after a run-in with a doomsday prophet. Fueled by pot, conspiracy theories and vivid apocalyptic dreams, he decides to make a documentary about the end of the world while his fiancée (Kelly Hutchinson) plans their wedding.

“The dial is very much turned up on his neuroses,” Fogler said of Warren.

Despite its tiny budget, the unrated film is packed with Fogler’s famous friends, including Jay Baruchel (“How to Train Your Dragon”) as a drug dealer, Anne Hathaway (“Les Misérables”) as an ass-kicking “agent of truth” and Josh Duhamel (the “Transformer” movies) as a hunky homeless man.

“I just passionately pitched them the movie, and they all said, ‘Yes,’ thank God,’” said Fogler, adding that his celebrity pals appreciated the chance to improvise. “We got a lot of gold (that way).”

According to Fogler, “Don Peyote” was shot piecemeal over a three-year period, with cast and crew working around his schedule. “The movie really found itself later in editing,” said the filmmaker, who also wrote and directed the 2009 horror comedy “Hysterical Psycho.”

He said he used a mix of filming styles, ranging from documentary to animated fantasy, to reflect the different stages in Warren’s journey.

Although “Don Peyote” bears some similarity to apocalyptic stoner comedy “This Is the End,” Fogler said it has more in common with “Easy Rider” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

In keeping with that vibe, he’s organized a road trip to promote the film, which premiered in theaters May 16. The California Trippin’ Tour includes stops in Los Angeles, Big Sur and Santa Barbara.

“We just roll up in a cloud of smoke and blow people’s minds,” Fogler said.

“Don Peyote”

7 p.m. Wednesday

Downtown Centre Cinemas, 888 Marsh St., San Luis Obispo

$10.50, $8 seniors, $7 children ages 4 to 12