Review:  In the unappealing ‘Don Peyote,’ end times can’t come too soon

A scene from 'Don Peyote.'

All the controlled substances in the world couldn’t improve a viewing of the execrable “Don Peyote,” a tedious, incoherent look at a paranoid stoner’s emotional and spiritual unraveling.

This so-called “psychedelic comedy about one man’s heroic attempt to save the world” was co-written and co-directed by Tony Award-winning actor Dan Fogler and Michael Canzoniero without, it seems, much concern that people may actually watch the thing.

The movie is as unappealing and undisciplined as its lead character, Warren Allman (Fogler), an unemployed graphic novelist with an eager fiancée (Kelly Hutchinson) who melts down after a brief encounter with a street person preaching of the world’s end. That the film is mostly set in 2012 (for some doomsday theorists, the alleged year of the apocalypse) only adds to Warren’s absurd overreaction.

Following a somewhat linear start, the movie becomes little more than a string of trippy, outrageous, often interminable dreams, fantasies, hallucinations and/or moments of meandering confusion. There’s even a musical bit or two amid the chaos as Warren, whether real or imagined, lands all over the map: a shrink’s office, an orgy, a mental institution, a bucolic small town, the streets of Manhattan and elsewhere.


Fogler certainly plays it vanity-free here. But in such large, unfettered doses that he’s tiresome, especially without an interesting (or remotely convincing) character to hang on to.

Such notable folks as Anne Hathaway, Josh Duhamel, Topher Grace and Annabella Sciorra pop up — largely unrecognizable — in small, loopy roles. One wonders if they had any real idea what they were getting themselves into. At least now you do.


“Don Peyote”

MPAA rating: None

Running time: 1 hour. 36 minutes.

Playing: At the Arena Cinema, Hollywood. Also on VOD.