There's a certain magical quality to modern day drugs. The tiniest prescribed pill can cure a multitude of medical problems, whilst the tiniest illegally-purchased pill can create the illusion you have cured a multitude of non-medical problems. So it's no wonder Hollywood loves injecting cool ideas about what sorts of human ailments — both physical and spiritual — fictional drugs might be able to treat.
In "Dredd 3D," the latest redux of comic book hero and one-man-justice-system, Judge Dredd, a narcotic named Slo-Mo has hit the streets, allowing its users to experience reality in slow motion (in the future, drug names are very literal). And this got us jonesing for a list of our favorite movie pharmaceuticals we dare you to "just say no" to.
NZT-48 in 'Limitless' (2011)
This pricey and rare drug for the one-percenters allows the imbiber to utilize 100 percent of their brain power — in other words, it's akin to drinking three Red Bulls. With the full potential of your brain unlocked, you'll have the IQ to accurately predict stock market futures, write brilliant novels and seduce random woman on the street. But be warned: it has the unfortunate side-effect of people trying to murder you for your stash.
Getting High: You can now solve all the world's problems.
Coming Down:You'll spend 10 minutes trying to remember where you left the TV remote.
Melange Spice in 'Dune' (1984)
In the distant, dark future of the "Dune," universe, Melange is the most precious substance in the galaxy. When consumed, it can lengthen your life, heighten your senses and allow you to safely navigate a starship through space-time with your mind. Finally, a drug that actually improves transportation safety.
Getting High: You can lengthen your lifespan by hundreds of years.
Coming Down: You spend that lengthened lifespan as a mutated, obese slug, floating in a glass tank, spouting out galactic GPS directions.
The Red Pill in 'The Matrix' (1999)
In this sci-fi classic about the perception of reality and the coolness of trench coats, Keanu Reeves uses his innate ability to appear completely bewildered to great effect after ingesting the red pill of truth. It rouses him from the the virtual reality slavery he shares with all humanity (no, it's not Facebook). Now, fully "awakened", he's able to reenter the fake world and be unaffected by pesky bullets and flying fists of fury.
Getting High: You now know Kung Fu.
Coming Down:You realize that you've been a battery your whole life... Bummer.
Bug Powder from 'Naked Lunch' (1991)
Based on the Burroughs novel of the same name, "Naked Lunch" tells the funny — but not at all "ha ha" funny — story of a bug exterminator who, along with his wife, partakes of the poison he sprays on the roaches. If that sounds like a bad life choice to you, you're on the right track. Let's just say that, after receiving less than savory instructions from his talking typewriter (who speaks out of its anthropomorphic backside) things get weird for the couple. Who knew there was a downside to drug abuse?
Getting High: You and your typewriter share an intimate sexual experience.
Coming Down: Sharing a sexual experience with your typewriter was the least creepy thing you did.
The Super-Soldier Serum in 'Captain America' (2011)
On the off chance the whole atom bomb idea didn't pan out, America's military brass had a plan B for winning WWII: inject nerds with a serum that would instantly turn them into super studs. Then arm them with metal Frisbees. It was a silly plan. Fortunately for personal trainers everywhere, the serum was destroyed by the Nazis before gym membership enrollments saw any noticeable declines.
Getting High: Go from wimp to hunk without the chalky aftertaste of protein shakes.
Coming Down:Now dress up like a red, white and blue target with legs and run into Nazi Germany.
GLeeMonex in 'Brain Candy' (1996)
Marketed as an antidepressant, GLeeMonex cures your blues by letting you relive the happiest moment of your life. The regrettable downside to this miracle drug (there's always some silly side effect) is that some people get stuck in the memory for good and live out their days as nostalgically comatose vegetables. FDA approval is still pending.
Getting High: You can relive the greatest moment of your life.
Coming Down: You're in a coma and you realize the moment wasn't that great.
Felix Felicis in 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' (2009)
Also known as "Liquid Luck" by streetwise apothecaries, this "potion" (that's lingo for hard drugs in the wizard world) would be a big hit in Vegas. After downing a vile, you'll be fortunate in every endeavor for a short spell. But use it with care. Side effects include recklessness and overconfidence once the elixir's effects have worn off. And you don't want to "come down" while cockily attempting your first tight-rope walk.
Getting High: It's all lucky 7's, found pennies and four-leaf clovers.
Coming Down:It's all 13's, black cats and another jury duty summons.
Whatever the Beatles Were Taking in "Yellow Submarine" (1968)
While it's never spelled out that the Beatles are on any specific drugs in this groovy musical cartoon (the entirety of which resembling the acid-fueled nightmares of a Looney Tunes animator) I've been to England, sober, and can report to you faithfully that music, love and the four known dimensions don't actually merge together in a surreal blending of visual and auditory harmony. But people do drive on the wrong side of the road.
Getting High: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
Coming Down: Helter Skelter.
The Reefer in 'Reefer Madness' (1936)
Nothing wins over teenagers like a condescending propaganda film. And this cult classic paved the way for dozens of lame infotainment movies to come, with its unintentionally funny script and laughably false claims about the effects of sweet Tai sticks. Back then, one puff of a marijuana cigarette would turn an otherwise upstanding young citizen into an oversexed, brawling deviant, slowly descending into madness. And it cures cataracts. Guess they don't grow it like they used to.
Getting High: Experience the psychedelic '60s 30 years early.
Coming Down: At the end of every trip, you're still stuck in the Great Depression.