Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is an exuberant display of all kinds of special effects, of which the plethora of new digital applications of course form part. The film, that is based on the legendary book by Hunter S. Thompson, is set in the era of the Vietnam War, blossoming hippy-hood and excessive experiments with psychedelic drugs. The extreme journalist Raoul Duke (alter ego of Thompson, played here by Johnny Depp) travels with the no less extreme lawyer Dr. Gonzo to Las Vegas to describe the absolute end of the American Dream.Gilliam filmed this story with extravagant visual effects. The experiences of Duke and Gonzo are told from the inside, as it were, so the viewer is transported into the protagonists' drug-ridden delusions. Great effort and creativity have gone into a convincing portrayal of the couple's bizarre visions. In these scenes, Gilliam used a hypnotic mix of traditional and digital special effects. Alongside the bizarre drugs world evoked by special effects, great attention was paid to reconstructing Las Vegas in the early seventies.Special effects man Kent Houston and director Gilliam have had an enviable reputation in using new visual techniques ever since their days with Monty Python and this film certainly confirms their success.

Filmmaker
Terry Gilliam
Premiere
-
Country
USA
Year
1998
Medium
35mm
Length
119’
Language
English
Producer
Laila Nabulsi, Patrick Cassavetti, Stephen Németh, Goldcrest Films UK
Sales
Summit Entertainment
Writer
Tod Davies, Tony Grisoni, Terry Gilliam
Cast
Johnny Depp, Benicio del Toro