Fear and Loathing in Las Vegasis a 1998 American psychedelic satirical black comedy road film adapted from Hunter S. Thompson's novelFear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It was co-written and directed by Terry Gilliam, and stars Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro as Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo, respectively. The film details the duo's journey through Las Vegas as their initial journalistic intentions devolve into an exploration of the city under the influence of psychoactive substances.
The film received mixed reviews from critics and was a financial failure, but has since become a cult classic among film fans.
In 1971, Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo speed across the Nevada desert. Duke, under the influence of mescaline, complains of a swarm of giant bats, before going through the pair's inventory of psychoactive drugs. Shortly afterward, the duo stops to pick up a young hitchhiker and explain what they are doing. Duke has been assigned by an unnamed magazine to travel to Las Vegas and cover the Mint 400 motorcycle race. However, they have also decided to take advantage of the trip by purchasing a large number of drugs and renting a red Chevrolet Impala convertible. The young man soon becomes terrified of the antics of the duo and flees on foot. Trying to reach Vegas before the hitchhiker can go to the police, Gonzo gives Duke part of a sheet of Sunshine Acid, then informs him that there is little chance of making it before the drug kicks in. By the time they reach the strip, Duke is in the middle of a trip and barely makes it through check-in, while hallucinating that the hotel clerk is a moray eel and that the bar patrons are lizards in the depths of an orgy.