Drugs. They’re fun. I don’t care what Mr. Mackey says in South Park. You know who else thinks drugs are fun? Hollywood. That place friggin’ loves drugs and they’re particularly infatuated with the people that sell drugs. How many movies about gangsters and pushers can you name off the top of your head? A bunch, I’m betting. Every year brings a new batch of drug movies like a stash re-up. Sure, you know the Mt. Rushmore of movie drug dealers by now. Scarface, Nino Brown, Frank Lucas, Boston George, Carlos Ayala. But what about the less heralded heroin heavers, the lesser-known cold-blooded coke collectors?
In an effort to give a little shine to those guys, here are Hollywood’s best under-the-radar drug dealers.
Frank White (King of New York)
Nowadays, people mostly know Christopher Walken as the funny-talking old guy who pops up in random things like Wedding Crashers or (gags) Peter Pan Live. But once upon a time, Walken was Hollywood’s go-to guy when it came to downright psychopaths. Such is the case in the 1990 movie King of New York in which Walken plays the complex New York drug lord Frank White.
The film opens with White being released from prison and spending the remainder of the time battling it out with the cops, murdering any and all who get in his way and indulging his starry eyes. But a funny thing happens during along the way – White starts to become a fully formed character with some relatable traits.
That’s right, White may be a murdering maniac, but he’s not all bad. He has a sincere concern for the poor and actually tries to help the community. Of course, this comes second to his violent nature and his criminal ways come back to haunt him by the film’s end. But White certainly has his moments of sainthood.
He also gets bonus points for Notorious B.I.G. co-opting the Frank White moniker.
Reese Feldman (Starsky and Hutch)
Who said all these guys had to be serious cut-throat killers?
Vince Vaughn as Reese Feldman is like if you took your kid’s orthodontist and plopped him atop of the drug game. Sure, Feldman has a lot of dough, but he’s also not the most adept dealer out there. In fact, he doesn’t know what he’s doing at all.
But what Feldman lacks in natural drug dealing instincts, he makes up for in style. The dude’s got a sweet boat (excuse me, yacht), gorgeous wife (and girlfriend) and a superfly 1970s wardrobe.
Respect the swag.
Lance (Pulp Fiction)
Lance belongs on this list because he’s the quintessential “I know who you’re talking about, I just don’t know his name” guy. People who love Pulp Fiction remember the character, but they couldn’t tell you much about him.
Lance lives the American dream: he sits around his house all day in his bathrobe and makes a ton of money without really working that hard. Yes, occasionally he has to deal with an overdosed housewife of a ruthless drug lord. But most of the time, Lance is straight chilling.
Thurgood Jenkins (Half Baked)
Leave it to Dave Chappelle to deliver the perfect 4/20 friendly drug dealer.
Half Baked is a drug movie in the lightest sense of the term. Thurgood is a kind-hearted dealer who’s too busy attending to his munchies to be cruel and violent to anyone. The only reason he started selling weed in the first place was to bail out his buddy from prison. Naturally, hilarity ensued.
Drexl Spivey (True Romance)
We’ll end this list on a real psycho.
Gary Oldman has long been one of the best character actors in the game and he surely makes his presence felt in this short but pivotal role. Drexl Spivey is a true loon who runs the entire gamut of crazy in just one scene. The facially scarred, racially flexible and dread wearing drug dealing is both hysterically entertaining and terrifyingly ferocious. This guy is the physical embodiment of 0-100 real quick.
Drexl is unafraid of making enemies and unafraid of making a fool of himself. The combination makes this drug dealer one of the more unhinged movie characters of all time.
It’s a thrill to watch, just never try and pick up an 8-ball from this dude.