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Paul Kemp arrives on the island of Puerto Rico after being enlisted to become the newest reporter for the San Juan Star. Kemp is introduced to his newest co-workers and cigar-chomping editor boss and is told he will be doing color stories for the paper. The movie revolves around the many adventures Kemp gets himself into, eventually including a plot to purchase a nearby unspoiled island and turn it into yet another tourist destination.
- The Alcoholic: Most of the main cast, but especially the side character Moberg whose booze consumption puts the rest of the cast drunken characters to shame.
- Booze Flamethrower: Used to fend off angry Puerto Ricans, and accidently used to fry a police officers face.
- Da Editor: Lotterman is a vaguely corrupt version of this trope.
- Everything's Better with Chickens: The cock fighting sub-plot.
- The Film of the Book
- Gonzo Journalism: Possibly an origin story.
- Intrepid Reporter: Paul Kemp could be considered this.
- Hollywood Voodoo: Papa Nebo's chicken blessing.
- It's Always Carnival on Saint Thomas
- It Will Never Catch On: Watching the 1960 Presidential debates.
The Irish one will win. But they won't let him live.
- Origin Story: For Hunter S. Thompson
- Puerto Rico: The setting.
- Rape as Drama: What is implied to happen to Chenault.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money: Sanderson's Modus Operandi.
- Shallow Love Interest: Chenault, full stop.
- Shout-Out: Multiple to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:
- The bottle containing Moberg's drug looks to be a replica of the adrenochrome bottle.
- The scene with Kemp monologuing while typing facing out a shuttered window is a direct lift from scene where Duke sits in the same pose and makes the famous Wave Speech from Fear and Loathing.
- The Sixties: 1960 to be exact.
- Spiritual Prequel: to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Or Transmetropolitan, if you prefer.
- The Magic Cock Fighting Equation: Use El Monstro, win as much money as necessary.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: What happened to the corrupt land deal?
- What Now? Ending: Kemp leaves the island on a stolen boat, and doesn't seem to know even where he's going.
- Where Da White Women At?: The bar/dance scene in St. Thomas.
- Wretched Hive: Parts of Puerto Rico may qualify.