Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Reefer Madness (1938)

aka Tell Your Children, aka Dope Addict, aka Doped Youth, aka Love Madness, aka The Burning Question

How bad is it? It's the most notorious of anti-drug "educational" films.
Should you see it? Yes.

Somehow, my review of this disappeared, so I'm doing a brief re-do.

Every generation has its favorite bad film. "Plan 9" wasn't well-known until the 1980's and before that, this was the choice, particularly among those who smoked marijuana while watching it. After a very long intro, it tells the story of four teens, the future of the country, who are led to destruction by a marijuana dealer who introduces them to parties with wild jazz music, frenetic dancing, making out and drugs. The most famous scene is the playing the piano "faster - FASTER." One guy when high runs his car over someone and continues, unconcerned. Another tries to rape a girl he wasn't really all that interested in. Then there's a gunshot - which somehow, when pointed at the ground, hits a woman in the back and kills her bloodlessly. There's a ludicrous trial and a commitment to an insane asylum. The acting, while over-the-top, is not terrible compared to that in similar films (Dave O'Brien, the manic addict in this, went on to do other films). The colorized version is not an improvement and the MST3K treatment adds little; it's silly enough on its own.

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