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Reefer Madness
DVD disk
11 years ago By: Indiana Sev
Reefer Madness order
Director:
Louis Gasnier

Actors:
Dorothy Short
Kenneth Craig
Dave O’Brien

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A 1938 propaganda film originally titled “TELL YOUR CHILDREN”, REEFER MADNESS recounts a fictional (and totally absurd) tale of the dementia and total lack of control that a few simple puffs of marijuana can cause to teens and adults alike.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
It’s ironic that I was the one chosen to review a film about the dangers of marijuana use considering that I’m probably the whitest of sheep around the JoBlo.com offices. Truth be told, I’ve only taken a few puffs of “the reefer” in my whole life, never having gotten high off it. But still, I’ve been around enough to know that it does not cause people to fall into insane fits of laughter, cover up killings, get dangerously violent, rape girls, and ultimately, drive like a madman and hit pedestrians without a care in the world. What makes REEFER MADNESS so incredibly awful/funny is that it honestly tries to portray marijuana as one of the most harmful and dangerous drugs out there. The fact that it’s so off base and poorly made is what’s made it the huge cult favorite it is today.

That doesn’t change the fact that it’s one hell of a lousy movie. Bad acting. Bad actors. Bad sound. Bad sets. Bad sound editing. Bad dialogue. Bad everything (hey, this sounds like a review of BATMAN FOREVER or BATMAN & ROBIN) The only thing that’s apparently good in the film is the dope these kids are smoking. Besides a few fantastically over-the-top scenes that made me laugh (the aforementioned fits of wild laughter these guys break into after only two goddamn puffs), this movie is made with such complete incompetence and lack of imagination that it just gets plain boring about 1/3 of the way through its very short run time of 65 minutes. Maybe if you light up a doobie, you might get a bigger kick out of it than I did. It’s worth watching just for the cult status it’s achieved through the years, but it still won’t make this campy classic something you’d ever want to watch again…
THE EXTRAS
Both the Original Black & White and All-New Colorized versions of this film are available on this disc. We also get:

Audio Commentary by MYSTERY SCIENCE 3000's Mike Nelson: Funniest. Commentary. Track. Ever. Mike was the genius behind the show MS3K that featured him and two of his puppets poking fun while viewing horrendous B movies. He does the same thing here and he's in top form once again. I don't recall the last time I laughed so hard during a film, much less a commentary track. Don't even bother watching the film on its own, watch it with this audio track on and I'll guarantee you'll be laughing the whole way through. A truly hilarious turn by Mike Nelson…

Color Design Commentary by Legend Films: A couple of folks involved in the colorization of this B&W film gab about the process. They're a pretty lively couple with a great sense of humor; which makes their commentary more involving than you'd imagine.

Short Film: "Grandpa's Marijuana Handbook" (approx. 24. min.): This is a very amusing little addition to the DVD extras. An old dude (and self-proclaimed marijuana expert) goes through 12 chapters of the joys and perks of pot smoking. His straight-faced delivery makes all the craziness that he spouts out all the more funny. This is definitely worth watching, a really wacky extra feature that's just perfect for this movie. It also includes some outtakes with Grandpa flubbing his lines - the dude was stoned even while filming this…

We also get the trailer to the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I’d definitely recommend you rent REEFER MADNESS, if only because it’s so bad in its execution and so off-base in its message, that it's likely to entertain you on some level. It’s worth the price of rental alone just for Mike Nelson’s hilarious "film bashing" commentary. Much like PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE, REEFER MADNESS is one of those films that you just have to see, if only once, in your lifetime…
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