An outrageous tongue-in-cheek musical comedy adaptation of the classic anti-marijuana propaganda film Tell Your Children (1936).An outrageous tongue-in-cheek musical comedy adaptation of the classic anti-marijuana propaganda film Tell Your Children (1936).An outrageous tongue-in-cheek musical comedy adaptation of the classic anti-marijuana propaganda film Tell Your Children (1936).
The film is about the negative effects of Marijuana on society, in the form of a fable. An all-out, way over the top, in no way politically correct fable. You start suspecting that the writers are not going to hold anything back as soon as Jesus appears in a single silk loincloth, surrounded by showgirls. Very few aspects of the christo-republican lifestyle are not subjected to some good old fashioned irony and black comedy, but democratic values take a bit of beating too.
Reefer Madness is based on the stage play of the same title, which was fine-tuned during its 8 year run. The effects of the long tweak-time are obvious, the movie is crammed full of jokes -- from small asides to full-on audience rollers -- and there are virtually no duds. The on-screen adaptation lives up to the material, at no point does this flick feel at all like a stage play.
The long practice shows on the performances as well, Kristen Bell and Christian Campbell -- both carrying on their roles from the stage play -- do a great job both as naive 1940's schoolchildren and as uninhabited addicts. A notable change from the play is the addition of Alan Cumming who is putting in a great and unrestrained performance as always.
I saw the movie at a Sundance screening at midnight. Not only was the theater totally sold out, but all of the audience members were wide awake and cheering, clapping, laughing and utterly enjoying themselves for the entire duration.
In case you get a chance to go to a theater-screening, do it, it deserves the big screen. Otherwise don't forget to program your DVR to record the Showtime premiere!
In case it is not obvious from the above, this movie is the definition of A+ fun and entertainment.
- Jan 30, 2005