"It's all a LIE!!" or so screams our hero, DETECTIVE JACK PERRY. We meet Jack in the prologue as he interrupts a telecast of a movie review program. He claims REEFER MADNESS, the classic ... See full summary »
Connie Sue Cook
Allan visits the sinister Usher family mansion, where his friend Roderick is painting a portrait of his sickly wife Madeline. The portrait seems to be draining the life out of Madeline, slowly leading to her death.
This film tells the tale of the Harper Affair, in which young Jimmy Harper finds his life of promise turn into a life of debauchery and murder thanks to the new drug menace marijuana. Along the way he receives help from his girlfriend Mary and Jesus himself, but always finds himself in the arms of the Reefer Man and the rest of the denizens of the Reefer Den.Written by
When it comes to musicals, movies like Chicago and Moulin Rouge come to mind. Most people loved one or the other (or both) of those, so Reefer Madness has to work hard to live up to expectations. While it is not as visually extravagant as Moulin Rouge, this movie is just as funny, and while the dances are smaller key than Chicago, they are perfectly choreographed and blend together well. All actors do their own singing and dancing, and they do quite well.
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.
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