A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 172 – Reefer Madness

Reefer Madness – August 19th, 2010

Make no mistake, this is a laughable movie. It is ridiculous. Watching it, I can’t help but make fun of it. That would be why the Rifftrax crew are doing it live tonight. And we were going to be in a theater near us with a good friend, enjoying the show. The problem this posed to us was what to watch tonight and how to fit it in. After all, movies seen in theaters don’t count. But we own this! And it’s only 65 minutes long! Perfect!

This is, simply put, a movie meant to scare the shit out of people about the so-called dangers of pot. It’s sort of the Go Ask Alice of the 30s. Or so it was intended to be. It’s the story of Bill and Mary and Jimmy and how these three innocent and happy-go-lucky teens are lured into a den of sin, addicted to “Marihuana” and eventually involved in murder. All thanks to a well-dressed mob made up of Jack, Ralph, Mae and Blanche. It’s all over the top and exaggerated. And that’s the point. It does strike me as funny, however, that despite all the scare tactics used through the movie, the opening text that introduces the theme of the movie presents these horrible things in the curliest and sweetest of fonts.

I wish I could think up things to say about this movie that weren’t just mocking. But it’s just so ridiculous. You don’t even need to know anything about marijuana to know it’s bad. There’s the weak attempts at character development, the 30 year old high school students, the horrible dancing, the preachy speeches. And then there’s the movie’s bizarre look at consequences. I mean, Mary gets mildly stoned once and she gets molested and shot. Jimmy gets stoned a bunch of times, kills a guy while driving high, and nothing happens to him aside from mild threats from a guy who ends up dying anyhow. Bill gets stoned a bunch of times, gets framed for Mary’s murder and then… gets off with a lecture and has to watch the guy who molested Mary get sentenced to an institution for life. That’s all a bit odd. Sure, Ralph ends up in an institution and Jack and Blanche end up dead, but what happened to Mae? And why does Mary have to die when the two boys, total pot-heads, get off relatively scott free? It’s bizarre and certainly doesn’t lead one to think actually smoking pot means consequences. Peddling it, maybe. Being an accessory to murder, yes. But smoking pot? Yeah, no big.

And that’s the other thing. Now, I’m one of the most boring people in the world when it comes to intoxicating substances. Chocolate and black tea are pretty much as far as I go. But I’ve known stoners. The movie gets the laughing mostly right, and Jack sure does seem to always have the munchies. But let’s face it. You do not go drag racing when you’re high. The movie is billing marijuana as cocaine cut with speed. I’m certain people do incredibly asinine things while stoned, but axe murdering isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Spending an hour contemplating the profundity of the Teletubbies does.

So the movie is laughable on two fronts. It doesn’t at all present actual marijuana use, and the consequences seem to be more for the hardened criminals and innocent bystanders than the casual smoker. And that’s not even touching the dialogue, or the fact that there was a conspicuous Philip Morris sign in the window of the shop Jack goes into to get his stash of pot (seriously, it was likely a coincidence, but it made me snicker). It’s just bad all around. If you’re going to watch it, make sure you get the Rifftrax guys to riff you through the pain.

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August 19, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , ,

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