Sunday, September 20, 2009
Day 244: Reefer Madness (1936) - Rank 2/5
It's rare for propaganda qua educational films to achieve the state of cult status. In fact, I can't think of any, save "Triumph of the Will," though I'm not sure how "educational" one could consider it (informative, perhaps). It's likely that "Reefer Madness" would have been lost to decay if it weren't for it's novelty value. And while we can look back at the media's depiction of marijuana usage and laugh at its stereotypical inaccuracies, things have scarcely changed.
It seems that in post-Depression America, smoking pot turned you into frenzied piano players who giggle to the point that they make Cesar Romero's Joker look as merry as Eeyore. These bizarre moments in the film feel like Lynchian departures from the plot and are entertaining to an extent. However, the moralistic nature of the film comes across as subtly as a slap upside the head. As a result, a great deal of "Reefer Madness" is just tedious. But if people are willing to preserve the "Star Wars Christmas Special" for the sake of novelty, far be it for me to judge those who hold "Reefer Madness" in high regard.
Watch the Trailer