Opening 27 Apr 2006
It’s the 1930’s in small town America and a PTA meeting has been called at the local high school in order to address a serious threat to the community’s youth. That threat is marijuana and a lecturer (Alan Cumming) warns all by way of telling the story of what happened in a similar community not so very far away. Jimmy Harper (Christian Campbell) and Mary Lane (Kirsten Bell), perfectly innocent high school sweethearts, were destined to marry and lead a life of happiness. That was, until Jack Stone (Steven Weber), entices Jimmy back to the reefer den with false promises and corrupts him via marijuana. Just one hit and Jimmy is instantly transformed into a hopeless addict and maniac. From here on it’s all down hill not only for Jimmy and all who are associated with the reefer den, but also for the entire town.
Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical is based on the former Los Angeles and New York City off-Broadway musical Reefer Madness which is in turn based on the 1936 anti-marijuana propaganda film Reefer Madness. Originally titled Tell Your Children, that propaganda film has become something of a cult classic within the pot-smoking world. Produced for cable television in America by Showtime, Reefer Madness now hits the big screen in Germany.
The word that best describes my experience of Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical here in Germany is stunned. It was almost as if I’d smoked the ‘forbidden’ substance throughout the film myself. It actually surprisingly took me several hours to really form an impression. Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical is a totally absurd and totally politically incorrect musical which is brimming with social commentary on America past and present in which absolutely nobody is spared. While some may find the humor stupid or even offensive, and two friends I was with at the theatre even walked out during the screening, I found the film hilarious. In fact I think it’s been years since I’ve laughed so much during a film. There is absolutely nothing that isn’t grossly exaggerated in this film, the entire cast overacts, and the satire is cutting but clever. What I can compare it to most within the film world is the Rocky Horror Picture Show. But the relentless lampooning of American society makes it much more. While some will despise Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, and may even crucify me for my four star rating, others will find the film brilliant. (Shauna Keeley)