Reefer Madness (1936) starring Dorothy Short, Kenneth Craig, Lillian Miles, Dave O'Brien, Thelma White, Carleton Young directed by Louis J. Gasnier Movie Review

Reefer Madness (1936)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Reefer Madness (1936) starring Dorothy Short, Kenneth Craig, Lillian Miles, Dave O'Brien

Steam Trainspotting

Whilst I watch a lot of movies, more than many, I would never call myself a movie buff. I mention this ahead of my review of "Reefer Madness", a propaganda movie from the mid 1930's and originally called "Tell Your Children" because I am unsure whether this was a serious movie or just people having a laugh. I say that because it is so outrageous as it tackles the subject matter of marijuana that it now feels like a comedy.

So what goes on in "Reefer Madness" well after some introductory scenes of police being troubled by the scourge of marijuana and a lecture being given to parents about the subject we then get the story. That story is about some clean cut American students who try the drug and then suffer the effects as things spiral out of control.

Now this is why I struggle to know whether this was a serious movie or done as a way to mock the system because it is all over the top. To put it simple when people smoke marijuana they would get an evil deranged look on their face, act wild, play piano quickly and a lot of other things before they went insane all of which are played so over the top it is ridiculous. Of course times have changed and people are more aware of the nature of the drug than maybe they were which adds to the comedy feel of this 1936 movie. But even taking that into account it still all seems so ridiculous that you are left wondering what the intention was.

Aside from that there is little else to say because the cast is made up of actors who are either unknowns or have long been forgotten about and each over act whether that was intentionally or not.

What this all boils down to is that "Reefer Madness" is now amusing because it seems so ridiculous. But it does make it a guilty pleasure because there is little about it which is good other than the fact it is fun for being so ridiculous.