Search - RiffTrax: Reefer Madness - from the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000! on DVD

RiffTrax: Reefer Madness - from the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000!
RiffTrax Reefer Madness - from the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000
Actors: Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett, Dorothy Short, Dave O'Brien
Director: Louis Gasnier
Genres: Comedy
NR     2009     1hr 5min

For years, Hollywood has extolled the TV watching and excessive Funyun consumption that accompany heavy marijuana smoking as lighthearted fun. But in the 1930s, one film was brave enough to tell it like it is: Reefer Madne...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett, Dorothy Short, Dave O'Brien
Director: Louis Gasnier
Genres: Comedy
Sub-Genres: Satire
Studio: Legend Films
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 06/16/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 5min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 13
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

"Back in 1936, people were more easily startled..."
Andrew McCaffrey | Satellite of Love, Maryland | 06/08/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"REEFER MADNESS (1936) was rediscovered and became a cult film in the 1970s because of its unintentional humor, its over the top attempts at blatant propaganda and its general and inherent silliness, which makes it the perfect candidate for Rifftrax. Rifftrax (a spin-off featuring three of the writers and stars from the great movie-mocking TV show "Mystery Science Theater 3000") usually uses recent films as its sandbox, but for their DVD releases they've been going with the only films whose DVD rights they likely could get their hands on: cheap, old stinkers that have fallen into the public domain. Personally, I prefer making fun of the more obscure or the older films that haven't stood the test of time, so I'm more than happy with these direct-to-DVD releases.

The first time I watched this DVD, I was actually a little disappointed. This had less to do with the witty comments from Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett, and more to do with the film itself. REEFER MADNESS has had a certain reputation for a long time and you can't walk very far on a college campus without tripping over a copy of it. However, I had never seen the film before, and I probably had a mental image in my mind of a far far sillier, more outrageous film than this piece of celluloid could possibly be expecting to provide.

However, I gave it another chance, and that second viewing was a much more pleasant experience. The first time, the reefer and drug jokes seemed very repetitive. But the second time the jokes had a more rounded feel. (This sort of reaction is something I had a few times with the old "Mystery Science Theater 3000" show. Every so often, I would be indifferent to an episode before warming to it after a repeated viewing.)

Still, this isn't the strongest release I've seen from Rifftrax which is a pity given the film they had to work with. Of course, an average Rifftrax/MST3k is still worth a look for fans and the uninitiated alike."
You got your Riffs in my Reefer!
Roman Martel | California USA | 06/02/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Ah, good old Reefer Madness, an infamous film for a number of reasons. This is one of those films that is so bizarre and so knuckleheaded, that you start to wonder just who the creators thought the target audience would be.

This film is part warning of the dangers of smoking marijuana, part exploitation flick, all goofy! Witness a man refusing a soda but accepting a root beer! Gasp in horror at the goofy pratfall into a fountain. Curl up in the fetal position when the pusher's meal is interrupted. Run screaming from the room when the high school principle gets up to deliver a dry boring speech... for the fourth time!!!

Oh yeah and a bunch of forty year old actors play teenagers, get high, smooch on a couch, die, or become permanently insane. But that's just the typical stuff you'd expect.

As a whole the film is just a mess. Editing is laughable, with scenes going on way too long, some scenes just ending for no apparent reason and others existing for no reason either. The film opens with a scrolling prologue that lasts nearly four minutes. It is followed by the dry dull monologue from the high school principle character that also goes on for another four minutes. When the movie finally does start, you'll be excited to see actual actors.

It's a shame they are pretty much all horrible. With performances veering from the disinterested pusher, all the way to the completely insane piano player who looks like he's about ready to chew all the scenery in the small closet he's locked himself inside of (waiting for his Kramer stand in audition). The acting fused with the moronic story and silly dialogue doesn't so much convince that drugs are evil, but it does make you suspect that the creators were using drugs while making the film.

All this is perfect fodder for Mike, Bill and Kevin to tackle. I owned Mike Nelson's solo commentary on this film and it did have its moments, and some of the best have made it onto this new commentary. But there is plenty of new material here, and lots of it appears to be written with Kevin, Bill and Mike in mind.

But for some reason the whole thing just never goes out of the park. It's funny, and the team delivers some hilarious lines, but as a whole the effort seems a bit slight. Part of it is the running time. The movie is short and lots of it is filled with those stupid monologue scenes or bad dialogue scenes that don't offer much for the guys. However when the smoking and wacky antics are full bore, then the guys deliver.

It's entertaining, but feels like it should have been a bit funnier. I'd say it's better than Mike's solo effort, but about average on a Rifftrax or MST3K scale. The black and white print is pretty good for a movie this old, but other than that, you don't get any other extras. Rifftrax fans should be fine with this. Fans of the movie should pick up Legend Films version with both the black and white and fully (and trippily) colorized version as well as numerous extras. Then download the Rifftrax commentary from the site for the complete experience."
Okay... but not great
Kur | 08/29/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Mike Nelson's original Riff by himself was way funnier than this one. (If you're interested in that one, look for the copy of the movie that has the cover pictured in the cover for the Riff Trax DVD.) The other weird thing is, the other one is colorized, which adds to the humor (what with blue, red, yellow, and green smoke). The RiffTrax one is black and white."
Dig those hot licks!
qwerty | 06/06/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"not bad, not bad at all! the opening joke about the glasses is really stupid, but don't let that fool you, this is a good one. definitely worth the 10 bucks."