Search - Reefer Madness - The Movie Musical on DVD

Reefer Madness - The Movie Musical
Reefer Madness - The Movie Musical
Actors: Kristen Bell, Christian Campbell, Neve Campbell, Alan Cumming, Ana Gasteyer
Director: Andy Fickman
Genres: Comedy, Television, Musicals & Performing Arts
R     2005     1hr 52min

Based on the propaganda film from 1936 that has become a cult hit, Reefer Madness is the height of camp entertainment! Framed as a "documentary", a straight-laced high school principal (Alan Cumming) seeks to impart his wi...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Kristen Bell, Christian Campbell, Neve Campbell, Alan Cumming, Ana Gasteyer
Director: Andy Fickman
Creators: Andy Fickman, Dan Studney, James Veres, Jan Korbelin, Kevin Murphy
Genres: Comedy, Television, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Television, Musicals
Studio: Showtime Ent.
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/08/2005
Original Release Date: 04/16/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 04/16/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 52min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Kyle T. (KingKong) from KINSTON, NC
Reviewed on 11/12/2008...
Based a the 1936 propaganda film, REEFER MADNESS: THE MUSICAL is set up as a PTA viewing of a propaganda film about the effects marijuana has on two youths. The musical numbers, which are hilarious, may not look as grand in scale as something like CHICAGO, but they are still large, over-the-top, and well-choreographed. SHOtime's official website had this to say: "One of the most complicated musicals filmed for television, the movie contains sixteen musical sequences and several complex large-scale dance numbers. And every member of the cast was proud to display their real singing voice." Everyone puts in top-notch performances for a film that isn't supposed to be taken seriously in the first place. The true stand-outs are the lead Christian Campbell, Alan Cumming, and Ana Gasteyer. She does a great job with her role as a drug-dealer's abused girlfriend, who would love it if he just *accidently* fell off a cliff. The story is all in good fun, and the interruptions of it to see people's reactions in the PTA meeting are quite funny, rather than annoying, which is the result of many films that interrupt the main story. Our young protagonist battles drug-dealers, meets Jesus and the devil (in the same place), dances with what seem to be half-naked hula girls, and much more, often doing such things through his hallucinations while influenced by the drug. Sexually weird, drug-referenced to the core, and at times sacrilegious, REEFER MADNESS: THE MUSICAL won't appeal to everyone, and certainly not to children. It is a fun film, however.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Will Jimmy Harper choose Mary Jane over Mary Lane?
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 11/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical" is a meta-musical, because unlike "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" it works best based upon your knowledge of the original cinematic text, anti-drug propaganda, and certain aspects of 20th century American history. In the 1936 film "Reefer Madness" a school principal tells a group of parents the cautionary tale of two high school kids, Bill Harper and Mary Lane, who attend a party at the apartment of shady adults Jack and Mae where joints are given away free to get the kids hooked. Mary's kid brother Jimmy runs somebody down high on weed and Jack ends up framing Bill for shooting Mary.

For "Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical" the story remains basically the same, although now the Bill and Jimmy are combined so the kid in trouble is now Jimmy "the Cannibis Killer" Harper (Christian Campbell), which is an economical change. But the more significant change is that instead of an academic figure the lecture is now given by a person (Alan Cumming) with obvious but unnamed connections to the forces of government who are overly concerned with the need for vigilance. Although much is made of William Randolph Heart's efforts to stomp our marijuana because hemp producers threatened his logging interests, the lecturer is decidedly a figure of the 1950s in terms of fear mongering, casting aspirations regarding patriotism, and emphasizing decency. One of the best elements in the film's satire has an audience member taking exception to some wild claim that the lecturer has made. But every time Mr. Kochinski (Stephen E. Miller) finds something far fetched, the lecturer hits back by quoting cold hard "facts" from Heart's newspaper.

For me the part where I knew that creators Kevin Murjphy and Dan Studney were cooking with grass in this one was when they took the scene from early in the original, where Jimmy and Mary are doing their adolescent take on some lines from "Romeo & Juliet," and turn it into a running joke because Mary (Kristin Bell) is a blonde this time, which means she does not know it is a tragedy and keeps hoping that she and Jimmy end up with the same sort of happy ending Shakespeare wrote about (Jimmy assures her they have six kids). Bell provides the standout performance in the musical, which surprised me a bit because she was so lackluster at the Emmy Awards this year. No wonder they make sure her character is around for the big finish even though she is dead (being happy but hemorrhaging blood will do that to you).

Overall the production numbers are better than the songs, which means you will be more interested in watching "Listen to Jesus, Jimmy" or "Little Mary Sunshine" over and over again than in singing along (there are not subtitles for the DVD but you can turn on close captioning to get the lyrics if you insist on doing so). Beyond the two leads, both of whom are reprising their original off-Broadway roles, the rest of the cast gets to pop up in supporting roles throughout the show, so keep an eye out for that. The cast includes Steven Weber as Jack, Ana Gasteyer as Mae, John Kassir as Ralph (the piano player who laughs maniacally at the drop of a hat), Amy Spanger as Sally ("She fell down!"), Christian's kid sister Neve Campbell as Miss Poppy, and Robert Torti as Jesus. Kassir and Torti are the other two original cast members (although the other roles played by Torti are now done by Weber).

The original "Reefer Madness" is included on this DVD, so you can (re)familiarize yourself with the source material (I had already rented the original on a DVD that also included "Marijuana" and "Assassin of Youth," but I appreciate the effort). There is also SHOWTIME's short featurette on the history of the musical and the cable version, and a commentary track with directory Andy Rickman, producers Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney, and cast members Christian Campbell and Amy Spanger. Throw in the requisite Cast Biographies, Photo Gallery, and Coming Soon trailers for more SHOWTIME original movies and programming. Be aware that the CD out there is for the off-Broadway show and not the soundtrack for this version."
Get Hooked on Reefer Madness
Daniel B. Waldman | Kensington, Maryland USA | 12/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a movie that you want to share with friends. One great funny line follows another, the cast gets to show off their singing and dancing talents, which are considerable. The songs are memorable. The DVD case smells like a chocolate chip cookie. What more can you ask for?

The movie is structured as a film within a film. Parents of local high school students attend a special screening of an anti-marijuana propoganda movie (entitled "Tell Your Children") with a lecture from a representative of William Randolph Hearst, played by Alan Cumming. As "Tell Your Children" progresses and those who question the various holes in logic are threatened and humiliated by the lecturer, the parents slowly become xenophobic -- shooting accusing glances at an Asian woman attending the screening, for example.

A previous review stated that this movie is making fun of those "innocent" time when people knew dance steps. In point of fact this movie is making fun of those who would divide society by creating a culture of fear, even when there isn't much danger.

The last lines of the movie illustrate this:


"And when the reefer has been destroyed/ We'll go after Darwin and Sigmund Freud/ And sex depicted on celluloid/ And Communists and freaks!"
"When danger's near/exploit their fear!"
"The ends will justify the means!""
Musical with all in it - Music, Parody...let's say...Fun!
D. Platte | 08/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've seen the movie in a special screening at my cinema and i have to say, i loved it, like most of the people, who have seen it with me, did. Well, it's a musical, so you expect music and dancing, but this one has so much more...
At first, the idea of transferring the original "Reefer Madness" from 1936, especially a anti-drug-campaign-movie, into a musical was thrilling enough for me to take a look in it. And i wasn't disappointed.
Secondly, the cast is great, i didn't see the "real" musical, so I cannot say how they are on stage, but they did a very good job on screen. And Neve Campbell, whose role was originally a male role, did a very nice and good dancing and singing job.
Well, at last, the songs... they are quite catchy. I cannot say how often I saw myself humming the mary lane song (after you've seen it, you'll know what I mean ;) ).
Well, i hope the DVD will show up with some specials, like a behind-the-scenes or Making-of.

Well, to put it in a nutshell, if you like Musical-Movies, if you like movies, which take themselves not too serious, if you like having fun while watching a movie... buy it!
I'm sure, I will! :)"