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.