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Rifftrax: Reefer Madness

 NR (Not Rated)   DVD

Price: CDN$ 9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Back in 1936, people were more easily startled..." June 7 2009
By Andrew McCaffrey - Published on Amazon.com
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars PSA? June 14 2011
By Donald Garon - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I guess when this film was made, it was intended to be some sort of cautionary tale or public service announcement. Looking at it today it just seems silly and hysterical. But as always, if you bought the Rifftrax version you knew this when you bought it. The guys do a great job with their comments, and you'll be laughing from start to finish. If you're an MST3K/Rifftrax fan, you won't be disappointed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reefer Madness Riff Tracks Dec 30 2011
By cubschick - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This was a gift for Christmas so I cannot vouch for the quality of the dvd. I can say it arrived in excellent condition and considerably faster than I expected. The recipient was very happy upon opening his gift.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Next Best Thing Oct. 8 2010
By Tony P - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Sure, MST3K is gone (but never forgotten), but this is the next best thing. A cheap DVD (thanks, MovieMars) of a BAD movie with some nice cutting-up by Mike, Kevin, and Bill is a great way to spend an evening. Although it's not exactly the same without Pearl, Bobo, Brain Guy, Dr. Forrester, and TV's Frank, the guys are riffing real well with the type of jabs you always loved. BUY THEM!
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You got your Riffs in my Reefer! June 1 2009
By Roman Martel - Published on Amazon.com
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.

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