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Monday, May 14, 2007

Reefer Madness!


Thank you, "anonymous" for recommending Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical! I hadn't heard much about it, but I had heard something that made me lower my expectations of it. That only made it all the more fantastic!

I can see how it wouldn't be to every one's tastes, but it certainly matched mine! I was reminded of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (even in the title, where the transition from stage to screen meant an inclusion of a new word- 'picture' or 'movie'), Little Shop of Horrors in the depiction of the romanticised American youth of yester-year against a B horror movie backdrop with grotesque theatrical lighting, and the tongue-in-cheek overacting of Trey Parker or even Bruce Campbell came to mind too. The larger chorus numbers echoed the sweaty adolescent chanting and tribal dancing of Hair. Mix all these ingredients and you have a whole lot of fun!
The concept is based on a cautionary movie entitled Tell Your Children, which was later changed to Reefer Madness, and while I've never actually smoked marijuana, my guess is that they give a fairly off-the-mark representation of the effects on the drug on the impressionable youth. The media was having far too much fun discovering its power over Joe Public through fear tactics to care about accuracy, I guess. The movie takes the story one step beyond mocking such media provoked frenzy by adding great song and dance routines.

I've always had a strange attraction to the grotesque theatrics of productions such as those, as well as to characters like Joel Grey's Emcee in Cabaret, the overly made-up dancers in Strictly Ballroom or Moulin Rouge. I think it's the underlying lust under a seemingly innocent facade that I find enticingly naughty and exciting!

I heartily add it to my list of movies and my husband and I joke about making it our next submission to the local community theatre group we direct and act with.
Now I just need to find someone who has the soundtrack of the original stage play that is no longer available for less than $50... I guess if I look hard enough, I may find SOMEONE out there, it's just a case of knowing where to look.

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