Review: Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (2005)


Directed by: Andy Fickmann | 100 minutes | drama, comedy, musical | Actors: Kristen Bell, Christian Campbell, Neve Campbell, Alan Cumming, Ana Gasteyer, John Kassir, Amy Spanger

Isn’t this a film that actually belongs to the “Night of the Bad Taste”? That is the first thing you as a viewer ask yourself when the film starts. The title of the film is projected on the screen in such a way that it looks just like a pulp film. And maybe “Reefer Madness” is a bit of a “pulp movie”, but at least the movie is a highly digestible “pulp”.

“Reefer Madness” is based on the musical of the same name created by the same director. This is also reflected in the film, many elements from the musical have been taken over. Yet Andy Fickmann has also tried to use the properties of film in his production. He managed to do this pretty well. The mix of musical and film results in a cheerful and very funny film.

A group of parents of high school students are shown an educational film about the dangers of marijuana in the 1930s. The setting of the film is this period because the film is based on an educational film from the 1930s. evidence came against drug use gained true cult status in the 1960s and 1970s and prompted people to do exactly the opposite of what was intended. Fickmann wanted to show what was shown in that film in his musical and film.

The most brilliant find has to be the scene with Jesus. Jesus is kind of a pop star surrounded by beautiful ladies. He tries to seduce Jimmy Harper (Christian Campbell) to choose God again instead of the drugs. The golden crown of thorns and the golden microphone complete the picture.

The film is a frame story. You are basically seeing a movie in a movie. “Reefer Madness” starts with the parents attending the school. The parents will watch the information film and you will see the entire film with fragments in between in which the parents react to the film. At first they are skeptical, but in the course of the story they start to attach more and more value to the anti-marijuana story.

The conclusion: A wonderful musical, very refreshing after all the work of our Joop. But yes, there is certainly a chance that Van den Ende has also seen this musical. Will he ever dare to make a comedy musical about drugs? Who’s to say? First, enjoy this movie.

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