If the idea of making a musical out of Roger Corman's Z-movie quickie The Little Shop of Horrors sounded weird, stick around for the all-singing, all-dancing Reefer Madness. Deliriously based on the notorious 1936 anti-pot social-guidance film, this is an ultra-campy enterprise that lands somewhere between Rocky Horror and a John Waters comedy. Christian Campbell and the spritzy Kristen Bell play the innocent teens lured into a soul-sapping cloud of marijuana dependence by pencil-mustached pusher Steven Weber and his long-suffering dame, Ana Gasteyer. The cast includes femme fatale Amy Spanger and a cameo by Neve Campbell, who dances her way through one sequence. The musical was written and composed by Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney, who re-create some of the kookiest scenes from the original movie ("Faster! Faster!"). Their funniest idea is to frame the sordid saga with a black-and-white story of a government agent showing a public-service film to horrified small-town citizens; he's played by the reliably sinister Alan Cumming, who also pops up in a variety of guises in the film-within-the-film. The only problem with this made-for-Showtime version of the stage show is that camp tends to wear thin, especially at 109 minutes, despite the expert song parodies. Even the original hour-long Reefer Madness got old quick. --Robert Horton
Has Jimmy been hanging out with college guys?
Yeah, I'm in a fraternity.
Yeah, in fact, we took such a shine to Jimmy, we decided to pledge him early!
While he's still in high school!
To avoid the rush!
Oh wow! Wait 'til that Suzie Mayberry hears about this!
Let's celebrate with
Wait! This isn't that "reefer" I've been hearing about, is it?
No, no. This is a special cigarette. It's all the rage with college girls...
... in Paris!
Do your children enjoy jazz music? For I am here to tell you that Cab Calloway, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, and the whole weed-blowing ginger-colored lot are merely masquerading as musicians and are, in fact, agents of evil. Reefer slows down the smoker's sense of time, allowing him to squeeze in unnecessary grace notes, giving this voodoo music the power to hypnotize white women into indulging in acts of unspeakable degradation.
What is the human conidtion so powerful it can stave off all that is black and evil in these confusing times?
Love? In a time when in which our children are subjected to a daily diet of depravity in their film and popular music? In a time in which the entire world is aligned against the American way of life? A time when our economy is in a state of total collapse and a reckless lunatic sits in the White House, I am relieved to hear our fatuous friend is so confident that love will carry the day.
The correct answer is of course...vigilance.
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