Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical [2005]

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

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