Considered by many to be the most famous exploitation film ever, REEFER MADNESS is a hilariously campy cult-classic about the dangers of the devil's weed. You know, marijuana. The story stems from a high school principle's lecture to parents during a PTA meeting about the dangers of smoking pot, which apparently leaves the teens in a state of mental lunacy! Originally titled: "Tell Your Children."
Educator Dr. Carroll warns parents about the dangers of the scourge of marijuana usage by schoolchildren. A group of college students have their lives turned upside down as they get hooked on dope and descend into a world of wild parties, car accidents, rape, murder and suicide.
The prologue to the film states: "Marihuana is... an unspeakable scourge--the Real Public Enemy Number One! Its first effect is sudden violent, uncontrollable laughter, then come dangerous hallucinations,... the loss of all power to resist physical emotions, leading finally to acts of shocking violence,... ending often in incurable insanity." Although production values for this cult-film are okay for a crime melodrama of its type, "Reefer Madness" is about as subtle as a brick. In its treatment of marijuana as a drug that brings complete ruin on all who sample it, and more dangerous a narcotic than heroin, the film manages to lose whatever edge it may have had in its time. And when those college kids light up, they all get evil gleams in their eyes and dance with abandon. Not to be confused with the 1922 British film (released by Gaumont) "Tell Your Children," adapted from Rachel MacNamara's novel "Lark's Gate."
"In the late 1960s, it was reissued and became a campus favorite for years..." - 04/23/2004 USA Today, p.4E