With the Oscars last night, which actually featured a number of deserving winners rather than the usual ‘meh’ that the Academy presents, it seems a bit silly to talk about bad movies that are fun to watch drunk. But I am still going to do Drunk Movie Monday because it is A Thing, and so instead I am going to talk about a very good movie that is even better when watched drunk:
Reefer Madness: the Movie Musical, in all its ridiculous, intentionally campy glory. Behold.
The film: Reefer Madness: the Movie Musical (2005)
The premise: This film has a bit of an origin story, so bear with me a moment. Way back in 1936, marijuana was gaining in popularity, especially among teenagers, and alarmists were desperate to curb the trend. And what’s the most effective way to keep teenagers off drugs? Why, make absurd and far-fetched propaganda about it, of course! Tell Your Children, which later became known as Reefer Madness among its cult followers, traces the tragic story of two good old fashioned American kids as they mistakenly smoke marijuana, which instantly turns them into sex maniacs and murderers. No, really. This movie escalates so quickly you’ll literally miss it if you blink. It’s insane.
Fast-forward to 1998, when Kevin Murphy had the brilliant idea of adapting it into a satirical musical about the nature of propaganda, coupled with a healthy dose of flashy vegas-style acts and tongue-in-cheek dialogue, plus a great deal more gore. Unsurprising that Showtime soon turned the play into a movie, starring then-unknown Kristen Bell and Christian Campbell (what a set of names, huh?) alongside Ana Gasteyer and Alan Cumming as the creepy narrator. I don’t know why more people don’t know about this movie. I mean. Look:
That dialogue. This is the greatest propaganda satire musical about pot ever committed to film, and I say that with great confidence. You will never get the songs out of your head.
Why you should watch it: Why wouldn’t you? If you watched the trailer then you already know what I mean, but let’s take a quick look at just a couple things you will see in this film:
There is so much more I could include but I don’t want to give away any of the really amazing surprise bits. You just. Ugh. This movie is insane and every second is delicious. But if you’re still not convinced, here’s the opening musical number:
The drinking game: Drink every time someone either smokes or says ‘marijuana,’ especially if they use a euphemism (look out for “muggles”–that’s my personal favorite). You will be wasted before the opening number finishes–yes, “reefer” counts. Drink up.
Bonus: Drink every time somebody does something dog-like (barks, bites, pants, humps someone’s leg…).
Where it’s available: Sadly, the musical is not on Netflix, though the original propaganda film is. Luckily, someone has helpfully uploaded the film in its entirety to YouTube, though the Greek subtitles are deeply irritating. You can also buy it on Amazon for $11, which is what I did. This is a movie that I am proud to say I own.
Yours in Highness,
“There’s blood on my hands, and mud on my name. My id threw a party and everyone came.” -Jimmy Harper, Reefer Madness: the Movie Musical