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Monday, January 30, 2012

FUNNY "DOPE" FILMS

disclaimer: by no means am I condoning the use of drugs, nor overlooking the tragedy that drug addiction brings upon the individual and society at large....however... these anti-drug films are all hilariously bad...poor production values on all levels...sensationalistic...exploitative.....often incorrect and simplistic in their observations...silly plots...bad acting...no name directors....
#1. REEFER MADNESS (1936)... the "grand-daddy" of all the "drug warning" films...produced by the infamous DWAIN ESPER....one puff and you are hooked...or you play the piano like a madman possessed...this is the one most folks know...I saw it in high school...not a part of civics!!!
#2. MARIHUANA (1936)... directed by DWAIN ESPER...a companion/bookend piece to REEFER MADNESS...made with the "help of federal, state and police narcotic officers" (yea..right!!)....naive youths are given the "evil weed" by a guy with a mustache, and the next thing you know there is nude swimming and a drowning!!!
#3. ASSASSIN OF YOUTH (1937)... a bit more polished than the first two films....too many reefer parties...an invetigative reporter poses as a soda jerk to collect his story...the short film with the film (THE MARIJUANA MENACE) is a hoot!!!
#4. THE COCAINE FIENDS (1936).... young woman takes a "headache powder" from a dope dealer and become instantly addicted...her brother goes "on a sleigh ride with some snow birds"...tawdry/awful/depressing/maudlin/morbid...did I mention that it is awful!!!
#5. NARCOTIC (1933)... the potentially sad decline of a physician into drug addiction (first opium and then heroin) is ruined once again by exploitative director DWAIN ESPER...in the right hands, this could have been a compelling and well told story...sorry..it ain't happening here!!
#6. TEEN AGE DEVIL DOLLS (1952)... chronicles a teenage girl's decline into addiction and crime...NO DIALOGUE...filmed in documentay style with just a voice over...wonder why??
#7. THE COOL AND THE CRAZY (1958)... features two "known" actors (SCOTT MARLOWE & GIGI PERREAU), and that is about it...typical of the 50s juvenile delinquent films, it has thirty-somethings playing teenagers who start with grass and graduate to LSD...filmed on location in KANSAS CITY!!!

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