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Hey, kids! Unca Chaoz back for another round with the reviews. They?re gonna come fast and furiously for a bit as I have a couple of days off. Let?s see what we have this go around.
The Marihuana Menace. Well, ?drugs? plus ?1930s? usually equals ?unintended hilarity?. For those in need of a quick refresher.
Back before we had the ratings system for movies we have today (which is another argument for another time) - we had the ?Production Code? aka ?The Hays Code?. Movies were deemed obscene or not based off of this code. Of course, this lead to some really silly decision down the line.
But that?s yet ANOTHER argument for another time.
Anyhoo, some creative people decided to exploit the Code by putting out movies of questionable taste but disguised them in the form of ?social parables? - basically ?This could happen to YOU!? type of flicks. This is one of them.
The movie begins with an introduction that this movie is based on facts from a doctor?s lectures, magazine and newspaper articles. Oh yeah, this is gonna be good.
We begin with shocking headlines and moves to a reporter who starting out a the local paper. The editor tells him to go to small town where a woman who was killed by a ?marijuana maniac? left her granddaughter a small fortune provided she stays on the straight and narrow. The editor tells him that he ?doesn?t care what (the reporter) does? to get in with that crowd, but to find the story. So our intrepid little reporter does.
Joan (the granddaughter) is an hot little number but with girl-scout attitude. Also around is a blonde rival who apparently will claim the money if Joan falls off the wagon. Meanwhile, our reporter Art has ?infiltrated? the teen scene by nefarious means - namely working at the local soda fountain. Joan sees Art and her eyes burn with - well, it ain?t sweetness.
Suddenly, we move to a ?weenie roast? (no, really!) and Blondie is smoking reefer while a friend is given something stronger. Joan is getting wooed by a guy who didn?t pay attention to her until he found out she was loaded (sounds like a bad FOX drama - doesn?t it?). Well, thanks to Blondie, Joan manages to get home naked and in the middle of a scandal. Art can?t believe, hits on Joan (apparently, since the film skips at this point) and then lands a date with Blondie.
Oh, and did I mention Blondie?s secretly married - and a drug pusher?
Eventually, Blondie gets her hooks into Joan?s sister, while Blondie keeps trying to get Joan off the right path (with the help of her husband) - with some success. Joan eventually loses the money but falls for Art. Happy ending, right?
Not exactly. Eventually, little sis gets sucked in by the ?loco weed?, while Art decides to use Joan to get evidence against Blondie (her cousin Linda, as we find out eventually). The way? She?s to collect cigarettes for Art while she starts smoking them.
Yes, this is bad as an idea as it sounds.
Eventually, all this turns into a semi-solid mess and a comedic ending that reminds me of the Keystone Cops.
The picture is in good quality but the sound and film skips so much at times that there are portions that are barely coherent (not that this flick is an Oscar contender in pristine form). The movie starts as a complete exploitation piece but it seems that the producers of the movie decide to actually make a movie out of it and made the best of it. In the end, the movie becomes semi-legit. All the acting is - well - passable, but it?s funny when they try to play blitzed as they come across as silly.
Fun rating: 7 - not bad, but a barely passable movie. I?ve seen much better. On the other hand, I?ve seen far worse. In the end, it reminds of one of those movies on ?Insomniac Theater? at 3:30am. I was actually disappointed it wasn?t more exploitative than it actually was.
Interest rating: 5 - worthy only as freebie or in a compilation set (which is how I saw this one). I doubt it?s ever shown on TV, but if you happened to see it in the listings then check it out. Repeat viewing? Nah, but good for a laugh or two.
TOTAL RATING: 6
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