Watch “Reefer Madness” (1936)
Many of you have inquired about our next piece of L.A. Noire DLC, the Vice desk case “Reefer Madness” coming on July 12th, and about its relation to the cult film of the same name from 1936. As opposed to the previously released “The Naked City” case which was indeed based directly on a motion picture counterpart, “Reefer Madness” actually has nothing in common storyline-wise or inspirationally from the movie with which it shares its title (aside, of course, from the aspect of the case relating to a certain illegal substance).
The 1936 cult film which popularized the titular phrase was originally released as “Tell Your Children” and was one of several propaganda-esque pictures made in the era to shock and frighten the public about the dangers of drug use (alongside “Marihuana”, “The Cocaine Fiends” and others). Through the years however, the over-the-top movie, which depicts marijuana users going insane due to the drug’s effects and being driven to crime and death, has gained a legacy for exactly its opposite intended effect – having become popular as a campy and ironic example of laughable sensationalism. “Reefer Madness” was revisited and gained a new life starting in the heady drug days of the 1970s with (no doubt smoke filled) midnight screenings – and today has even inspired a tongue-in-cheek musical choreographed by Paula Abdul.
Above, courtesy of Archive.org, you can watch this public domain camp-fest in its entirety. Enjoy.