“Reefer Madness” is latest live theater event for Rifftrax crew
On Thursday, the movie-watching wisecrackers behind Rifftrax will bring their mocking to theatergoers live, as part of the Fathom Events presentation of “Reefer Madness.”
Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett, formerly of “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” will present live humorous commentary with the film as it is presented across the country. This is the third nationwide live theater event for the Rifftrax crew.
“The thing I like the most about it is that we are able to get this show, live, to places in the country that otherwise would not be able to see anything like this,” Murphy said. “You don’t have to live in a big city in order to enjoy us live on screen.”
“Reefer Madness” originally was released in 1938 and had been intended as a morality tale showing the dangers of marijuana use. However, the over-the-top acting and low budget made the film an unintentional comedy, with the film becoming a cult classic in the 1970s.
The Rifftrax crew said the way films were made in the 1930s often allows for successful riffing.
“‘Reefer Madness’ gives us that heavily late ’30s, early ’40s, where everybody’s wearing suits, no matter what they do, even if they’re 10 years old,” Murphy said. “And everybody looks and talks exactly the same. I can barely tell any of the characters apart from one another.”
Also, the performances can lead to humorous interpretations.
“It might have been because they were mostly all stage actors, and the soundstages weren’t miked very well, but everybody seems to be yelling at each other all the time, which amuses me,” Corbett said.
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