Plot: What’s it about?
In Reefer Madness we watch as normal folks begin to smoke up the weed, with hilarious results. With a couple puffs of this wacky substance, people go from upstanding citizens to stark raving lunatics! One hit results in permanent addiction and if you smoke a little too much, you’ll turn into a desperate criminal. From simple accidents to brutal murders to sexual deviancy, the results are tragic when these kids decide to get high. Cocaine Fiends tells the story of a hometown girl who finds herself involved with a bad element. After she is drawn into the big city by some criminals, she soon finds herself addicted to cocaine and her behavior is much different from before, of course. Soon her brother comes to rescue her, but he too falls victim to the madness known as cocaine. She soon turns to prostitution to support their habits and finds herself pregnant. How will this madness end? Sex Madness…I wonder what that one deals with? When a beauty queen seeks out her fame and fortune in the big city, she soon finds herself infected with venereal disease and wrapped up in a web of lies and such. She thought she was just having some fun and living a fast life, but she ended up with a lot more than she ever bargained for.
This disc features all three of these movies and while the intentions were serious, the results are nothing short of hilarious. I think the films will most appeal to fans of classic movies, but anyone who likes to have sex or dabble in narcotics will find them amusing also. I guess that’s a wide audience, eh? Reefer Madness has been released before on DVD and while this release doesn’t improve much on that one, the bonus movies make the choice and easy one. I happen to like Sex Madness and Cocaine Fiends more than Reefer Madness, so I am pleased Whirlwind has released these often overlooked titles. This disc is offered at a very price and though the image is below average, the movies make the purchase price justified. Like Whirlwind’s other releases, this triple feature is a limited edition and though I am unsure just how limited, you’re always better off safe than sorry. Three terrific flicks at one low price, I recommend this disc to anyone interested in the material.
Video: How does it look?
The Madness Trilogy is presented in full frame transfers, which seem to be close to the original aspect ratio, though some poor framing does crop the image at times. I am not sure if Whirlwind is to blame for the framing issues, but I have seen previous versions which lack these errors, so I am knocking the score a little. I’ve never seen a good print of these films and to be honest, I doubt I ever will. It’s a shame, but given the low interest in these titles, it is understandable why no studios will restore and remaster them. The image is plagued by debris and damage, but if you’ve seen them before, these are no worse than previous versions. I found these to be sharper than before, which is always a bonus. The years have not been kind to these films and the image flaws are no fault of Whirlwind, so I am giving this a slightly below average grade.
Audio: How does it sound?
The original mono tracks are used and while Reefer Madness is the best of the lot, none of them really sparkle. The films are well over sixty years old and as such, display some distortion and flaws. I would have loved a new mix with some enhancements, but the investment would have been wasting, since these are lower profile titles. Given the age and condition of the source materials, these tracks sound decent and as good as I’ve ever heard them. If you’ve seen these before then you know what to expect, and I doubt fans will be that disappointed.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc contains no bonus materials.