I backed off Reefer Madness revivals for guessing
that, like most ancient exploitation, it would stop being funny after ten
minutes and bore to tears from there, like serial chapters strung together for
all-day (or night)Batman ordealsfrom the mid-60's. Alternative was Thunderbird's
16mm trailer for Marihuana, a grenade tossed by Dwain Esper in 1936. Two and a
half minutes was plenty enough of this, the preview containing what there was
of interest in the feature. I ran that spicy spool to much applause at college
meets, the joke on and off before it got wearisome. Trouble with
"camp" shows was so often too much of a sometimes not-so-good thing.
Midnight rallies of even classic stuff could exhaust in a hurry, unless you'd
slept till noon that day. We drove to Winston for The Cocoanuts and Duck Soup,
a show begun at stroke of 12, and worse yet, with creaky Cocoanuts for an
opener. I'll not forget fighting off fatigue as 2 AM neared with Duck Soup
still in offing. By its belated credits, I'd lost the contest with sleep same
as Tim Holt standing off Fred C. Dobbs by the campfire.
Ad art for the marihuana mash-ups was art in
themselves, as here with the snake wrapped around a hypodermic needle. And
what's this with Fu Manchu's stand-in as drug dispenser? "Weed With Roots
in Hell" was guarantor of big laughs at the trailer's finish: by any
measure, it's great copy. Was "No Children Please" a request or
command? The Grand was a scratch house in Minneapolis
built for vaude but converted to film. It closed in the year Marihuana
came out, but would rise like a phoenix from ashes as the "Gopher" in 1938.
I likeits invitation for "Girls!" to "Get Up a Party and See
What Happens at These Wild Marihuana Sex Parties." Did parents monitor
theatre ads close as they should? I'll bet lots more teens showed up for this
attraction than adults. Assassin Of Youth first lit up in 1937. I wonder how
many Drive-In attendees did the same in privacy of their cars ("Route 8
Opposite Thistle Down," which I could find no record of --- was it a mythical
site, like a 30's strawberry field forever?).UPDATE: Mike Mazzone just called to inform that the East Side Drive-In, as it was better known, was located in North Randall, Ohio, Thistle Down being a famous horse race track.