Devil’s Joint, The

2723. THE DEVIL’S JOINT (1969-USA). This mind-blowing compilation film not only consists of portions of various classic “reefer scare” movies made between the 1920s and 1940s. It also places these films into historical context as it shows how they were produced in order to brainwash audiences about the use and effect of smoking marijuana. In the early 20th-century, America perceived itself as being under attack by a deadly enemy: the dreaded marijuana cigarette. A war of propaganda was launched against the “killer weed.” A key tool in this war was a series of low-budget exploitation films which depicted the alleged ravages of marijuana use (while at the same time offering audiences the kind of sensationalism that had been banned from mainstream Hollywood movies). These films featured standard plot lines and stereotypical characters, At the forefront was the naive heroine, a sweet and innocent teen who is destined to be manipulated into becoming a marijuana “addict.” She often is exploited by a shifty older man, a drug pusher who gains her trust. After just one toke, our heroine finds herself with a one-way ticket down the road to sinful behavior and drug addiction. She soon joins a growing army of zombied-out and psychologically warped dopers. The point is that in “killer weed” movies “even nice kids can no longer control their animal urges” once they puff a single marijuana cigarette. The clips all are fascinating to watch; accompanying them and the narration are some finger-popping period jazz and blues songs which actually reflect the hipness of marijuana use. While the film was meant to amuse late 1960s audiences who might have been stoned while waiching it, today it is a valuable cinematic and historical record. 66 minutes. Exploitation