August 2nd, 2011: Quiet Cool

Cast and Crew: Jared Martin, Chris Mulkey, Fran Ryan

What It’s About: When heavily armed marijuana growers murder her brother and sister-in-law and her nephew Joshua (Adam Coleman Howard) disappears, Katy Greer (Daphne Ashbrook) turns to ex-boyfriend and maverick New York City cop Joe Dylanne (James Remar) for help. 

Why Watch it Today?: The Marijuana Taxation Act passed today in 1937.  Although the act did not prohibit marijuana, it was the first regulation by the Federal government upon it.  Quiet Cool is a hilariously over-the-top piece of 1980s anti-drug action movie paranoia, with James Remar miscast as a “good guy” fighting the equally miscast Nick Cassavetes, who plays the head “grower”.  While growers booby-trapping and claiming public land as their own is a documented issue,  it is pretty hard to take heavily armed marijuana growers who hold a town hostage very seriously on film.  Add in the strange relationship between Remar’s cop and Howard’s survivalist teen (not to mention Joshua’s very silly “sharpened sticks” gimmick weapon), an unintentionally hilarious final scene, and an overwrought 80s rock theme song and you have a recipe for one of the best unsung “so-bad-its-good” action movies of the 1980s.

Other Choices:  Reefer Madness, the cult favorite 1930s anti-Marijuana scare film; Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle; Up in Smoke

No trailer, but the movie is up on YouTube:

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