RHINO'S GUIDE TO SAFE SEX
Unrated, 1987, B&W, 60 minutes, Rhino Video, $29.95.DOPE MANIAUnrated, 1987, 60 minutes, Rhino Video, $29.95.
Like the Classic "Reefer Madness," both these collections are drawn from assorted public service, educational and Hollywood films of the '30s, '40s, '50s and early '60s, and are made less for the curious than for the cynical; of course, originally they were intended for the hysterical and paranoid. For instance, "Safe Sex" takes you back to the day when finding out you had syphilis was considered a big deal. Excerpts range from the innocuous "Dating Do's and Don'ts" and a Navy training film intended to keep sailors off the "USS VD" to dramatizations like 1931's "Sterilization Court." For the most part, things are wacky fun, but Rhino ruins "Safe Sex" by inserting some old nudie films as gratuitous filler. Still, watching these films in the age of AIDS, you sense how much things have changed, particularly the bottom line. "Dope Mania" is a weak "Reefer Madness" clone (also with unneeded nudes). The paranoia is even greater here, the consequences of demon weed and killer coke dire. Most intriguing: excerpts from a "marijuana western" of the '20s and an unintentionally hilarious "Pot Perils of Cassandra." On the other hand, there's a dull police training film on spotting drugs, a computer recreation of a trip and surprisingly graphic newsreel footage of the execution of a half dozen Chinese dope peddlers in the '40s. Far off.