By Don Simpson | January 30, 2015
Director: Jeremy Royce
30 Minutes of Madness was a sketch comedy variety show in the 1990s hailing from Metro Detroit Public Access Television. An anarchistic assemblance of high school misfits, 30 Minutes of Madness provided a much needed creative outlet for its cast; when the show dissolved, everyone went their separate ways. Like Dylan in the movies, they never looked back…
Having just graduated from film school, the show’s helmer Jerry White Jr. is single and jobless. As if taking a cue from his high school class of 1993’s upcoming 20-year reunion, White decides to reassemble the cast of 30 Minutes of Madness to see if the wild and wacky weirdness can still be sparked up like a long forgotten roach. Intent upon doing something that he really loves, White remembers just how happy he was during the heyday of 30 Minutes of Madness, despite never getting a deal with MTV or Comedy Central. Approaching the reunion show’s production with a much more obtainable definition of success, White’s goal is to convince the 30 Minutes of Madness cast that the production might snap them out of their respective funks, because most of them are even less happy than he is.
Director Jeremy Royce follows White as he contends with the quirky personalities and strong opinions of his cast in an erstwhile attempt at bringing the cult VHS show back to life. 20 Years of Madness captures just how important it is for creative people to have an outlet to express themselves freely. All the while, Royce introduces the documentary’s audience to some truly fantastic footage from the original public access series, which is reminiscent of a freakishly lo-fi, punk rock, high school production of Kids in the Hall or SCTV.