Director: Peter Jackson.
Starring.Mark Hadlow, Peter Vere Jones, Donna Akerten, Stuart Dasent. New Zealand. 1h 37m.
This is one of the few titles I use to gauge someone’s personality, sense of humour and to find out if they can be left alone with small children and animals, it can also be used in a test to see if they can keep food down in a crisis. The video was originally passed around at school as a dare, a test of a teens measure, can you get through this without being sick!? I was up for it and passed the test with flying colours!
Meet the Feebles is a sort of psychotropic; meth fueled GG Allin styled Muppets show, that often sinks below the gutter, and it’s attempts to be funny and overly sick for sick’s sake has divided movie fans for years. It’s never going to active much acclaim for its efforts but I feel it helped to kick start a lot of subversive comedy which deserves it’s own platform even if only a handful of people like it.
The Feebles, much like Jim Henson productions are a series of puppets and life size actors in spongy suits, rampaging around doing dank shit and living a questionable backstage gutter life. There is a loose romantic story involving the new arrival Robert (hedgehog) who has joined the Feebles to enrich his acting career and to get closer to his crush Lucille (a poodle) the timid and over enthusiastic and sometimes annoying hedgehog is quite out of place with the theaters shady characters and we are introduced to them all via Roberts interactions including the owner Bletch who’s a vile Walrus, who’s planning on taking the company from stage to screen, he’s also dating the leading lady Heidi (Hippo) and her replacement, as well as brokering drug deals. There’s plenty of other dodgy characters and situations, the elephant is in a paternity crisis with his ex chicken partner and their hybrid child, the stage managers are living out fantasies of homosexual extravaganzas and the Producer, Trevor a rat lives up to his name sake as he pioneers seedy porno movies, but for me the winning character is ?? a Vietnam vet with extreme PTSD and a massive drug habit and the shit eating fly who’s a huge douchebag paparazzi.
Most of the film takes place backstage in a darkened maze of dressing rooms and toilets, but on the odd occasions the Feebles are set free in a cake shop and on a golf course. The character who’s second most popular to the leading lady Heidi is Harry (rabbit) who contracts a strange illness after a wild psychedelic sex session and assumes the worst, scenes of him wildly vomiting are quite popular gifs on twitter and often open up lots of conversations about this offbeat movie.
Generally everything is done in an over the top style and is film is purely gross for gross sake, and it’s this which has really disgusted a lot of people who don’t see this icky approach as entertaining. Me on the other hand love and adore it, The Feebles have opened up an avenue for sick comedy entertainment such as Mr Pickles and Team America, and paved the way for much sicker films.
The film is pretty smart and funny, but you have to be able to handle the overdone scenes and a lot of needless toilet humor. Looking beyond the puppetry and gross nature the film is a pretty interesting insight into the baser aspects of human nature, by using animals it seems we’re able to connect and distance at the same time.
Really it all just boils down to being tasteless fun, and now and again i need a break from the norm and this fits a gap.
R – Fritz the Cat (1972), Team America (2004), Mr Pickles (2013-)
L – Disturbing Top 50, Most Disturbing Movies, Sick Sad World, a personal list of the Disturbed, A-Z of New Zealand Cinema, Gross Films for Gross Sake
5s – Peter Jackson