Meet the Feebles (1989) Poster

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7/10
Jim Henson stumbles into a bar, then into the X-rated shops and grind-house theaters, then goes to make a movie...it'd be this
MisterWhiplash30 November 2006
Sure, Meet the Feebles may not be director Peter Jackson (yes, Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings and King Kong) at his finest hour of directorial standing, but as a fan of a certain kind of really deranged and off-kilter cult movie, a lot of this made my night. It's an ultra-perverse, ultra-absurd, and sometimes really ultra-stupid take on a variety show where puppets are preparing for the night's performance, only everything that could go wrong- or more precisely anything that could be unexpected to go wrong- does every which way to Sunday. It's actually the kind of movie when I was watching, for the most part early on, I almost couldn't really laugh. I just had a look on my face like 'what am I watching?' And, 'how can something like this actually exist?' It's not even so much a question of how well or how not well Jackson and his low-budget team pull it off, but how someone can take the time and energy to think this all up and put it all on paper.

Let me try to sort through some of the varied story lines- there is Robert, a newcomer to the Feebles gang (and gang I mean in literal and figurative terms), who wants to impress a certain poodle-dog type of girl who really has him going to lengths to impress her. But meanwhile, a really nasty rodent- also a porno director as well as the boss's assistant- decides to use her in his next porno flick by drugging her. This rodent also has to deal with some other low-lifes in the group, like a junkie lizard who has one big story to tell Robert at one point about his crazy, violent trip to Vietnam (including a 'why not' homage to Deer Hunter). There's also a rabbit who may or may not be dying from an STD of some sort (I think it was an STD anyway), and has a pestering fly (always in the most uncomfortably close of close-ups) trying to get the scoop on his condition. There's even the overly-annoying stage manager who can't wait to put on his God-awful dance number of his own. But the main center of attention and star of the Feebles shows is Heidi, a hippo who loves to binge on junk food, and is also suspecting a femme-feline of stealing away her previous man- the boss. When she finds out what's really up, it leads to the unbelievable climax.

And so on. I still keep thinking about my reactions to certain scenes, and the kind of sensibility about this whole project. Maybe in part its really lampooning something maybe more common in New Zealand, like with whatever kinds of variety shows or kid shows they have there. But it's also without a doubt that Jackson's also seen his share of Muppets, as the basic concept follows off from the Muppet Show. What's amazing about the film, and at times a little frustrating, is how a real mind-set of gonzo film-making is apparent. It doesn't seem original in parts, like it's taking things from other movies- or maybe other movies and shows that have come after this seem quite similar- but it really is in the bizarre, crude nature of everything. The climax probably holds the biggest laughs and surprises, even in its tight context of everything going to hell in a hand-basket. As its a world entire devoid of humans, all of its logic is based around how outrageous these puppets can be in their own whacked-out environment. With the exception of the naive, method-trained Robert, and maybe his love interest, every character in the picture is severely flawed in one way or another, or just really put to abstract lengths so mind-boggling they work only in conjunction with Jackson's unnerving, low-budget style. It has the same jarring, diabolically juvenile and in-your-face comedy of some of the South Park guys stuff (Team America and Cannibal sort of come to mind), but without necessarily the sharp edge of satire.

And at the end of it all, with all the laughs I had and shocked 'huh' moments at what Jackson had done with all these weird characters (some of which are outright perverts, drug addicts, criminals, egoists, adulterers, and even father half elephant-half chicken offspring), I wasn't sure totally what the point of it all was. Maybe though there really isn't any; I have to think this is the kind of movie that a director makes with himself as the audience, and not really in a selfish manner either. It's not great art by any means, and doesn't pretend to be, which is part of the dark fun of it all: Meet the Feebles, with its singing and dancing miscreants (quite a catchy theme song by the way), and numerous scenes of more-than-suggestive sexual moments and gory bouts of extreme violence, is a case of kamikaze independent film-making, where homage spreads out into the concept and becomes something very strange but, in its own world, sort of wonderful too. It might be far from my favorite of the director's, but it's got things in it that are really fantastic and uproarious. It's one of those fine guilty pleasures of the late 80s.
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10/10
An X-rated Muppets movie!
preppy-36 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Basically Peter Jackson made a parody of "The Muppets Show". It's about a bunch of animal puppets (or people in animal costumes) putting on a show where everything goes wrong. Half of the puppets are strung out on drugs; some are doing porno videos in the basement; the rabbit is basically getting it on with everybody (and gets a potentially fatal disease); a walrus is going at it with a cat (this is shown) and a psychotic hippo gets hold of a machine gun....

As you can see this is NOT for the kiddies. What it is is an all out, no holds barred assault on good taste. Jackson and his crew show puppets vomiting, having sex, being graphically killed or sexually assaulted. If you have a weak stomach this is NOT for you. However if you have a REAL sick sense of humor and can take VERY graphic material (like me) you'll have a ball! I was actually laughing myself silly during this. The movie keeps topping itself with the humor getting more sick and graphic until the final massacre sequence at the end. Hard to believe this guy went on to do "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

NOT FOR EVERYBODY but damn I had so much FUN watching it!!!!
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8/10
Unbelievable, yet headache inducing...
ElijahCSkuggs9 October 2003
Great puppetry and a whacked out plot make this New Zealand effort on par with some of the best cult films today. There are animals of all shapes, sizes, colors, and ethnicities(?); some are into money, others are into dancing, and then there are others who are into porn, coke, and feces. This film is rude, gross, demented, and hilarious. The end is really cool, and when Peter Jackson made this, he must've been on something. The voices and the lighting were probably the main producers of the major headache I received while watching this phenomenon of a movie. I mean, ordinary people just don't make this, and then wrap up one of the best trilogies off all time! This guy is a genius, pure and simple. I really hope Jackson goes back to his gory film making roots. Overall: *** out of ****
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8/10
Wonderfully perverse
Tom Holly25 April 2004
This movie is crazy!. It's a puppet flick full of drugs, sex, guns and porn. As an early Peter "Lord of the Rings" Jackson flick it also features a bit of gore. The puppets don't just die, they get mushed.

I really liked it however I imagine some people would be repelled by it. Jackson himself said in his Oscars speech that it was 'wisely overlooked' by the Academy. He's the first to admit that this type of movie simply aint going to be to everyones taste!

However if your open minded and looking for something a little 'out there' then I would check it out.

8/10
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9/10
Imagine "The Muppet Show" On Crack!!!
EVOL66625 October 2005
MEET THE FEEBLES is one of the most outrageously insane films I've ever seen, and I mean that in the BEST possible way...Another home-run from Peter Jackson (BRAINDEAD, BAD TASTE, and most recently LORD OF THE RINGS). FEEBLES is a gleefully perverse film where all the actors are Muppet-like puppets or people in full costume.

The very basic story is that the FEEBLES is a variety show similar to the Muppets and that they are getting prepared for their first live telecast, when everything goes horribly wrong. So much happens in this film that I can't even begin to explain the story any more than that. Characters include (but are not limited to) a heroin-addicted frog, an over-sexed rabbit, a hippo with low self-esteem (and a short fuse...), a cow and insect porn film-making duo, a sleazy fly tabloid reporter...and a lovable and friendly porcupine.

MEET THE FEEBLES is a gleefully twisted comedy that is often shocking and strangely endearing at the same time. Many will be offended so this film IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. But if you are a sick bastard like me and have a twisted sense of humor, this film is absolute genius!!! Very Highly Recommended 9.5/10
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"Bad Taste" was just the beginning...
DJ Inferno26 June 2001
I can understand all those people who gave bad reviews on "Meet the Feebles", because this film is far beyond political correctness and not suited for highly sensitive! Obviously shot with a higher budget director Peter Jackson made all the things possible he was not able to do in his predecessor "Bad Taste". The humor in this movie is insulting, gory and often repulsive, so Muppets-inventor Jim Henson would turn in his grave for this. Nevertheless "Meet the Feebles" is a real cult movie because of its unique character and his inimitable sense for dark humor. Many people hate this film, others love it. I belong to the last mentioned... Just don´t let your children watch this!!!
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9/10
The Movie that Broke Me
george_sano31 August 2008
I made the mistake of watching this film back in 1997, when I was the tender age of seven years old. Back then, this was the most cruel, disgusting thing I had ever seen and it sent me into shock.

Now, at the ripe old age of eighteen, I can proudly say, this is the movie that made me the twisted monkey I am today.

The film itself was done by the same guy who directed the infamously long "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, Peter Jackson. You wouldn't guess it by the budget, but that doesn't remove any enjoyment. The film reeks of genius, taking something very fun and family friendly (The Muppets, and any other puppet-based kids show) and adding some not-so-family-safe elements (drugs, sex, killing, STDs, blackmail, date-rape, porn, swearing, toilet humour, homosexuality, eating disorders, emotional instability, smoking, suicide and excessive amounts of blood).

But how does it add up? Well, quite honestly I think this movie is one of the best pieces of satire ever created. Having seen a fair few puppet shows, it never crossed my mind about what Kermit would be like as a drug addicted ex-Vietnam veteran, or if the rest of the crew went bad. And Peter Jackson brings out the depravity greatly, with most of the movie being filmed in a cramped back-stage area that is covered in filth.

I would recommend this to anybody who has a very wicked sense of humour, since this has quite possibly destroyed more than a few childhoods. It definitely ruined mine, and I certainly would say adults only. Only show it to your children if you're sick in the head, or if you hate them.
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7/10
What Would've Jim Henson Said?
Rindiana16 June 2009
Hollywood executives must have lobotomized Peter Jackson when he started the "Lord of the Rings" franchise, because his earlier New Zealand productions were so much better.

Just look at this sickly cracking showbiz satire, complete with an array of mostly disgusting Muppets from hell, acting as a walking compendium of the seven deadly sins (and some more). The sheer audaciousness of this nightmare folly is to be applauded, but the astounding fact remains that behind all the cold misanthropic viewpoints on display there's still a beating heart pumping warm blood into this creatures.

Certainly not to everyone's taste and riddled with too many drawn-out plot excesses, this one-of-a-kind pic still deserves a huge cult following.

7 out of 10 panty-sniffing anteaters
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8/10
Puppetry Gone Haywire
gierran4 August 2003
This is a really odd film for people who have always wanted to see the Muppets covered in doo doo or at least seriously injured by being hit by a bus. I like offensive, mean-spirited movies so this was right up my alley. Warning: do not show to children unless they are as warped as you are.
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10/10
Peter Jackson was always a genius
clarityclaire6 January 2003
Unlike most people, I saw this film long before The Fellowship Of The Ring. In fact I saw it way back in 1992 and was simultaneously appalled, amused and impressed by it. Maybe it is best described as "Bad Taste with puppets" or "The Muppet Movie in bad taste" but it is certainly a movie I would recomend to anyone of sufficient maturity (no children should EVER see this film).

Like Bad Taste before it this movie features disgusting humour, lots of blood, and impressive low budget special effects, and the puppets in it have to be seen to be believed. One of the best things about The Fellowship of the Ring (and I Love that movie as well) is that in the hype following it more people may see Meet The Feebles. Maybe Meet The Feebles and Bad Taste will be released on DVD in Australia now (I have them both on VHS).

I will say one thing tho, it is certainly a strange feeling to have been a Peter Jackson fan for 10 years before Lord Of The Rings was released and the whole world finally discovered him.
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