Meet the Feebles (1989)
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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
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!!!!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
It takes place in this weird freaking world where everyone is a puppet, and the feebles run this muppet-type show. The concept is great. Basically, instead of happy, fun-loving puppets, we have puppets who still have that "crazy" aspect that puppets usually do have, but with evil (and good) human traits attached. What you get, mostly, is an odd "Hell" kind of world. (Kermit, you better have been good, or you'll end up here!)
Somewhere in my demented mind I have a great desire to show this messed up movie to a kid, and see how they react. But I won't, not yet... hehehehe! >:)
Great concept. Difficult to watch. Messed up movie. Great for druggies. Not exactly for the kids...
Having said that, let's talk about "Meet The Feebles". Don't expect to see any of that mastery film-making that won Peter Jackson X amount of Oscars in recent years. This is a full-blown assault on your morals and values. The scenes hold absolutely nothing back as you're bombarded with obscene images of funny-looking animals doing things they should not be.
I think the overall feel of this film is great. The characters are extremely well-developed, and the voice work is excellent. The story is told very well, and by the end of the film, you feel like you know these creatures personally.
You can see from this piece, in comparison to, say, Jackson's rendition of "King Kong", that he has radically changed his style of films. I would highly recommend this film to anyone with a strong stomach. Again, this is NOT for Lord Of The Rings fans, and is also certainly not for children.
I think the only problem is that, in some places, this film drags it's feet. It stretches a little bit and some scenes are not necessary. Also, the picture and audio quality on the DVD leave much to be desired, however I still highly recommend buying it.
`The Muppet Movie' was an important film and is one my must watch list. That's because it is remarkable in its self-reference. It is about the making of itself with many clever observations along the way. It is possibly the most intelligent thing you can show your kids that they will believe is made for them.
This film is equally intelligent. It references the first by making a show and takes us behind the scenes `Rosencrantz and Guildenstern' -like. And it has lots and lots of camp references to genres, all genres as far as I can tell.
Sure, it is full of ridiculous sex and violence, just as the genres it spoofs. This, `Heavenly Creatures' and `Forgotten Silver' are worth watching. All else from him is portion controlled restaurant food.
"Death to Smoochy" could have stood some of this fearlessness.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
Meet the Feebles seems to be the next step of Peter's development as a writer and director, with Bad Taste and Braindead being previous steps. The issues that are dealt with in Meet the Feebles, the kind and amount of gore in it, even though there are no actors and nothing looks real, make it an even more shocking production than the previous ones. And yet again you will notice Peter's amazing ability to build up action with a perfect culmination at the end of the movie.
If you are a fan of Peter Jackson and haven't seen this one - do it immediately. You won't regret it.
I feel the same way about "Meet the Feebles." It's a little film that relatively few people have seen, and it can send people out of a room with disgust at what they're watching, but I think it's one of the funniest things I've ever seen. It's as if someone had nightmares as a child after watching "The Muppet Show" and devised this as a form of artistic revenge. There's a knife-throwing character who's plagued by flashbacks to 'Nam. A Roger-Rabbit look-alike dying of a gruesome STD, always accompanied by an evil fly. There are muppet porn stars, drug lords, domestic abusers, and murderers. Every feel-good assumption we have about watching animated animal characters from years of children's television shows and visits to DisneyWorld is systematically blown up and thrown in the dumpster. "Meet the Feebles" is sick. It's trashy. It's perverted. And it's absolutely brilliant.
"Meet The Feebles" is a movie that, whether you like or hate it, you won't forget it. How could you, when it deals with drugs, sex, vomit, AIDS, Vietnam, and bloody massacres? And when all of the above is done by MUPPETS? (Actually not official Muppets, but it's clear that some of the characters - especially the female hippo - got inspiration from some of the actual Muppets.)
It's a sick movie, but actually it's also very funny. Peter Jackson is obviously one of the masters of cinematic sick humor. Though "Meet The Feebles" in now way compares to "Dead-Alive", it's still worth checking out for any Jackson fans.
Still, I had some complaints about the movie:
(1) The movie didn't have a high enough budget, making some sequences look TOO cheesy
(2) An obnoxious music score
(3) A musical score that doesn't know when to shut up
(4) Too many characters
(5) No characters get enough time to actually make them "main" characters
It's possible that even if you are a Jackson fan, you might be disappointed with the movie. I admit the five problems I've listed above almost got to the point where I wouldn't recommend the movie. But in the end, I was glad to have seen it. If you prepare yourself for this movie having some major problems, and you are not expecting a masterpiece like Jackson's "Dead-Alive", then by all means see "Meet The Feebles". Though as I said before, you have to be used to this director's kind of humor first.
The basic concept of the film revolves around a new television show "The Feebles Variety Hour" and the struggle to mount a successful production. Jackson weaves numerous plot lines ranging from the sweet to the repulsive to achieve a decidedly grotesque brand of hilarity.
Most of the film falls more into the realm of the surreal than the laugh out loud funny. However, the last fifteen minutes or so compensate by being truly hilarious.