With the upcoming release of The Happytime Murders, a puppet-noir murder mystery, and the first R-rated Muppet movie, I decided to look back on an old, but obscure, favorite- Meet the Feebles, directed by a young Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings trilogy) before he was indoctrinated into the cult of CGI.
|The Happytime Murders|
Yes, there once was a time when, Peter Jackson relied solely on practical effects rather than miring in the lazy water sof the digital animation quagmire. Meet the Feebles is his second film, wedged between the incredibly low budgeted Bad Taste (Available for viewing on Youtube) and the decently financed Dead Alive (also available).
It is essentially a Muppet spoof (though Jackson claims otherwise), using many of the techniques employed by Henson Productions, such as the use of full body suits along with hand puppets manipulated by wires.
The story is a behind the scenes look at a Muppet show equivalent called the Feeble Variety Hour. The cast is preparing for their big show and everything that could go wrong does. Jackson takes every negative stereotype about show business and plunks it in here.
· A rabbit who fucks like Charlie Sheen and gets an STD (referred to here as “the big one”).
· A Kermit the Frog analog who is a heroin addict and has Nam flashbacks.
· An elephant who knocks up a chicken to make a bizarre looking baby and refuses to take responsibility for it.
· A sleazy tabloid reporter that loves to wallow in shit.
· The director is an effeminate fox who lovingly sings a song about sodomy.
· A rat manager who makes disgusting pornos on the side (There’ nothing like watching a cow and a crab perform BDSM acts.)
· Blech the Walrus producer, a part time cocaine trafficker, who is married to the star but is having an affair with a feline chorus girl (Another great sex scene).
· And finally we have the diva, Hiedi, a hippo married to Blech, who goes on a killing rampage with an M60 machinegun when she learns of his infidelities.
|Not your standard Muppet protagonist|
This film certainly does show off Jackson’s talent as a filmmaker. You quickly forget that these are just dolls and see then as actual characters. There was one scene of a puppet chicken exploding from gunfire, which caused me to recoil from it gruesomeness. A puppet chicken!
All in all Meet the Feebles is a constant shock fest stamping mercilessly on all of your childhood Muppet memories and laughingly evilly the entire time. Apparently Jim Henson’s daughter was invited to the premier and stormed out 20 minutes in, while making a rant about how insulting it was to her father’s memory. Whether it is or it isn’t, Meet the Feebles is a unique movie. It’s gleefully vile, well shot with excellent voice acting, and over-the-top humor. It is highly recommended. And luckily the entire film is available on Youtube.