(Peter Jackson, New Zealand, 1989) 96 minutes


Director: Peter Jackson
Producers: Jim Booth, Peter Jackson
Screenplay: Danny Mulheron, Francis Walsh,
Stephen Sinclair, Peter Jackson
Puppet Design: Cameron Chittock
Photography: Murray Milne
Editor: Jamie Selkirk
Music: Peter Dascent
Danny Mulheron (Heidi)
Vocal performances by:
Donna Akersten,
Stuart Devenie.
Mark Hadlow, Ross Jolly,
Brian Sergent, Mark Wright,
Peter Vere Jones.

Reviews and notes

In high-concept terms, MEET THE FEEBLES is easily defined: it's The Muppets Go Sleazebag. Aiming to do for the perky world of puppets what Fritz the Cat did for animation - i.e., overwhelm it with filth, sex and drugs - Peter Jackson's film sets out to be relentlessly, gratuitously offensive. Most of the time, fortunately, it succeeds.

Jackson's previous movie, the live-action Bad Taste, was a ramshackle SF/horror splatter comedy, blithely tossing in gags and parodies from whatever source came to hand. FEEBLES is better organised but almost equally eclectic: we get a black-and-white moody torchsong flashback, a 'Nam movie flashback (complete with Russian roulette), and - in the intercutting between Heidi's backstage slaughter and Sebastian's big production number - a parody of the baptism/bloodletting sequence from The Godfather.

The massacre rounds off a film in which no excuse for spurting bodily secretions - blood, pus, vomit, or whatever - is passed up. Not all the humour, though, is quite so grossly visceral, and Sebastian, the effete (and, of course, English-accented) director gets several of the best lines. "You mean it's not part of your act?" he asks testily when an Indian contortionist gets his head stuck up his arse. "Pity - we could call it Passage to India".
-Philip Kemp, Sight and Sound, May 1992.

Weblink: Review by James Berardinelli

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