Monday, March 1, 2010

Meet the Feebles

Meet The Feebles (1989) is a black comedy film by director Peter Jackson. It features Jim Henson-esque puppets in a perverse comic satire. Like Henson's Muppets, the Feebles are animal-figured puppets (though some were people in suits) assembled together as members of a theatre troupe. However, whereas Henson's Muppets characterise the positivity, naïve folly, and innocence in humanity, the Feebles present negativity, vice, and other misanthropic characteristics. The movie has become a cult classic, and has enjoyed great popularity since Jackson's success with the Lord of the Rings films. During his acceptance speech at the 2004 Academy Awards, Peter Jackson mentioned the movie, noting that it had been "wisely overlooked by the Academy."

Meet the Feebles tells the story of the Feebles theatre troupe. They are a group of performers who, that night, are going on live network TV. If they are good enough, they will get picked up for a syndicated network show and everyone will get rich. Scenes involving violence, sexually explicit images, drug dealing, back stabbing, date rape, and death (including a snuff film within the film) follow.

During its limited theatrical release in North America in 2002, the critic James Berardinelli wrote, "The stories of these ... characters are told in a disgustingly graphic, obscenely offbeat, and caustically funny manner. Meet the Feebles is for those with a strong stomach and a seriously warped sense of humor. The film is so off the beaten track that it makes Monty Python seem mainstream." Rachel Sanders called it alternatively repulsive and magnificent. Rotten tomatoes gives it a Fresh rating of 76%, based on 20 reviews (as of June 2009).

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