There are a couple of memories that tie in to today’s movie but my favorite is something that didn’t involve me personally, but rather something I read. Every now and then, I would check out a website called Kindertrauma, which is where people talk about movies that scared them as a kid. One of the sections, called Name That Trauma, is where people can ask for help identifying a movie and one day, someone asked for help identifying today’s movie. The website’s host’s response was hysterical, to me at least, as he identified the movie and asked why the person was even watching this movie as a kid. Anyways, today’s movie, much like Bad Taste and Dead Alive, is proof positive that Peter Jackson is one sick, twisted individual. So prepare yourselves for Meet The Feebles.
The plot: A variety theater group known as The Feebles is rehearsing for a live, televised broadcast in 12 hours. When Heidi the hippo is insulted by Trevor, a pornography directing rat, she goes to see Bletch, the walrus that runs the theater and is also her lover. Bletch is in his office having sex with Samantha, a cat that is part of the chorus, when Heidi knocks on his door and he quickly hides her in his closet. Letting Heidi in, Bletch insincerely comforts her when she tells him about Trevor and then ushers her out of his office. After she leaves, Samantha asks Bletch when he is going to get rid of her and Bletch comments that Heidi brings in the crowds but when the television deal is finalized, he will get rid of her. Meanwhile, Robert the hedgehog has arrived at the theater for his first day working with the Feebles. Asking around for the stage manager, Robert is finally shown around by F.W. Fly, a tabloid reporter. who tells Robert he will pay him for any inside dirt on the Feebles. The stage manager, Arthur the worm, takes Robert and introduces him to the girls in the chorus line, and Robert falls in love with Lucille, a poodle who has also just started working there. Later, Robert is watching Lucille and the other chorus girls performing a number when he is chased off by Trevor, who is also watching Lucille. As Trevor comments to himself on what he would like to do to Lucille, he is approached by Wynyard the frog, who is trying to get some drugs from Trevor but Trevor tells him that the drugs have not arrived yet. Backstage, Arthur witness Robert try to work up the courage to ask out Lucille but when Robert’s shyness works against him, Arthur tries to help him. Meanwhile, Bletch and his assistant, Barry the bulldog, head out to an appointment on the golf course. While they are gone, Heidi comes back from her jog and encounters Samantha, who tells Heidi that Bletch loves her, not Heidi, and the two end up fighting before Heidi tosses Samantha into a box. Meanwhile, Robert, at Arthur’s urging, begins serenading Lucille, who brings him into her dressing room when he is done. On the golf course, Bletch is playing with Cedric, a warthog, who is also the person that Bletch buys drugs from. Back at the theater, Arthur is trying to console Sidney the elephant, after Arthur accidentally squashed Sidney’s pets that he used in his act. Suddenly, Sandy, a chicken that is part of the chorus, enters the room with a baby carriage, saying that a court date is set for a paternity hearing against Sidney and though Sidney claims the baby isn’t his, Arthur looks in the carriage and notices that the baby has Sidney’s face. In her dressing room, Heidi is drowning her sorrows by eating a chocolate cake and looking through a photo book, reminiscing about how she first met Bletch. Robert is working backstage when he hears a noise and goes to investigate. Seeing Daisy the cow being whipped by “the Masked Masochist”. Robert goes to save her, inadvertently ruining Trevor’s latest porno film. After Robert leaves, Daisy realizes that she accidentally killed the Masked Masochist and so Trevor gets rid of the body and gets Dennis the anteater, a perverted stagehand, to help make the movie. On stage, Robert messes up a number and as punishment, the theater director has Robert help with Wynyard’s knife throwing act after Wynyard accidentally killed his last assistant while suffering from withdrawal. Robert goes to see Wynyard, who asks Robert for drugs, telling him the horrors that he saw in Vietnam, and manages to trick Robert into give him $50 so he can buy drugs. Meanwhile, Bletch is watching Trevor’s latest film and says that people are bored with Daisy and they need someone new, and Trevor sets his eyes on Lucille. Harry the rabbit, collapses and is taken to see the doctor, who tells Harry he has “the Big One”and Harry asks the doctor not to tell anyone, but F.W. Fly is overhears and already prepares to write a story about it. With several acts ruined and the show becoming in shambles, Sebastian the fox, the theater director, goes to see Bletch and tries to convince him to let him do his own musical number but Bletch refuses and throws Sebastian out of his office. Lucille returns to her dressing room after spending the afternoon with Robert when Trevor walks in, offering to put Lucille into movies. Slipping her some drugged champagne, Trevor begins molesting Lucille while she is in a stupor but they are caught by Robert and Trevor leaves while Robert asks Lucille how she could do that to him before leaving as well. Heidi is on stage to practice one of her numbers when her over eating causes her to wreck the set, and Sebastian calls her out on it. Heidi goes crying to Bletch but finds Samantha giving him a blow job so she goes crying to her dressing room. Barry meets Cedric’s assistant, Louie, in the alley to receive the drugs but when Louie goes to leave, Barry and Trevor grab him and bring him inside. In his office, Bletch prepares a line of cocaine but when Dennis tries it, it kills him and Bletch realizes that Cedric gave him borax. Questioning Louie about where the drugs are, Bletch force feeds Louie some of the borax and kills him, then prepares to head out to the docks to confront Mr. Big. As Bletch, Barry, and Trevor are leaving, Sebastian approaches him and says the show is cancelled because Heidi refuses to perform so Bletch goes to her dressing room and makes love to her in order to get her to do the show. Heading to the docks, Barry, Trevor and Bletch take out Cedric and the crab guards, then load the drugs into their car. Before they can leave, a giant spider drops from the ceiling and bites Barry’s head off, then attacks the car, but Trevor manages to knock it off with a low hanging materials. Trying to leave the docks, Mr. Big, a whale, confronts them but Bletch has Trevor drive into Mr. Big’s mouth, and drive through his stomach, exiting out his rear. Heading back to the theater, Bletch grabs a copy of the paper with the story about Harry and ends up catching F.W. Fly and ripping his wings off before flushing him down the toilet. Inside, Trevor runs into Wynyard, who gives him the $50 dollars and is able to get some drugs, which he immediately uses. On stage, the show is going on without a hitch and Bletch learns that the networks have given him a syndicated show. Heading to his office, he finds Heidi there attempting to seduce him but Bletch tells her that he can’t stand her and that she will no longer be part of the show. Back on stage, Harry shows up on stage but immediately begins puking and Sebastian has him carried off. Sebastian sends Sidney out to stall for time while they prepare for Wynyard’s knife throwing routine but Sandy comes out on stage with Sidney and begins telling the audience what happened with her and Sidney. Meanwhile, Heidi tries to hang her self but her weight causes the chandelier to break so she goes in Bletch’s office and grabs his machine gun. As she is about to shoot herself, Samantha walks in and mocks her so Heidi turns the gun on Samantha and kills her. On stage, Wynyard is starting his act but has a drug induced flashback and tries to kill Robert before he accidentally kills himself. Believing the show is ruined, Sebastian decides to perform his number “Sodomy”, much to Bletch’s horror. Backstage, Harry receives a call from the doctor, saying that he just has a case of bunny pox and Harry rushes out of his room to share the news and ends up getting killed by Heidi. Heidi proceeds to kill everyone backstage then makes her way on stage during the closing number, shooting into the crowd and continuing to kill all of the Feebles cast. Robert manages to save Lucille before Heidi kills her and Lucille tells him that Trevor drugged her. Bletch tries to get Heidi to put the gun don but she shoots him and he falls out of his balcony seat. Distracted by Bletch, Heidi is shot by Trevor and Bletch tells him to kill her. Robert swings down from the rafters and knocks Trevor down, allowing Heidi to kill him, then she kills Bletch before finally dropping the gun. Only six people survived the massacre. Sidney had to have extensive surgery to repair his kneecaps after Heidi shot them and now works as a horticulturalist with his son Seymour. Arthur retired and moved to the country while Sebastian wrote a best selling book about the massacre and is negotiating the movie rights. Robert and Lucille got married and had two kids while Heidi, after serving 10 years in a women’s prison, now works under an assumed name as a cashier at a supermarket.
Meet The Feebles met with positive reviews from the critics, holding a 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that it is, “Dark and vulgar, Meet the Feebles is a backstage comedy featuring puppets that offers proof of Peter Jackson’s taste for sheer outrageousness, even if it often lapses into pure juvenilia.” The movie wasn’t a success as it only earned $750,000, managing to break even since that is what how much the budget was. The film developed a cult following after it’s initial relase but wound up getting more views after the success of Jackson’s The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
Definitely not your parent’s Muppets. As crass, crude, and immature as this movie may be, it is entertaining for those very same reasons. The voice acting and puppetry were pretty good, which couldn’t have been easy considering some of the scenes involved. The story was a bit of a mess, with about 6 or 7 different sub-plots going on, and all of the cutting away to those sub-plots kind of made the film a little hard to watch. Definitely not something that you should watch with the kids, but if it’s just the adults, it can be an entertaining dark comedy to watch.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5