Film / Meet the Feebles

This is a family show, for Christ-sake!

Meet the Feebles, a 1989 movie directed by Peter Jackson, is basically The Muppets on crack and lots of hard liquor. It's a movie set in a world where everyone (with one exception, the contortionist Abi) is some sort of animal, anthropomorphized to varying degrees, and of different sizes, from the size of a small fish to a giant sea creature. The smaller characters are portrayed by puppets, but the larger characters are portrayed by people in costumes.

The story revolves around a show within a show, the Fabulous Feebles Variety Hour. The movie starts 12 hours before the show is planned to go live, but the actors in the show all have problems of their own. For example, Heidi wonders if Bletch is cheating on her, Bletch needs to get a drug deal through, Harry thinks he has "The Big One" (Initially seems like AIDS, later stated to be myxomatosis, though whatever disease it is, it leaves him with an estimated 10 hours to live), Robert needs to get the girl of his dreams, Lucille, Sid needs to train a new batch of creatures after his old batch is run over by a barrel and deal with a paternity suit, Wynyard needs to get his Heroin fix, which he got addicted to in Vietnam, Trevor needs to find new people for the porn movie he's been filming, and Abi literally needs to get his head out of his ass.

And the only problem Kermit had was with being green...

It eventually ends in a surprise ending, but in the trailer, it said "Please, don't tell your friends how it all comes out in the end", despite the fact that the preview already shows the surprise ending, and all the viewer needs to do is connect the dots. (Plus, the cover hints at the surprise ending and the cover of the soundtrack album is an actual screencap of the ending.)
WARNING: Once you have met the Feebles, you will never be able to watch The Muppet Show the same way again.

This movie provides examples of:

  • All Part of the Show: When a drugged-up Wynyard accidentally kills himself with a knife during his knife-throwing stunt, the audience thinks it's just part of the show. Still, they run out screaming when Heidi bursts through the curtains on a swing with a machine gun.
  • Anyone Can Die: Pretty much 95% of the cast dies by the time the movie ends.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: The Borax that Mr. Big sent Mr. Bletch as an attempt to kill him off. It even melted the dealer who ingested a load of it.
  • Asshole Victim: The Fly in the Sky and Samantha the Cat by Mr. Bletch and Heidi Hippo respectively.
  • Ass Shove: Abi the indian contortionist accidentally gets his own head shoved up his rectum during rehearsal. When he finally gets it out, it's crushed by a bed of nails.
  • Broken Hippo: Heidi, thanks to Bletch's mistreatment of her.
  • The Cameo: If you look closely, you'll notice a few aliens from Bad Taste in the audience.
  • Camp Gay: Sebastian, and the doctor's voice and mannerisms (a Paul Lynde impression) suggest he is one as well.
  • Cats Are Mean: Samantha, Bletch's mistress, is pretty much every negative cat stereotype incarnate.
  • Contortionist Abi, who is a send up to the Rubber Men.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Sebastian doesn't do anything actually evil, but he's a Jerk Ass towards the cast (though this is probably just because he's a director) and he must have known full well that a family variety show wasn't an appropriate place for that particular song.
  • Dirty Coward: Sebastian. The only non-nice guy to survive, only does so because he ducks into a giant carrot during Heidi's rampage. He still ends up losing an eye though. And wrote a best-selling autobiography that painted him as a hero.
    • Wynyard, because of how he abandoned the commander frog, who previously rescued Wynyard from enemy soldiers.
  • Driven to Suicide: Heidi, right after Mr. Bletch tossed her aside for Samantha. But then Heidi changes her mind after Samantha walks in and taunts her during a suicide attempt.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite being a crookish manager, even Bletch thinks that Sebastian's infamous song is not the right place for a kid's show (Like it is stated in the quote above).
  • Everybody Owns a Morris Minor: Which had been out of production for almost 20 years when the film was made.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Bletch's goons versus Cedric's gang.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Heidi temporarily turns into a killing monster after suffering a Heroic B.S.O.D.. She attempts to kill everybody in the movie, whether they deserved to die or not. While she kills several cast members who arguably did deserve death, she also murders several characters who are as far as we know, innocent. She eventually comes to her senses during the end of her killing spree.
  • Fan Disservice: The sex scenes would still be thrashy and unappealing even if they weren't shot with puppets.
  • Fat Bastard: Bletch; pretty much a given since he's a crooked walrus. Sid the elephant subverts it by running to the rescue of his infant child at the cost of his kneecaps.
  • Fingertip Drug Analysis: Bletch tests the "cocaine" Mr. Big sold him this way, after Dennis already snorted a line and his nose melted off. Then declared it to be Borax.
  • Giant Spider: One appears during the showdown between Bletch and Cedric's gangs, killing one of Bletch's goons.
  • Hope Spot: Twice. Once, when Harry learns the doctor made a mistake, he is happy to be alive, only to get gunned down by Heidi moments later. Second, it looks like Heidi might stop massacring people when she sees Seymour being dragged away by Sandy, only to shoot Sandy's head off and leave Seymour splattered with his mother's blood.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Initially, Trevor is seen shooting a BDSM porn flick starring two actors known as the Masked Masochist and Madam Bovine. After Robert walks in and ruins the shot, Madam Bovine sits on the Masochist, killing him. The Masochist was a cockroach.
  • Karma Houdini: Sebastian, (especially since a lot of much less Jerkassy characters get slaughtered in the finale). However Sebastian is seen in an eyepatch which implies he lost an eye while trying to escape the rampage.
    • Ironically after Sebastian performed "that song", Bletch orders Trevor to "eliminate the fudgepacker" but Heidi's rampage managed to prevent this. Also Sebastian "enjoys the act of sodomy" but claims God doesn't like the very act yet manages to survive the rampage.
  • Kill 'em All: The climax, courtesy of Heidi. There are some survivors, though.
  • Knife Nut: Wynyard has a knife-throwing act, but has a terrible case of the shakes. The result is just as bad as you think.
  • Levitating Lotus Position: Abi over his bed of nails when Sebastian starts yelling at him to get on stage. He falls and hurts himself a bit kind of foreshadowing his later death on the nails when threatened with firing.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Harry, whose obsession with sex is what leads to his disease.
  • Messy Pig: Cedric. He's a Violent Glaswegian drug-trafficking punk boar, so any business you have with him is bound to be messy.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Robert, predicting Walter by a whopping 22 years.
  • National Stereotypes: The only German in the movie sells cakes and pastries, and Abi, an Indian, is into mysticism and contortion. Let's not get into the Vietnamese... things in Wynard's flashback.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Trevor's voice is an obvious Peter Lorre parody. And a good one, at that!
    • It's also worth noting that, intentional or otherwise, Trevor is much closer to the menacing villains Lorre often played than most Peter Lorre parodies.
  • Only One Name: No one has a last name.
  • Paparazzi: The reporter fly that is constantly harassing Harry because of his disease.
  • Parallel Porn Titles: Although there are porn titles mentioned, none of them spoof actual movie titles. There is a genuine example, although not with a movie title: Bletch hopes to win the "Hooker Prize", a takeoff on the Booker Prize.
  • Patchwork Kids: Sidney and Sandy's baby, Seymour, has an elephant's head and a chicken's body. When Arthur sees Seymour for the first time, he comments to Sidney that "it's got [Sidney's] eyes".
  • Pet the Dog: While Mr. Bletch mistreats Heidi, he treats Arthur with a fair amount of respect and even offers him a seat next to him and a cigar during the premiere of the show.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Subverted to hell and back. Aside from Robert, Lucille, Arthur and — arguably — Seymour, nearly all the animals in this movie are or eventually become ugly, disease ridden, rotten or just generally unpleasant.
  • Serenade Your Lover: One of the sweetest and least disturbing moments in the film.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Wynyard really didn't deal well with his experiences in 'Nam.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Jesus on a crucifix in this movie looks like Kermit the Frog. Since the whole thing is a Muppets parody, it might as well have been intentional.
    • Wynyard's Vietnam flashback has a scene where they are forced to do Russian Roulette, as a reference for The Deer Hunter.
  • Skewed Priorities: After all the deaths and injuries during the rehearsal, Sebastian's only concern is that the show is now low on actors so he now has a chance to reinstate his own musical number.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Harry puking over the stage when he tries to perform regardless of his illness.
  • Wily Walrus: Bletch the walrus is a slippery drug dealer and an abusive boyfriend.