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:
- Affectionate Parody
- 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.
- Animal Stereotypes
- 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.
- Berserk Button
- Big Eater: Heidi
- 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 suggest he is one as well.
- Cats Are Mean: Samantha, Bletch's mistress, is pretty much every negative cat stereotype incarnate.
- Crapsaccharine World: As Robert, the newcomer, soon discovers.
- 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.
- Depraved Kids' Show Host: Pretty much the entire cast.
- 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.
- Wynyard, because of how he abandoned the commander frog, who previously rescued Wynyard from enemy soldiers.
- Doing It for the Art: Sebatian clamors this loudly throughout. This apparently includes declaring the whole show a bust on more or less flimsy pretenses without bothering to check audience reactions and hijacking the ostensibly family-friendly affair to sing a song about sodomy.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: For the very few characters that survive.
- Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Robert.
- 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 BSOD. 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.
- Gag Boobs: Heidi, Heidi, HEIDI.
- Giant Enemy Crab: Cedric's mooks.
- Giant Spider: One appears during the showdown between Bletch and Cedric's gangs, killing one of Bletch's goons.
- Girl with Psycho Weapon: Heidi.
- Heroic BSOD: Heidi again, toward the final act.
- 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.
- 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.
- Infant Immortality
- Karma Houdini: Sebastian, (especially since a lot of much less Jerkassy characters get slaughtered in the finale). However Sebastian is seen in a eyepatch which implies he lost a eye while trying to escape 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.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: Harry, whose obsession with sex is what leads to his disease.
- Love at First Sight: Robert to Lucille
- Messy Pig: Cedric. He's a Violent Glaswegian drug-trafficking punk warthog, so any business you have with him is bound to be messy.
- Na´ve 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.
- 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".
- Prima Donna Director: Sebastian.
- 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.
- Show Within a Show
- Soundtrack Dissonance
- Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks: The Sodomy Song.
- Talking Animal: Most animals are anthro, but several, such as the fish, are basically talking animals.
- The Disease That Shall Not Be Named: Both the disease Harry thinks he has (AIDS) and what he actually has (myxomatosis). They're referred to as "The Big One" (not to be confused with the Sentai hero) and "Bunny Pox", respectively.
- The Vietnam War: Wynard's flashback.
- Token Human: Abi, the only human character in a cast of animals. He's still a puppet, though.
- Two For One Show
- Variety Show
- Violent Glaswegian: Cedric
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Harry puking over the stage when he tries to perform regardless of his illness.
- You Dirty Rat: Trevor is pretty much a textbook example.
- You Just Ruined the Shot: At one point Robert interrupts Trevor's aforementioned BDSM porn shoot.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Heidi