Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The only movie to give me nightmares

Meet the Feebles (1989)
Starring (the voices of): Mark Hadlow, Peter Vere-Jones, and Stuart Devenie
Director: Peter Jackson
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Long before the big-budget success of the "King Kong" remake and the "Lord of the Rings" series Peter Jackson directed gross-out movies like "Dead Alive," "Bad Taste," and the puppet extravaganza "Meet the Feebles."

"Meet the Feebles" is a film that follows a chaotic day-in-the-life of the corrupt and perverted performers and crew of the "Feebles Variety Hour" as they prepare for their first nation-wide television network broadcast. If you can think of something perverted, violent, or vile, these characters are up to it, and they do it on screen.

It doesn't matter they're puppets, or actors in costumes in the case of the characters... that might even make it worse. I'm not sure. The fact is that after the opening scene, the film immediately turns very dark and very ugly.

The extremely concentrated dose of depravity in this film--which is probably as close to the representation of Roman Polanski's sexual fantasies we'll ever get to see on film, with all the drugging and raping and filming of pornography going on--and the puppets and the characters they represent so ugly that this film actually gave me nightmares after I watched it. This is the only time it has ever happened to me, despite decades of watching horrible movies. Perhaps because the film has a nightmarish quality to it as it's unfolding, it seemed into my subconscious and followed me into sleep.

Whatever the reason, this is a horrible film. However, it sets out to be a horrible film, so Jackson succeeded in doing exactly what he set out to do. That explains my high rating for the film, but it is also the reason why I can't recommend that any one watch it.

"Meet the Feebles" is a funny spoof on the classic "The Muppet Show" and the face the entertainment industry likes to present via movies about itself, but it is simply too ugly a movie to be enjoyed by anyone.

Except maybe Roman Polanski. He'll probably find himself loving every aspect of Trevor the Rat, a pornographer who likes to drug and rape aspiring actresses.


  1. I think, like Sam Raimi did with Drag Me To hell, Peter Jackson really needs to go back and do another movie like this because even though I really liked King Kong, he's really spreading himself kind of thin with the big budget tentpole films.

  2. So long as it's more like "Dead Alive" than this one, I agree with you. I don't want him to make another nightmare inducing puppet movie. :)