"Cow and Anteater porn? I think I've seen that website."
I remember a series of anti-smoking ads from a while ago; the whole setup was a group of animals shown with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths. The gist of the whole thing was, if you think this looks dumb, you should see yourself... This is the thought that came to me over and over again while I was watching this movie. I found myself taken aback not so much by what was going on, but how easily real-life
examples of what was going on came to me.Having puppets behaving like debauched prima donnas while they fuck with each otherís lives takes a familiar idea and gives it vulgar new life. The idea that shitty things happen to people in the entertainment business isnít a new one. And yet to see it blow up and take on such silly proportions really slaps you in the face with humanityís capacity to find new and creative ways to make itself miserable.
The action takes place over the course of twelve hours in the lives of a group of Z-grade vaudevillians getting ready for the first live broadcast of the Feebles Variety Hour. For the first four and a half to five minutes everything seems fairly normal, then some part of your mind realizes that the bulldog and the elephant on either side of the sing-along are wearing bondage gear. Fasten your seatbelts...it only gets weirder from here.
We see through the eyes of Robert, a quiet, mild-mannered hedgehog who has made the journey to the stage door in order to be a part of the Feeblesí magic. Once he crosses over the threshold and becomes a Feeble, the fun really begins. Almost immediately, a sleazy tabloid reporter sets upon him, quite literally a fly on the wall, and offers him kickbacks for any dirt he can dig up on the cast. Not that the flyís work is overly taxing; you could swing a stick and hit someone in the troupe who is doing something either immoral, illegal, or somehow personally demeaning. I do mean everybody, the junkie knife thrower Viet Nam vet lizard, the man-slut disease ridden emcee rabbit, and the rat, who when heís not verbally abusing the Hippo whoís the star of the show, is busy shooting S&M porno in the basement starring ...wait for it... a cow and an anteater. Did I mention this movie is unrated? Were talking about enough puppet viscera to make one think that Jim Henson had at some point wigged out on windowpane acid and William S. Burroughs novels.
Blessedly enough, all of this surrounds two parallel and fairly old fashioned love stories. Love is found for Robert with a poodle in the chorus. (A note to Peter Jackson: Thank you so much For NOT subjecting us to puppet rape. For a minute there I thought I was going to have to put my eyes out with a shrimp fork.) And love lost between Heidi the Hippo and her walrus beau Blech, who is the Feebles producer. Itís Heidiís mental deterioration that leads up to the grand guginol climax when she takes revenge on the world she and Blech created.
Like all good morality plays, the good triumph and the evil are justly served in the end.If you can get passed all of the squirting and oozing, Meet the Feebles is really quite a sweet story. Itís also one of the most savagely funny pieces of satire Iíve seen in a good long time.