FEATURING: Voices of Mark Hadlow, Donna Akersten, Peter Vere-Jones, Stuart Devenie, Bryan Sergent
PLOT: A group of puppets, “the Feebles,” prepare for their first live TV broadcast. Unfortunately fragile egos, double-dealings, accidental killings, pornographic sidelines, rohypnol-aided assault, and drug and sex addictions plague their rehearsals. This ain’t no kid’s film.
- Jackson’s second film after 1987’s surprise low-budget hit Bad Taste, Meet the Feebles was originally conceived as a TV series until Japanese investors convinced Jackson to transform it into a feature. It was then hastily re-written and shot in twelve weeks.
- The dialogue was recorded before filming began.
- The film went over budget and over-schedule, forcing Jackson and crew to submit what they had so far to satisfy the New Zealand Film Commission, and then film a remaining scene (the Vietnam flashback) by breaking into the Studio at night. This sequence was then submitted as a separate film to the NZFC entitled “The Frogs of War.”
- Won Best Contribution to Design for Cameron Chittock, for the puppets at the 1990 New Zealand Film Awards.
- Bryan Pike’s Staff Pick for the Certified Weird list.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: The big finale where Heidi massacres fellow cast members with a machine gun.
THREE WEIRD THINGS: Chicken/elephant baby; heroin-injecting flashback frog; “Sodomy” massacre
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: There are no human beings in front of the camera whatsoever (with the exception of Abi, a human-esque contortionist puppet), only a lusty rabble of puppet misfits all clamoring for television stardom. Somewhere between “Avenue Q” and “The Muppets” lies this unseemly purgatory of puppet scheming, murder and mayhem.