Meet the Feebles (1989)

This second feature by Peter Jackson is unlike anything else. A sort of “Muppets” on drugs, it’s ostensibly about the sleaziness of show business and how it indiscriminately exploits anything and everyone, and it’s so visually distinct that it grabs the viewer’s attention. In some ways it serves a precursor to 2018’s “The Happytime Murders,” and it’s incredible to consider that this one is twenty years older, and so much more vulgar, entertaining and effective. Jackson’s use of puppets and mobile costumes is a terrific visual device, and his demented sense of humor – not to mention his knack for atmosphere and narrative flow – manages to sustain the audience even after the shock of the movie’s go-for-broke sensibilities settles in. The climax is shocking in its audacity and poignancy, and there’s something here to offend just about anybody, which gives the movie an electrifying “anything-can-happen-anytime” vibe.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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