A decade before Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson made a nasty-ass puppet movie. Meet the Feebles. Gaining fame for his disgusting "splatstick" film, Bad Taste, the director began to raise financing for a project which would turn a familiar genre on its head. Thanks to a group iof Japanese investors, Jackson was able to release Feebles in 1989.
Feebles follows a theatre troupe as they prepare for a live television broadcast. The audience gets a behind-the-scenes look at the production and all the vile, perverted, illegal, and disgusting activities that ensue. You just haven't lived until you watch a fly eating shit--with a spoon--on the big screen.
This is the type of movies that gets passed around between junior high/high school kids, bootleg tape-style. That's how I first saw it. The "noise composer" who made short films on the weekend with the Bowie haircut/leather jacket combo at my school (every school has one) slipped me a tape of Feebles and Videodrome. Locked the bedroom door, popped it in the VHS player, kept the volume down low and watched the most stomach-wrenching flicks I'd ever seen. Then I passed the tape on to my friend Brad.
After that day, I was always talking about Meet the Feebles. Occasionally, I would run into someone who had seen it and we would reminisce over the "nasal sex" scene, the chickephant baby, and the Deer Hunter homage.
I was lucky enough to catch this on the big screen last weekend. Jesse Hawthorne, the host of Midnites for Maniacs, put together an unbelievable triple feature which just happened to take place on my birthday! The evening begun with a childhood favorite, Return to Oz, moved into Beetlejuice, and at midnight, closed with Meet the Feebles.
The Castro Theatre was packed when we showed up. By the time midnight rolled around most of the audience was still there. Ninety minutes of groans, gasps, and Oh My God's. Jackson's nasty-ass puppet movie still completely holds up. It's belly-laugh funny and gross-out disgusting right where it's supposed to be. Netflix has this one on "SAVE" so call up your local video stores and track down a copy. Or call up the lead singer from Snatch Sandwich (or whatever your town's band was called) and see if he still has that tape lying around next to his GWAR singles, syringe needle choker, and leftover copies of his zine.