Features Live Action Movies

Meet the Feebles

Director – Peter Jackson – 1989 – New Zealand – Cert. 18 – 97m


Offbeat special effects puppet movie proves a let-down despite inventive filmmaking – review originally published in What’s On in London, March 1992.

Walrus producer Bletch (voice: Peter Vere Jones) wants to take his crummy stage show Meet the Feebles onto syndicated television. Unfortunately, he’s switched amorous attentions from leading lady Heidi the Hippo (Danny Mulheron; voice: Mark Hadlow) to Samantha the Siamese Cat (voice: Donna Akersten) – only Heidi hasn’t got the message yet.

Robert the Hedgehog (voice: Mark Hadlow) arrives from method acting school eager to sample this glamorous backstage world; through rose-tinted vision, he falls in love with chorus girl Lucille the dog (voice: Mark Wright). Bletch’s P.A. Trevor the Rat (voice: Brian Sergent) shoots porno movies in the basement and has other plans for her. [His leading lady Daisy the Cow (voice: Stuart Devenie) is on her last udders.]

By now, you’re probably starting to get the idea. The effect is not dissimilar to watching The Muppets reconceived in terms of excessive sex and violence.

The brains (if that’s the right word) behind this dubious enterprise is New Zealand’s amazingly talented Peter Jackson, whose Bad Taste deservedly achieved cult status.… Read the rest

Animation Features Movies

The Lost Explorer
And The Curse Of The Mummy
(US: Tad
The Lost Explorer And The
Emerald Tablet;
Tadeo Jones 3.
La Tabla Esmeralda;
Tadeo Jones 3.
La Taula Maragda)

Director – Enrique Gato – 2022 – Spain – Cert. U – 90m


In Mexico, desperate for recognition as a bona fide archaeologist, our hero unearths an Egyptian sarcophagus and unleashes a mysterious power from an Inca temple – out in UK cinemas on Friday, September 9th

Gato’s third instalment of the Tad The Lost Explorer franchise is a lot better than it sounds, chiefly because it delivers narrative coherence and picks up and runs with numerous opportunities afforded by character and script where the similarly inventive Minions: The Rise Of Gru (Kyle Balda, Brad Ableson, Jonathan del Val, 2022) failed.

Having agreed with girlfriend Sara not to go public about his previous archaeological discoveries, Tad has with her help got on to the Chicago Museum’s dig in Mexico – as a lowly assistant, even though he seems more clued-up than the three qualified archaeologists in charge. Rashly opening a secret door by pushing a part of a wall frieze, he finds himself in a vast chamber containing an Egyptian sarcophagus, his report of which is pooh-poohed by his three superiors until, after firing him, they discover it for themselves and take the credit.

This rivalry between the ‘amateur’ Tad and qualified but comparatively clueless ‘professionals’ is kept up throughout the narrative, although the professionals remain secondary characters.… Read the rest