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Animation Features Live Action Movies

Hundreds
of Beavers

Director – Mike Cheslik – 2022 – US – Cert. 12 – 108m

***1/2

A ruined drinks purveyor reduced to hunting beavers (played by actors in onesies) attempts to kill the amount required to buy a trader’s daughter’s hand in marriage – visually astonishing slapstick comedy is out in UK and Ireland cinemas on Tuesday, July 9th

Opening with what is essentially a music video extolling the bibulous virtues of the booming, farm home of Jean Kayak’s Acme Applejack, this shows a simplistic caricature of a prosperous nineteenth century business when the wooden supports of one of Kayak’s gigantic barrels of beverage is nibbled by a beaver causing it to roll down a hill on which it’s situated into his house at the bottom of the hill, causing it to burn down his hillside apple orchard.

Leaving aside such questions as, why store the huge barrel on top of a hill above your house? – the answer, so it can roll down a hill, catch fire and burn down your orchard to get the plot going, proving less than satisfactory – this leaves the ruined Jean Kayak (co-writer Ryland Brickson Cole Tews) homeless in midwinter and forced to survive by hunting animals.… Read the rest

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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