Meet the Feebles

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German title Meet the Feebles
Original title Meet the Feebles
Country of production New Zealand
original language English
Publishing year 1989
length 93 minutes
Age rating FSK 18
Director Peter Jackson
script Peter Jackson
Danny Mulheron
Stephen Sinclair
Fran Walsh
production Peter Jackson
Jim Booth
music Peter Dasent
camera Murray Milne
cut Jamie Selkirk

Original speaker:

Meet the Feebles is a black comedy film directed by Peter Jackson . The film, in which almost exclusively puppets act, is a crude parody of Jim Henson's Muppet Show . In contrast to this one, however, the Feebles show is about sex , drugs and violence behind the scenes .


The variety show with the title Meet the Feebles (German meet the weak ) is on the decline, or more precisely, its actors who have been doing the job for far too long and have long since lost their motivation. The hedgehog Robert joins them, completely unaffected by the tough show business, and has to discover that his enthusiasm and his dreamlike ideas contrast with the careless reality of the other actors with their long-cultivated cynicism. Little by little he gets to know them, their omnipresent weaknesses and their sometimes unsavory life stories. However, this does not destroy his idealism; he immediately falls in love with the poodle lady Lucille. Gradually he gets into the storylines that take place behind the stage and the audience experiences a panopticon of social abysses with him. The actors, all animals, represent deeply human flaws and, like in real life, are haunted by the rainbow press in the form of a blowfly that has nothing else in mind than to forge an edition out of the decline of the characters. Little by little, the individual problems of those involved interweave and result in increasingly catastrophic events, which ultimately culminate in a rampage by the hippopotamus Heidi during the show, from which only a few escape.


The film contains some allusions to other works. For example, the scene with Russian roulette refers to The Going Through Hell . The flashback to the jungle of Vietnam, in which the scene occurs, was re-shot after the main shoot because the money ran out during production. The machine gun with cartridge chain of the figure Heidi is a motivic quote from the war film Rambo II - The Order from 1985.

The characters for the actors created Weta Workshop , which later also built the models for Jackson's The Lord of the Rings .

Meet the Feebles is the only film by Peter Jackson in which he himself does not have a cameo , as almost all of the actors are puppets. At the end of the film, however, one of the aliens from Jackson's debut film Bad Taste can be seen.

After Jackson had explored the new technical possibilities of computer-aided reconstruction of film material with They Shall Not Grow Old , for which he colored, sharpened and converted into 3D historical recordings from the First World War, the director announced in autumn 2018 that Meet the Feebles in Want to republish 4K resolution .


  • Heidi ( hippopotamus ) is the main character of the film and the female star of the show. She becomes depressed when she finds out that Bletch has cheated on her and goes amok at the end of the movie. She is one of the characters who are still alive in the end.
  • Bletch ( walrus ) is the boss of the Feeble variety show , who also runs a porn production company. He is Heidi's partner, but cheats on him. Bletch is the main antagonist in the film. Heidi ends her rampage by killing him.
  • Robert ( hedgehog ) is new to show business. He falls in love with Lucille, but is initially too shy to speak to her. However, the two later become a couple. He is one of the few who survived Heidi's rampage unharmed.
  • Lucille ( poodle ) is a singer on the show. She falls in love with Robert and the two become a couple. Lucille was spared in Heidi's killing spree.
  • Trevor ( Rat ) is the porn director of Bletch's porn production company and his "right hand man". He is the film's secondary antagonist. He's also a dealer . He is killed during Heidi's rampage.
  • Fly-in-the-sky ( fly ) is a nasty paparazzo who will stop at nothing in order to get a good story. He's constantly harassing Harry to find out what ailment he has. Fly-in-the-Sky is killed by Bletch and Trevor after posting a negative article about the show. He is the third major character in the film to die.
  • Harry ( Bunny ) is the male star of the show, who suffers from a supposedly fatal sexually transmitted disease due to his strong sex drive . However, it turns out that he is not terminally ill. When Harry is happy about not being terminally ill, Heidi starts her rampage and kills him.
  • Arthur ( Wurm ) is the kind-hearted caretaker of the Feebles show and, besides Lucille, the only person who cares about Robert after the new arrival. He's still alive at the end of the film.
  • Wynyard ( frog ) is the show's knife thrower and a heroin addict. He is also a Vietnam - Veteran who has a war trauma. Because of this trauma, he throws a knife in the air, which impales and kills him. He is the second major character in the film to die.
  • Sebastian ( Fuchs ) is the gay stage director of the show, who would like to be on stage as a singer, but Bletch forbids him. When Heidi runs amok, you don't find out what will become of him.
  • Sid ( elephant ) is the show's animal trainer who had an affair with Sandy. He tries to deny that Sandy's child is his, but realizes at the end of the film when Sandy is already dead.
  • Dennis ( anteater ) is new to the porn business. He has an underwear fetish. When asked to test drugs for Bletch and Trevor, he does so with pleasure, but dies after pulling them through his nose. He is the fourth major character to die during the film.
  • Barry ( Bulldog ) is Bletch's bodyguard. While killing a couple of cocaine dealers with Bletch and Trevor, he dies. Barry is the first major character in the film to die.
  • Sandy ( chicken ) tries to convince Sid that her illegitimate child by him. She is shot by Heidi during her killing spree.
  • Seymour (mix of elephant and chicken) is the illegitimate child of Sid and Sandy. He survived Heidi's rampage at the end of the film.

DVD release

The film was released on DVD by Laser Paradise with an English and a German soundtrack (Version DD 2.0) in 2011 with FSK18 approval .


The film achieved a rating of 75 percent on the Rotten Tomatoes film website .

“In individual moments, the puppet film is virtuosic in terms of trick technology, but tiring in the long run. As a" Muppet Show for Adults ", it starts a general attack on good taste. Extremely macabre humor and violent scenes alternate with melodramatic elements, whereby the moral dimension of the apparently amoral game gradually becomes apparent. "


  • 1990: New Zealand Film Award in the Best Contribution To Design category

At the Fantafestival 1991 the film won prizes in the following categories: Best Actress , Best Direction and Best Special Effects . Furthermore, the film was nominated for best film at Fantasporto 1991.


  • –MAERZ– (Axel Estein): "Mickey Mouse quartered in New Zealand! - The Peter Jackson interview." In: Splatting Immage, # 3, May 1990

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for Meet the Feebles . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , October 2010 (PDF; test number: 65 206 V).
  2. Long confiscated: The best splatter film of all time will probably finally come out uncut. In: Focus Online, October 23, 2018.
  4. Meet the Feebles. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed May 22, 2018 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 

Web links