OPENS JUNE 2

“No puppets were killed or maimed during the production of this film,” advises this 1989 feature, but given the opportunity, any self-respecting puppet would surely attempt to maim or kill director/co-writer Peter Jackson and his cohorts. Jackson, who went on to make Heavenly Creatures, here endows his Muppetlike characters with the sort of human capacities and interests that seriously undermine their cuddliness. The players in this all-puppet show-biz farce excrete, secrete, fornicate, and shoot up, not to mention murder, attempt suicide, make porno films, contract sexually transmitted diseases, and sing hymns to sodomy. The cast includes a philandering walrus, a binge-eating hippo, and a muckraking coprophagous fly, while a knife-throwing frog explains his drug addiction with a flashback that turns into a parody of The Deer Hunter. The latter, at least, is always good for a laugh, but the Feebles concept wears thin in well under the film’s 90 minutes; someone should have told Jackson that watching a puppet vomit doesn’t get funnier the second (or third) time. At the Biograph, 2819 M St. NW. (202) 333-2696. (Mark Jenkins)

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