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By Louis B. Hobson
the uninitiated, the Kids in The Hall comedy troupe is Canada's
answer to Britain's Monty Python's Flying Circus.
Both on stage and TV, David Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald,
Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson's campy, subversive humor garnered
them a strong cult following.
Now, the Kids are attempting to parlay their outrageous antics
to the big screen through Brain Candy, a scatterbrained excuse
for a feature film.
A pharmaceutical firm is desperately searching for a wonder drug.
In one of the company's laboratories, a small team of scientists
has developed an antidepressant.
It's a marriage made in corporate heaven. History has shown Americans
will do and pay anything to be happy. It's not long before the
inhabitants of every street and suburb in America are stark raving
There's a shocking lesson to be learned. Happiness is not all
it's cracked up to be.
Nor is the Kids' brand of comedy. It's an acquired taste to be
certain. One has to willingly embrace the gay bent of much of
the humor and the often mindless, tasteless excesses which pass
The plot in Brain Candy exists simply to allow each of the actors
to play at least four characters.
This has always been the Kids stock and trade. Foley, McCulloch,
McDonald, McKinney and Thompson are skillful chameleons, and some
of their best work is on view in Brain Candy.
Foley's toadying executive, McCulloch's terminally neurotic rock
star, McDonald's shy nerdy scientist, McKinney's caustic cabby
and Thompson's gallery of grande dames are quintessential Kids.
The characterizations are fun as much for the parody which inspires
them as the flamboyance of the acting.
Like The Kids in the Hall TV series, Brain Candy is essentially
a series of comedy sketches. Invariably, some work much better
The best are hilarious and caustic. The worst are embarrassing
and irksome. The combination cannot sustain 90 minutes.
are too many groans separating the howls.
the film grinds to a halt, the audience may be wishing the price
of admission included a sample of the film's happy drug.
Rating ** (out of five)