KITHfan.org: A Whole Lotta Kids in the Hall

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"Brain Dead"

This review is property of its writer and publication and is reprinted here without permission.

Calgary Sun
By Louis B. Hobson

For 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 happy.

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 for jokes.

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 than others.

The best are hilarious and caustic. The worst are embarrassing and irksome. The combination cannot sustain 90 minutes.

There are too many groans separating the howls.

Before the film grinds to a halt, the audience may be wishing the price of admission included a sample of the film's happy drug.

Sun Rating ** (out of five)

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