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Dallas Morning News
By Beth Pinsker
in the Hall: Brain Candy, the Canadian comedy troupes feature
film debut, should come with the warning "For Fans Only" instead
of a subtitle. then again, the allusion to fluffy, mindless entertainment
is an apt description of this collage of sketches that will become
an instant cult classic among the groups devotees. It wont, however,
do much for the uninitiated.
sad thing about instant cult classics is that they attain that
status through no merit of their own. The Kids are great comedians,
who have aslew of fans from their recently ended HBO and CBS series.
But those followers will be better off watching marathon repeats
on Comedy Central than enduring the troupes poor attempt to broaden
its appeal with diluted and stretched material.
Brain Candy combines all the successful elements of their half-hour
outings, the Kids seem hamstrung by having to stick to one story
for a film-- even at a running time of only 90 minutes. Bits such
as Cancer Boy, the hard-rock stylings of suicidal Grivo and Wallys
coming out song and dance through suburbia are satisfyingly dark,
but they make the rest of the film appear jumbled in comparison.
Like the members of Monty Python, the Kids play most of the major
characters in their skits and often cross-ress. At times, the
costuming and makeup are so sophisticated that its hard to recognize
the actors from scene to scene. That at least makes this aspect
of the film a fun game of hide-and-seek.
standout Kids is Mark McKinney: He stars as Don Roritor, a demonic
pharmaceutical-company czar who wants a new drug to sell. Mr.
McKinneys nasal whine makes his character immediately annoying--
as hes supposed to be. And the actor changes his inflections expertly
as he portrays scientist Simon, a disgruntled cabbie narrator,
a talk-show host, and a few pations.
angst over sales falls on research scientist Chris Cooper, whose
nerdy enthusiasm is overdone by Kevin McDonald. Dr. Cooper is
working on Gleemonex, a drug that will relieve people of terminal
depression by locking in on their happiest memory.
Playing the evil marketing genius Cisco, Bruce McCulloch has the
only other interesting part. He spearheads the films most biting
satirical scenes about selling untested products to a mass of
gullible citizens. Scott Thompson puts in a lot of work as supporting
characters such as the research groups first patient, scientist
Baxter, the queen of England, and the closeted homosexual Wally.
David Foley, who has become the most famous of the troupe since
starring in NBCs NewsRadio, plays the bosss minion and a wacky
is in on much of the fun. Maybe that will spare them some embarrassment.
stars (our of a possible 4)
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