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New York Times
By Janet Maslin
"Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy," the drag-and-drug comedy from
the television-skit troupe Kids in the Hall, offers America yet
another chance to continue its platonic love affair with men in
group's specialty is, quite literally, wiggy humor, since each
of the five Kids plays multiple roles and four of them cross-dress
with goofy abandon.
As with most transvestism aimed at mainstream audiences, the effect
is safely ludicrous and studiously avoids intimations of real
sex. But one straight-arrow married character does get arrested
in a men's room and later stars in a musical production number
informing his entire suburban neighborhood that he's gay.
same actor, the impressively versatile Scott Thompson, also plays
a matronly old lady, a fashion model called Clemptor and the Queen
of England in other scenes.
Kids in the Hall's first feature isn't anything more than a sloppy
showcase for the group's costume-changing tricks, but sometimes
its sheer chutzpah can be amusing.
as often, flashes of complete plot incoherence or atrocious taste
spoil the effect. The film's worst idea is a character called
Cancer Boy, bald and confined to a wheelchair, smiling even when
a handshake hurts his hand. "That's OK," he says bravely. "My
marrow's just low."
by Kelly Makin with more ability than he brought to the nearly
unreleasable "National Lampoon's Senior Trip," "Brain Candy" is
about mood-altering pills.
drug company headed by Don Roritor (an unctuous autocrat played
with in-joke suavity by Mark McKinney, who's as much of a standout
as Mr. Thompson) wants to mass-market the happiness-inducing pill
created by Dr. Chris Cooper (Kevin McDonald).
reads a trade paper called Drug Variety ("We beat penicillin!"
he exclaims) and says he wants to sell the happiness pills to
improve conditions for ghetto children. "Apparently their lives
are horrible," he says, wearing a kimono and sashaying past his
indoor swimming pool.
Candy" haphazardly piles as many skits as possible onto the idea
of the new drug. Cooper is the guest on a talk show where the
guests ask stupid questions and the hostess (also Mr. McKinney)
soon has him wiggling and lip-synching to Tom Jones. A rock star
(Bruce McCulloch) shakes off his depression and makes a ridiculously
cheerful record. A corporate yes-man (David Foley) helps implement
Roritor's schemes. And almost everybody in the film gets high
sampling Cooper's invention.
that the pill has awful side-effects supposedly gives the film
an anti-drug spin. It's best to believe in the Tooth Fairy before
trying to swallow that idea.
IN THE HALL: BRAIN CANDY
David Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and
by Kelly Makin; written by Norm Hiscock, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin
McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson; director of photography,
David A. Makin; edited by Christopher Cooper; music by Craig Northey;
production designer, Gregory P. Keen; produced by Lorne Michaels;
released by Paramount Pictures.
time: 90 minutes.
"Kids in the Hall" is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying
parent or adult guardian). It includes profanity, sexual references,
partial nudity and pills all over the place.
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