Weeklies

Movie: "Brain Candy"
Year: 1996
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Comedy
Directed by: Kelly Makin
Writing credits: The Kids In The Hall

Reviewer: Max Burbank (Forum Profile)
Posted: 2/4/2008

Plot: Scientist Chris Cooper invents ‘Gleeminex’ an incredibly powerful anti-depressant. Ailing Roritor Pharmaceuticals rushes the new drug onto market, saving the business and rocketing Cooper to media stardom. When consumers begin falling into comas as a side effect, Cooper wants to go to the media but Roritor has other ideas and a marketing department to implement them.

Review: Sketch comedy and movies are very different animals. Characters that work amazingly well for five minutes can become irritating at six and a premise strong enough to hold your attention between commercials can rarely be stretched to feature length. How many oily bags of crap shaped like movies based on SNL characters have to land in theaters to get one “Blues Brothers”? Even SCTV tried and failed with the Bruce and Doug McKenzie movie “Strange Brew”. Only Monty Python made the leap from exceptional television to classic films.

That being said, I think Kids In The Hall came damn close. “Brain Candy” is nowhere near as good as their most inspired sketches, but I think it’s a fine movie, and more than that, a brave piece of work. They brought to the movie just what they’d brought to TV, strong writing. They didn’t cave to any of what must have been monumental temptations in making a sketch to film journey. Brain Candy isn’t cluttered with classic characters making cameos for recognition laughs. The story isn’t a skeleton on which to hang set pieces. The multiple roles played by each actor are mostly new, developed to drive the story forward.

Some of the new characters are remarkable. Mark McKinney based Don Roritor on Lorne Michaels and it’s a fairly devastating critique. Scott Thompson’s Mrs. Hurdicure goes beyond comedy. When Gleeminex unlocks her happiest memory and we see how small and tawdry it is, but how she treasures it as the best her life has had to offer it’s funny as hell, but we’re also seeing a drag queen and a few casual family cruelties sketch the fragility of the human condition in a few quick lines with a skill Arthur Miller would have admired. It’s brutal and funny and beautiful all in the same few seconds.

Two endings were made for this film and supposedly the one the studio went with is the more upbeat of the two. Kind of makes you wonder just how much darker this black comedy could have been.

This film came out shortly after their five year run on television ended. If you’re one of many fans who saw it and came away feeling disappointed that it wasn’t as good as the show, I urge you to watch it again. I think it stands on it’s own as a movie very well.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

The Goddamned Batman
Feb 4th, 2008, 07:13 AM
It's been a long time since I've seen this, but all I can remember is "Mr. Novembah!" and that makes me laugh.
なにをみてんだよ
Feb 4th, 2008, 10:15 AM
Ouch, my fucking finger.
OH GOD
Feb 4th, 2008, 12:06 PM
there were only a few flipper babies ;_;
Forum Virgin
Feb 4th, 2008, 03:03 PM
They need to release a better DVD of this movie. Until them I'm settling for my VHS.
Forum Virgin
Feb 4th, 2008, 03:10 PM
It was Bob and Doug McKenzie, and Strange Brew is a classic.
pickled
Feb 4th, 2008, 04:36 PM
The Kids in the Hall are the only Canadians that I can take pride in loving.
James Brown in hiding
Feb 4th, 2008, 05:28 PM
Yes the brilliance of Kids in the Hall. Better than you yanks deserve.
Fake Shemp
Feb 4th, 2008, 07:59 PM
Didja see? Didja see? The doctor and me - didja see?

Dad's upstairs masturbating to gay porn again...

funnyass movie :P
An Arizona Horror Company
Feb 4th, 2008, 09:33 PM
Good stuff-- thanks for reminding me of this movie!
The Magnificent Bastard
Feb 5th, 2008, 02:53 AM
I love the Kids In The Hall, but I haven't seen this movie yet.

I'll have to check it out.

Another great sketch-comedy to movie transition is Run Ronnie Run by Mr. Show's David Cross and Bob Odinkirk.
Clap if you love Dynamo
Feb 5th, 2008, 08:07 AM
I actually liked Strange Brew.
The Moxie Nerve Food Tonic
Feb 5th, 2008, 09:39 AM
Yeah, you know, enough people have said that to me that I should probably go rent it and give it another shot, since it's been a whole lotta years since it came out. I remember loving the first few minutes that was supposed to be a movie Bob and Doug had made themselves and then being really disappointed in the fairly typical film that followed.
is hopped up on goofballs
Feb 5th, 2008, 11:21 AM
Yeah Strange Brew isn't a bad flick, but then again I have horrible taste in Canadian comedy, I love most of it
From the Home of MST3K
Feb 5th, 2008, 01:36 PM
I watched this movie one day when I wanted to kill myself, and obviously I didn't, so there is that.

All things considered, it was surprisingly relevant to my situation.
Forum Virgin
Feb 5th, 2008, 05:51 PM
I actually downloaded the directors cut awhile back. It's got the dark ending and a TON of Dave Foley stuff that got cut. I don't remember what the ending's like. i'll have to go back and watch it. This is a friggin great movie, though.
Forum Virgin
Feb 6th, 2008, 05:11 PM
can you send a link to where you downloaded the directors cut?
Forum Virgin
Feb 6th, 2008, 05:41 PM
Forum Virgin
Feb 7th, 2008, 05:59 PM
This movie's great. I'm a huge fan of the Kids, and they're my favorite troupe. The soundtrack is awesome, and the scenes with Scott as the gay father (especially when him and a bunch of other guys rush out of Dr. Cooper's lab) were my favs.)
"We thought bringing him home bare-ass naked was punishment enough...the handcuffs were your husbands idea"