Shove this up your mind.
Lorne Michaels sure was busy during the early 1990s. Aside of being in charge of the legendary (if not always funny) Saturday Night Live TV show, Michaels was also helming movie spin offs from the show (Wayne's World, The Coneheads) as well as producing five Canadian comics who had a cult sketch show hit on Canadian television. Their name: The Kids in the Hall. The group was comprised of five talented funny men, including David Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Scott Thompson, Kevin McDonald, and Mark McKinney. Each actor brought their own sense of skewered humor (and, most usually, a dress and bra) to their feature film debut Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy which is now available on DVD care of Paramount Home Entertainment.
Facts of the Case
Everyone has gone though a mild case of the blues once in their lives. But some folks on our planet suffer from sever cases of depression. This is where Dr. Chris Cooper (McDonald) comes in: he's been working on a drug to cure people with a manic case of the blahs. Cooper and his co-scientists (including McKinney, Thompson, and a female McCulloch) have come up with a new cure-all drug called Gleemonex, which when swallowed allows the patient to relive their happiest moment over and over and over…and over again. Hello happiness, goodbye sadness! Of course, the drug needs more testing to be proven safe, though this doesn't stand in the say of CEO Don Roritor (McKinney) and his sniveling assistant (Foley) from marketing the miracle drug and reaping enormous profits off of the public's addiction to Gleemonex. Things are going swell for Cooper and his new invention until the early test subject start slipping into comas of happiness from which there may never be a return…
I re-watched Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy only a few scant days after seeing Broken Lizard's Super Troopers. I was surprised at the differences between the two films that starred comedy troupes—while Super Troopers falls mostly flat, Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy is a riotous comedy that is miles above Broken Lizard's uninspired lunacy.
The plot in Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy is inconsequential; the fun comes from watching each actor meld into what seems to be about a hundred roles apiece. Men, women, children, homosexuals, doctors, drunkards, CEOs…no one is spared from the Kids' wicked sense of the absurd. The writing here (unlike Super Troopers) is sharp and perceptive. Not content to rely solely on sight gags and physical shtick, the Kids in the Hall seem to have a funny ear when it comes to humorous and often bizarre dialogue.
As for the Kids themselves, I've done a little breakdown of each actor with his strengths, weaknesses, and what makes them so funny:
• Dave Foley:
• Scott Thompson:
• Bruce McCulloch:
• Mark McKinney:
• Kevin McDonald:
This movie is goofy fun, plain and simple. I enjoyed small characters, like the father (Thompson) who's homosexual yet he's the only one who doesn't realize it, and McKinney's dorky lab technician. There's a great gag involving a parody of '50s musicals where everyone dances in the street to a tune not unlike something from South Pacific (except dirtier). It's cute, non-sequitur moments like these that make Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy a delightful little 8 on my laugh meter.
Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. While this isn't a most impressive disc, the image quality for the film looks above average. A few noticeable spots of edge enhancement pop up from time to time, though otherwise this is a clean looking transfer with sharp colors and dark black levels. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround as well as Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround in English. I was more than impressed with this little 5.1 soundtrack that could. There are some neat moments of surround sound used during a few sequences while all of the dialogue, effects, and music are crystal clear. Also included on this disc are English subtitles.
As for extra features…you don't get squat. And that's no laughing matter.
The movie is great fun, though Paramount's work on this disc is not—without even a single supplement, this is a hard buy at over twenty bucks. Recommended as a rental for the curious and a purchase for die-hard fans only.
Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy is insane…and free to go! Paramount is slapped with a fine for including nada extras on the disc.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Other Reviews You Might Enjoy
Scales of Justice
Review content copyright © 2002 Patrick Naugle; Site design and review layout copyright © 2015 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.