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Masterpiece Cinema - Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy

 article about Kids in the hall quotes
Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy

Starring Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, David Foley, Scott Thompson, Mark McKinney.


Written by Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, David Foley, Scott
Thompson, Mark McKinney & Norm Hiscock (is that name for real?).

Directed by Kelly Makin.
Genre: Comedy
Released: 1996
Running time: 89 mins.
Rated: R (US rating)
IMDb link: http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0116768/

If
you've never seen the Canadian sketch comedy show The Kids in the Hall,
then you've really missed out on something. Thankfully, the series is
being released season by season on DVD (though, as far as I know, only
in the States for the moment) so you can see it for yourself and get an
understanding why the Kids was such a massive cult hit.

The
Kids in the Hall ran from 1989 to 1994, garnering critical acclaim and
a loyal following of fans. With the end of their series, they were
offered a movie deal, and the result is this: Brain Candy.

A
lot of negative things have been said about Brain Candy, and a lot of
it is fairly justified. No, its not the Kids strongest work. They
themselves have admitted to that in fact, theres a fantastic two-part
interview with the group in The Onions AV Club
(www.theonionavclub.com), where amongst other things they discuss the
reasons why Brain Candy was unsuccessful, both critically and
box-office-wise.

But just because Brain Candy isnt
their greatest effort doesnt mean the baby should be thrown out with
the bathwater. Yes, the story is somewhat clunky, and the majority of
the jokes arent as sharp as they should be, but theres such incisive
wit on show here that it would be a terrible waste to just outright
dismiss it.

Brain Candy tells the story of a
pharmaceutical company, and one scientist in particular, who develops
the worlds most powerful anti-depressant, only to come to the slow
realization that it has very sinister side-effects. But watching this
movie for its plot is like watching a porno for its storyline and
involving characters. Really, youre there for the action. In this case,
its the laughs that are to be had, and not theuhother stuffthat you get
from porn.anduhheh(Im just going to leave this comparison right here
and hope that, in time, youll forget I used it).

In my mind,
Brain Candy is a great deal like movies such as Zoolander and Death to
Smoochy--the first time you watch it through, you titter, you chuckle,
but you dont outright laugh. But then, slowly, the jokes take hold in
your mind. You start to reference them with the friends you watched the
movie with; it becomes a part of your pop culture lexicon. And all of a
sudden youre watching these movies and laughing hysterically, because
now you get it.

I hope you Americans enjoy your Kids in the
Hall DVDs. In the meantime, the rest of the world and I will be
watching Brain Candy, quietly chuckling to ourselves, trying our best
to whet our appetites for absurdist humour and social satire.

Next week: They have these new cookies at the cookie stand. You have to try them. Theyre awesome!


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