KIDS IN THE HALL: BRAIN CANDY (1996) – The Dungeon Review!
KIDS IN THE HALL: BRAIN CANDY…
Dave Foley plays four characters in Brain Candy; Marv, Psychiatrist, New guy and Raymond Hurdicure. The top picture is Foley as Marv; assistant to Don Roritor president of Roritor Pharmaceuticals. Marv is a sly grinning, ass-kissing yes man.
“So where are we with that Marv?”
“With what Don?”
“Our restructuring plan.”
“You mean the thing you just mentioned just now?”
“Oh. We’re on top of that Don.”
The bottom picture is Foley as Raymond Hurdicure; the jackass son of Gleemonex’s first human test subject Patient 957; Mrs. Hurdicure.
Bruce McCulloch plays seven characters in Brain Candy; Alice, Cisco, Grivo, Worm pill scientist, Cop #2, Cancer boy and White-trash man. The top picture is McCulloch as Grivo; a rock star infamous for his bleak lyrics. After taking Gleemonex Grivo only wants to write bubbly pop songs; here he is accepting an MTV Video Award. The lower picture is McCulloch as Sisco; head of marketing at Roritor Pharmaceuticals. Sisco is rude, brash and bombastic. Sisco came up with the name Gleemonex after a bird hit the windshield of his $62,000 car and he had to cleanup its gleaming guts. Here he announces Gleemonex’s slogan “It feels like it’s 72 degrees in your head all the time.”
Kevin McDonald plays four characters in Brain Candy; Dr. Chris Cooper, Doreen, Chris’ dad and Lacey. The top picture is McDonald as Dr. Chris Cooper the creator of Gleemonex; a drug created for the chronically depressed. After threat of his department being shut down Dr. Cooper tells the Roritor board that the drug is ready despite knowing it needs more testing. In the lower picture McDonald plays Dr. Chris Cooper’s father in a hilarious flashback sequence.
Mark McKinney plays nine characters in Brain Candy; Simon, Don Roritor, Cabbie, Gunther, Cop #1, Nina Bedford, Melanie, Drill sergeant and White-trash woman. The top picture is McKinney as Don Roritor; President of Roritor Pharmaceuticals. The company is riding on the success of one product; Stummies and the company is losing money. The shareholders want Don to cut 60% of the testing and come up with a new drug post-haste. In the lower picture McKinney plays the cabbie that narrates our story. Really he just gives us a prologue and an epilogue but he shows up randomly throughout the story.
Scott Thompson plays eight characters in Brain Candy; Baxter, Mrs. Hurdicure, Wally Terzinsky, Malek, Big Stummies Scientist, The Queen, Raj and Clemptor. The top picture is Thompson as Wally Terzinsky. Husband and father Wally Terzinsky is in some serious denial about his homosexuality.
“Hi kids. Where’s your father?”
“He’s upstairs masturbating to gay porn.”
Wally’s frustrated psychiatrist prescribes Gleemonex.
The lower picture is Thompson as Mrs. Hurdicure; aka patient 957. Mrs. Hurdicure’s happiest moment was when her rude ass of a son and his rotten family came to visit at Christmas for five minutes.
“I feel like God is rubbing my tummy.”
The pill works!
KIDS IN THE HALL: BRAIN CANDY…
A Cabbie tells us a story about some people who found happiness. But it is not a happy story.
“Life is short. Life is shit. Soon it will be over.” A little song the cabbie’s mother sang to him as a child.
The story begins at Roritor Pharmaceuticals.
Scientists are busy at work in the Roritor Pharmaceutical labs.
Brendan Fraser has a cameo as a very unhappy test subject with bad acne.
Dr. Chris Cooper discovers a cure for depression. Dr. Cooper and fellow scientist Alice administer the first pill to Patient 957. The pill takes her back to her happiest moment and she feels renewed. The initial results are positive!
Don Roritor is told by the shareholders to cut 60% of the companies testing and come up with a new drug. Don has each of their scientist sit in front of himself and the board to discuss what they are working on. Dr. Cooper tells the Roritor board that he is working on a drug that will cure depression. He also tells them the drug is ready despite knowing it needs more testing. The drug they call Gleemonex is quickly approved.
Gleemonex is a huge success. Dr. Cooper is asked to be a guest on the Nina Bedford Show. The show opens with a Gleemonex testimonial from a homeless man who is now a security guard thanks to the drug.
Nina Bedford takes several inane and ridiculous questions from her studio audience before asking Dr. Cooper to get up and shake his hips for the audience.
A severely depressed German patient confides his dark thoughts to his psychiatrist who tells him he does not understand German. The world is full of people who need Gleemonex.
Grivo is a rock star, beloved by his fans for his bleak outlook on life. “Fuck Happy!” Grivo goes pop happy after taking Gleemonex and even wins an MTV Video Award.
MTV Video Award Presenters Clemptor and Dr. Chris Cooper announce Best Rap, Hip Hop or Folk act. Dr. Cooper is greeted like a rockstar by screaming fans as he vacates the award show. The future has never looked brighter for Dr. Chris Cooper and Roritor Pharmaceuticals.
Drill Sergeant in Wally Terzinsky’s happiest moment.
Dr. Cooper meets Cancer Boy who wants to thank him for Gleemonex. Not for himself as there is no hope for him, but for his parents who are both on it. His parents have a second son who was born with his heart on the outside of his body. Cancer Boy is nominated for an MTV Video Award for his song Whistle When You’re Low.
Don has applied to make Gleemonex non-prescription. 3 months later they are making Gleemonex for Pets. The fame and power have gone to Dr. Cooper’s head, but he is about to get a rude awakening.
Alice goes to Chris to show him the first test subject; a mouse named Signund who appears to be in a coma. It appears that Signund has become locked in his happiest moment. Will people follow suit? Dr. Cooper goes to the home of patient 957 to find out.
There are cats all over the place, including the ceiling! Where is patient 957?
Dr. Chris Cooper stands in front of a giant billboard of himself and contemplates the monster he has created.
Don Roritor getting his nuts squeezed.
The Cabbie concludes his story; “I don’t like the world now. I mean before I always knew I was a son of a bitch and now I am the only son of a bitch I know.”
KIDS IN THE HALL: BRAIN CANDY…
A LOVE LETTER…
The Kids in the Hall formed as a sketch comedy act in 1984. While Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald were performing their comedy in Toronto under The Kids in the Hall moniker Bruce McCulloch and Mark McKinney were performing with Theatresports in Calgary. The pairs met and became a quartet. Scott Thompson joined a short time later and The Kids were born. The group got the attention of Lorne Michaels and in 1988 made their television debut on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). I was lucky enough to see The Kids in the Hall perform live at a club in Toronto in the late 80s. I want to say; at The Rivoli? My boyfriend at the time was taking Media Arts at Sheridan College and a teacher with connections invited several students to the show. To be honest, I wasn’t terribly excited; I had never heard of The Kids in the Hall at the time. It goes without saying that I came to have a massive appreciation for the group. Comedy really only needs a single element to work; it has to make me laugh. The Kids in the Hall made me laugh until my gut hurt! It was a sad day in 1995 when the show aired for the last time. The final show had The Kids being buried alive; their headstone read The Kids in the Hall TV Show 1989–1995 and reoccuring character Bellini (Paul Bellini was also a writer for the show) danced on their grave. I was beside myself with excitement when I read that The Kids in the Hall were going to do a movie. If Saturday Night Live is any indication Sketch comedy failed as a feature length film more times than not. Could The Kids pull it off? You bet your ass they could; and they did! The Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy so beautifully embraces the troupe’s sketch comedy. The quintet play all the story’s characters both female and male with only a few exceptions. The Big-Pharma plot utilizes The Kids sense of humour extremely well. The laughs are enhanced by some very fun and kitchy costumes and sets. It would have been so easy to fill Brain Candy with the shows popular characters; Chicken Lady, Buddy Cole, Mr. Tyzik (Headcrusher) or Cabbage Head. Personally I love that they created original characters. The vibe of the show is preserved but what is created is a unique entity unto itself. Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy makes me laugh from beginning to end and gets my highest of recommendations; a perfect score.
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet’s Having an Average Weekend became The Kids in the Hall theme song…
Dungeon Rating: 5/5
Directed By: Kelly Makin
Starring: Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, Scott Thompson, Jackie Harris, Kathryn Greenwood, Nicole de Boer, Krista Bridges, Christopher Redman, Erica Fairfield