After a bit of a break yesterday, I am back. And today, I bring you the big screen debut (and as yet only outing) from one of my favourite comedy troupes. Canada’s number one comedy troupe, at that – Kids In The Hall. Today’s film is Brain Candy.
Released in 1996, two years after their self titled TV show ended, Brain Candy is a “twisted take” on the mid 90’s increase in society’s propensity to rely on drugs to stabilise their moods. Here, though, it’s taken to the absurd extreme that you would come to expect from the KITH team; whereby a pill is designed that locks the taker into their happiest memory. Along the way, Dr Chris Carter (Kevin McDonald), the creator of the drug, gets pulled headfirst into the crazy world of celebrity worship as the drug becomes the hottest thing in town. But not everything goes according to plan, because there are side effects. It’s up to Dr Carter to first win back the trust of the development team that he abandoned, and to try to bring down the company that unleashed the drug on the public. Can he do it? You’ll see.
Now, if you are a fan of the show, and go in expecting all their most popular characters to show up, you will be disappointed, as the only show holdovers are barely C list characters (with the cops and Cancer boy being the biggest of names) and barely in the film as it is. However, you do get a good deal of signature KITH style humour, so it’s not all lost. The lads introduce a bunch of new characters with some pretty memorable folk being revealed to us, particularly chemical company boss Don Roritor (Mark McKinney doing Lorne Michaels better than Mike Meyers did for Dr Evil), and Bruce McCullough taking the piss out of Glenn Danzig with emo rocker Greevo. And yes, because this is Kids In The Hall, each guy busts out multiple roles and even (with the exception of Dave Foley who was only in the film due to contractual obligation, being on the outs with the rest of the team at the time) frocking up multiple times.
Now, the honesty – Brain Candy is not the best thing they have ever done, but it does have some pretty decent laughs. Is this a film that will top your favourites list for years to come, probably not – but it is an overall likeable, moreso if you are a fan of the KITH, way to spend a couple of hours.