|Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy|
|Directed by||Kelly Makin|
|Written by|| Norm Hiscock |
|Produced by||Lorne Michaels|
|Cinematography||David A. Makin|
|Edited by||Christopher Cooper|
|Music by||Craig Northey|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy is a 1996 Canadian comedy film written by and starring the Canadian comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall. Directed by Kelly Makinand filmed in Toronto, it followed the five-season run of their television series The Kids in the Hall , which had been successful in both Canada and the United States.
The five-man team plays all of the major characters and many of the bit parts. The film was written by four of the five members of the troupe, along with Norm Hiscock; the troupe's fifth member, Dave Foley, had quit the troupe and was already working as a cast member on NewsRadio , but was contractually obligated to be in the film.Foley also plays fewer characters in the film than the other four members. Brendan Fraser and Janeane Garofalo have cameos in the film, Garofalo's being almost entirely absent from the final cut.
The film is about the introduction of a powerful antidepressant, GLeeMONEX. The drug is rushed into production to help the ailing Roritor Pharmaceuticals and becomes an overnight media sensation. Those involved in the early stages of GLeeMONEX – the scientists, marketing arm and several early users – are followed, right up through the troubling coma-like side effect of being stuck in their happiest memory.
Some characters from the television series appear briefly in Brain Candy. Among those who do are the "white trash couple," the cops, Cancer Boy (see below), talk show host Nina Bedford (introduced in the show as "Nina Spudkneeyak"), Raj & Lacey, Melanie, Bellini, and the bigoted cab driver (who narrates the film).
The movie received negative feedback due to the Cancer Boy character. Originally appearing in the final episode of the TV show, in a sketch that satirized the idea of being as offensive as possible, Cancer Boy is played by Bruce McCulloch dressed in a bald cap, with pale white makeup, using a wheelchair. He relays depressing information with a cheerful smile and releases a hit pop single entitled "Whistle When You're Low". Many found the character to be in exceedingly poor taste.Paramount Pictures had fought extensively with the troupe to cut the character from the film, to no avail. The group has expressed some regret over their hardline position years later, feeling the battle left Paramount bitter and reluctant to fully market the film.
On Rotten Tomatoes it has a score of 44% based on reviews from 39 critics.On Metacritic it has a score of 55% based on reviews from 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Siskel and Ebert were split, and they had a heated disagreement over Brain Candy on their weekly review show: Gene Siskel gave the movie three-and-a-half stars, calling the movie "audacious, clever, very funny" and predicted it would become a midnight cult film; Roger Ebert claimed that he did not laugh once during the screening and found it "awful, terrible, dreadful, stupid, idiotic, unfunny, labored, forced, painful, bad."Janet Maslin of The New York Times called it "[nothing] more than a sloppy showcase for the group's costume-changing tricks." Edward Guthmann at The San Francisco Chronicle , called Brain Candy "a splendid showcase for their diverse, frisky talents."
It was also nominated for Most Painfully Unfunny Comedy at the 1996 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards but lost to Bio-Dome .[ citation needed ]
The film suffered poor box office returns.The Kids themselves have expressed mixed feelings over the finished product, most notably on the behind-the-scenes DVD of their 2000 tour, Same Guys, New Dresses. The troupe took a four-year hiatus after Brain Candy's release, though the break-up was already in motion even before filming was underway.
In 2014 the troupe reunited to perform a live reading of the film's screenplay at the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival.
An original working title for the movie was The Drug, which is what GLeeMONEX is extensively referred to during the course of the film (in fact, "Brain Candy" is never actually heard in the film). Bruce McCulloch came up with Brain Candy at the studio's request for something more marketable.
Two endings were filmed, with the relatively more upbeat conclusion making the final cut. In the alternate version, Dave Foley plays a crazed activist who leads a militant movement against GLeeMONEX. Chris Cooper, unable to cope with the mayhem his drug has created, decides to take it himself, and ends up lapsing into a coma. The unused ending has not been officially released, but a leaked workprint was widely traded among fans on the internet during the late 1990s.[ citation needed ]
|Brain Candy - Music From the Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Released||April 9, 1996|
A soundtrack album was released the Tuesday prior to the film's release. It consists of music from the film, interspersed with dialog.
The Kids in the Hall is a Canadian sketch comedy troupe formed in 1984, consisting of comedians Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson. Their eponymous television show ran from 1989 to 1995, on CBC, in Canada. It also appeared on CBS, HBO and Comedy Central, in the United States.
Scott Thompson is a Canadian comedian and television actor, best known for being a member of the comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall and for playing Brian on The Larry Sanders Show.
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David Scott Foley is a Canadian actor, stand-up comedian, director, producer and writer. He is known as a co-founder of the comedy group The Kids in the Hall, who have appeared together in a number of television, stage and film productions, most notably the 1988–1995 TV sketch comedy show of the same name, as well as the 1996 film Brain Candy.
Kevin Hamilton McDonald is a Canadian actor, voice actor and comedian. He is a member of the comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall, who have appeared together in a number of stage, television and film productions, most notably the 1988–1995 TV series The Kids in the Hall. He played Pastor Dave in That '70s Show, and also starred as a co-pilot in the 2011 web comedy series Papillon. He also does voice work in animation, most notably for providing the voices of Agent Wendy Pleakley in the Lilo & Stitch franchise, Waffle in Catscratch, and the Almighty Tallest Purple in Invader Zim.
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