The Happytime Murders: The Worst Film Ever

Melissa McCarthy stars in The Happytime Murders. Photo Credit: Hopper Stone

The Happytime Murders has taken over the slot–previously held by The Room–of being the single-worst movie of all time.

Brian Henson, son of the late Jim Henson, takes what we know about muppets and turns it on our heads.  Oh wait.  They aren’t muppets but Miskreant puppets from Henson Alternative.  It makes no difference what the right term is because the film is the most subversive comedy of the year.  If you can call it a film.  Calling this a film is a disgrace to all films ever made including–yes–The Room.  You know how you see a great SNL sketch only to watch them butcher its legacy by stretching it into a film?  The Happytime Murders barely comes close to fitting the definition.

This garbage film is set in Los Angeles where puppets are second-class citizens to humans.  Despite the discrimination, they behave very similar.  No surprise there.  What I can tell you about the plot are that members of The Happytime Gang are getting killed off.  The series ran years ago and the cast is getting a combined $10 million as a part of a syndicated deal.  Should someone die and have no spouse, the other cast members would see an increase in payment.  Go figure that producer Ronovan Scargle (Michael McDonald) gets the better part of the deal.

There’s also the Phillips code in place within the police department.  This is because Phil Phillips (Bill Barretta) accidentally shot the father of a little girl rather than someone trying to hurt his partner, Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy).  Because of what happened, no puppet can work within the police force.  Phillips has since become a private investigator.  He takes on a puppet client, Sandra White (Dorien Davies) early on who received a letter threatening to reveal her secret.  This secret being an addiction to sex.

Once the murders start going down, Lt. Banning (Leslie David Baker) hires Phillips as a consultant.  This doesn’t sit well with the still-angry Edwards.  They trade insults back and forth.  It gets personal for Phillips when his brother, Larry (Victor Yerrid), gets killed.

The puppet murders in the film aren’t just any murders.  They are the equivalent of what you would see in a flasher film if people were full of fluff.  The first murder is a full-on massacre!  Dogs see these puppets as chew toys!

One thing that caught my eye while Phillips was on the case is that we have the existence of transgender puppets.  I made a mental note of this when Phillips enters Vinny’s Puppet Pleasureland adult bookstore and theatre.  Among the names of those magazines that the owner reads: Puppet Chicks with Puppet Dicks.  This clearly marks the existence of transgender puppets for the first time in history.  It’s only unfortunate that it comes in this wretched film.  I’m honestly not even sure if it’s meant to punch up or down with regards to the transgender community.

This brings me to another thing.  Detective Edwards is a human.  Due to an incident where then-detective Phillips badly aimed his gun, she gets shot and needs a new liver.  This is where we have to suspend disbelief or something because Edwards receives a puppet liver transplant.  Can somebody explain the science behind how she is still alive because I really don’t get this.  The puppet liver leads to a sugar addiction.  This may explain why she hoards so much maple syrup in her kitchen.

Not even the presence of Maya Rudolph as Phillips’ loyal secretary, Bubbles, could improve the film.  FBI Special Agent Campbell (Joel McHale) is easily the biggest racist in the film.  He’s also one of the most immature among the film’s humans.  There’s a back-and-forth between Edwards and Campbell that would have been funny when I was in high school.  This shows just how dated some of this humor is.  Listen, I have experience in improv/sketch comedy.  I wouldn’t even place this type of humor in a show because it’s immature at best.  It’s not comedy but immature behavior.

Whoever decided to greenlit The Happytime Murders should be arrested for committing the crime of giving us felt-on-felt action.  No matter how much I laughed at two puppets going at it, I’m rational enough to know it was pure garbage with cum going all over the place.  There will never be another sex scene like this ever again.

Spare your eyeballs and see something else.  Anything else.  Maybe even read a good book.

DIRECTOR:  Brian Henson
SCREENWRITERS:  Todd Berger
CAST:  Melissa McCarthy, Bill Barretta, Joel McHale, Maya Rudolph, Leslie David Baker, and Elizabeth Banks

STXfilms will open The Happytime Murders in theaters on August 24, 2018.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

11 thoughts on “The Happytime Murders: The Worst Film Ever

  1. You lost us at the ridiculous, idiotic “worst movie” statement. I’m afraid you need to remove the stick up your millennial ass, ma’am. Saw it last night-so funny! Its going to be a huge hit. Clever idea. Good mystery story.

      1. The problem with sketch comedy is if your name isn’t Keegan Michael Key or Jordan Peele it hasn’t been funny since the 1990s. Worst medium for comedy ever? Very possible.

        Poor Norman, he’s a little too accustomed to the keyboard warrior era of social media but I certainly understand why “worst-ever” opinions attract trolling. I usually stick to “Hyperbole much?” and leave it at that.

        1. Jason, since you haven’t seen the movie, it’s probably best to stfu about it. Go see it as millions will this weekend then come back and make a comment. Otherwise, commenting to people who have seen a flick is pretty stupid. Don’t you think? May as well critique food you haven’t tasted. By the way, this is my real name so hardly a keyboard warrior, “Jason”.

      2. So you took one or two classes and you’re an expert on comedy? how ridiculous–how many movies have you seen to state this was the worst? I get that you’re trying to make a name for yourself as a critic by making stand out “quotes”, but I can guarantee you that when you label anything the “worst” or the “best” your opinion will be regarded as worthless. This movie’s concept alone makes it clever. Yes, its a bit low brow for critics, but audiences are already raving about it. The screening I saw last night at The Grove in LA LOVED it. Movies are meant to entertain, not win Oscars. At least stop the silly “worst” nonsense if you want to be taken seriously. Good luck!

        1. So your initial reply which referenced idiocy and sticks up one’s ass wasn’t a complete troll job? The general rule about the Internet is only idiots call other people idiots, if you want to come off as the one with the intelligent opinion you might want to invent a time machine.

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