By Chris Nashawaty
Updated December 08, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST

Here’s how to tell Muppets and Feebles apart: Muppets are the wholesome G-rated puppets; Feebles are the cussing, heroin-shooting ones. In other words, Meet the Feebles is not the tape to rent for the kids when the video store’s out of The Muppets Take Manhattan. Directed by Peter Jackson, who made this cult film (long available as a bootleg tape) six years before gaining art-house respectability with 1994’s Heavenly Creatures, the patchily hilarious (but far too long) gross-out sendup focuses on the backstage preparations before a song-and-dance troupe’s variety show debut. The deranged cast of characters includes a buxom aging-diva hippo; a meek hedgehog with a speech impediment; a dope-dealing walrus; and a knife-throwing junkie frog. Fozzie Bear territory this ain’t. B