The Happytime Murders Review: Down And Dirty Fluff

When fluff on the streets gets too hairy for skin and bone, the felt has to pick up the scraps.

The Happytime Murders Phil Phillips Melissa McCarthy

For a film that has struggled to get into production for over a decade, you expect more from The Happytime Murders. With the rights jumping from several different studios, various lead actors being attached to the project over the years, and even persevering over what could have been a disastrous lawsuit, The Happytime Murders doesn’t feel like a film that has had to tooth and claw its way into existence.

On the bright side, the black comedy fully embraces the grimy nastiness that comes with R-rated humor but it also comes off as feeling too comfortable as lackluster entertainment that relies solely on the use of puppets to carry the film; which as you can imagine doesn’t always work.

The film itself is essentially Who Framed Roger Rabbit? with puppets. Puppets live in the real world with humans and are treated as an inferior race (complete with racist/puppetist slang) in modern society. The audience rides shotgun with a private investigator named Phil Phillips, who is still bitter about no longer being a cop.

A serial killer begins to target former cast members of the beloved 80s sitcom, "The Happytime Gang," which includes Phil’s older brother Larry and Phil’s former girlfriend Jenny (Elizabeth Banks); she was the only human on the show and is now a stripper. Phil is forced to work with his ex-partner Detective Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) even though the two still haven’t moved past the last time they worked together.


Film critic located in Houston, TX. Challenged a monkey to a knife fight once. Rode a squeaky tricycle buck naked through a haunted forest twice. Ate unicorn meat to gain immortality, but stepping in cat barf still makes him cringe. He's also a sporadic writer of short stories, draws occasionally, and has a rabid infatuation with the Dragon Ball franchise.