Review: Strange Brew (1983)

>> Sunday, January 14, 2007

USA/C-90 m./Dir: Rick Moranis & Dave Thomas/Wr: Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, & Steve De Jarnatt/Cast: Dave Thomas (Doug McKenzie), Rick Moranis (Bob McKenzie), Max von Sydow (Brewmeister Smith), Paul Dooley (Claude Elsinore)

Good day, eh. Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas originally created the characters of beer-loving Canucks, Bob and Doug McKenzie, for the sketch comedy show SCTV in order to mock Canada’s broadcast rules requiring television networks to include “Canadian content” within their programming. However, due to the McKenzie brothers’ instant popularity, the boys not only became series regulars, they eventually leapt to the big screen in Strange Brew, the ultimate love letter to beer on film.

From the opening logo, featuring a belching MGM lion, Strange Brew promises to be stupid and sudsy in the most satisfying way. The plot takes off (take off, eh) when Bob and Doug try to obtain free beer from the Elsinore Brewery using their ‘mouse in an empty beer bottle’ trick. Instead of beer, the boys are awarded jobs at the brewery, where they soon find themselves entangled in a family power struggle (borrowed heavily from Shakespeare’s Hamlet) and a plot to take over the world by lacing beer with a mind-control drug. When the tainted beer is delivered to the local Oktoberfest celebration, only Bob, Doug, and their alcoholic dog, Hosehead, can save the day, eh.

It’s difficult to call Strange Brew a “good” movie in the conventional sense. The script is silly, the direction is crude, and the picture’s low budget is apparent in every frame. Still, with or without the aid of beer goggles, it’s impossible not to enjoy Bob and Doug’s motion picture debut. That is, unless you’re a total hoser.

Drinks Consumed--Beer

Intoxicating Effects--Belching and public urination

Potent Quotables--BOB: This movie was shot in 3-B… three beers, and it looks good, eh.
DOUG: Hoserama. Call it Hoserama, eh.

Video Availability--Strange Brew DVD (Warner Brothers)

Similarly Sauced Cinema--In 1999, Bob and Doug were set to return in a sequel, Home Brew, but the project was abandoned when financing fell through. Variations on the characters did return to the screen as a pair of talking moose in the animated film Brother Bear (2003).


edP January 14, 2007 at 6:50 PM  

I never heard of Home BRew. They should've done it without the financing

tom o January 15, 2007 at 11:47 PM  

i spent my first x-mas in SF alone eating spaghetti and watching strage brew. best. christmas. ever.

Chris B. January 19, 2007 at 9:37 AM  

"Me and my brother always thought that drowning in beer would be like heaven. But now, he's not here and I've got two soakers - this isn't heaven - this sucks!"

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I like to drink. I like to watch movies. I like to watch movies about drinking. I like to write about the movies I’ve watched, but only if I’ve had a drink first.

All text including the title "Booze Movies: The 100 Proof Film Guide" Copyright William T. Garver

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