Strange Brew (1983) — Beer and Hamlet make a potent mix

“If I didn’t have puke breath, I’d kiss you.”

Justin’s rating: Eh? EH!

Justin’s review: Beer is a very important substance to most college students, but it’s a national heritage for Canada, a country where drinking is a survival tactic to making it through the long winters and off-brand football seasons.

As ambassadors of both their country and fermented hops, Doug (Dave Thomas) and Bob (Rick Moranis) emerged from SCTV to star in their own feature film. That it is a loose retelling of Hamlet only increases the need to crack open a cold one and say, “Why not, eh?”

More Canadian than Canadian Bacon, this film carefully reviews the subtext of Canuck society to uncover the hidden Freudian desire for brew. While doign this, Doug and Bob talk about hockey, “nubs,” “hosers,” and “Jedi.”

While definitely ’80s and somewhat filled with Velveta, Strange Brew is nothing if not a solid good time. From their excitably lame introductory movie (which, strangely enough, would make an interesting premise) to their drunken comments over the end credits, Bob and Doug stick together as only alcoholic brothers can.

PoolMan’s rating: 6 out of 6 stubbies, eh? (sniff, I get so sentimental seeing those little bottles… if you don’t know what a stubby is, you may leave the room now. Thank you.)

PoolMan’s review: Okay, here’s the truth. I’m Canadian, and obscenely proud of it. This movie is a parody about what stereotypical life in eastern Canada just a few short years ago was really like, and it’s got to be my all time FAVOURITE movie to watch for the pure fun of it (and also to drink to). It’s another film in which great delight is taken in firing pot shots at Canuck culture, but I love it anyways!

Bob and Doug stem from the popular old comedy show “Second City TV,” or just SCTV, where their weekly skit was called the Great White North. Basically, you have two total goof brothers, Bob and Doug McKenzie (duh!), who enjoy nothing more in life than to drink beer and… well, actually, that might be it. You can pretty much sum them up as a more loveable, maple leaf loving version of Bill and Ted, though I’m sure my fellow Canadians will flay me alive for saying that. Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me if the MacKenzies were the inspiration for those surf-talkingboobs.

As the movie starts out, Bob and Doug’s new film (The Mutants of 2051 AD) bombs in theatres, and they give away their father’s beer money to a man whose children were disappointed in the show. Problem one solved.

Problem two: How are they going to buy their dad beer? They end up bumbling into jobs at the Elsinore brewery, where they come across a devious plot involving beer, brainwashed hockey players, murder, possessed video games, and beer. It’s their unwitting job to save the world from the mind-influencing chemicals due to be released at Oktoberfest by the evil Brewmeister Smith.

Strange Brew is hilarious. Period. Admittedly more so if you’re Canadian, but funny nonetheless. The comedic teaming of Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis is just too funny. (be on the lookout for the voice work of Mel Blanc of Bugs Bunny fame!) Now go watch it, or I’ll steamroller you, eh?

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