Strange Brew (1983)
Genre: Comedy (Canada)
Starring: Rick Morranis (Honey I Shrunk The Kids; Ghostbusters II) Dave Thomas ("Arrested Development"; "SCTV")
Directed By: Rick Morranis, Dave Thomas (Intern Academy)
Overview: In this modern version of Hamlet (yeah, I'm serious), Bob and Doug McKenzie find work at the Elsinore beer brewery and get caught up as patsies in a sinister plot.
Acting: If you're Canadian this is one hell of an all-star cast, even Max von Sydow of Exorcist fame plays the bad guy in this. In a way this is a lot like a "Saturday Night Live" (SNL) movie, because the characters were originally from TV. The difference is that this is hilarious, and... all SNL movies suck. What's better still, all the people are just plain hilariously awesome. It's fantastic how well they succeed at being so stupid, but doing it so intelligently.
Cinematography: Action, Adventure, ROMANCE! It's all there. No special effects to speak of, unless you consider cheesy laser beams and ghosts, flying dogs and 'stubbies' beer bottles from the 80s. Still there's nothing distracting and the classic mood of the old computers and the hockey uniforms, it's really neat to watch.
Script: "My brother and I used to say that drownin' in beer was like heaven, eh? Now he's not here, and I've got two soakers... this isn't heaven, this sucks."
You will laugh out loud... Constantly. Granted, I may have a touch of the synaptic burn-in from having seen this about 10 times, but I was really expecting to regret it this time around due to the cheesiness. No sir. I fell down in tears. I couldn't breath. I had to call an ambulance. They resuscitated me, but only after watching a couple of scenes, cause the paramedics were all engrossed by this when they showed up.
Plot: It's effin' Shakespeare. Not only that but it's Hamlet! Ok, I know it's only the basic skeleton of the original plot, and I suppose that Bob and Doug are completely different than the possible Rosencrantz & Guildenstern roles they're in... fine, fine, but the Deux Ex Machina ending is still fantastic, even if stuff is resolved a little cheap. It's fun, damnit!
Mood: The Canadiana is just dripping from this movie. Stubbies, toques, beer, hockey, alcohol, Bob and Doug McKenzie, ale, vans, and booze tents! Also, comedies are supposed to make you laugh right? Well this makes you laugh, and it's perfect for the beer-drinking Gen-X comedian in all of us. Serious lowbrow fun of the highest caliber.
Overall Rating: 86% (Check it out, You Hoser)
Aftertaste: This is the kind of movie that, when you watch again, you're waiting to see something that will make you regret having loved it when you were in your early 20s. I waited and waited and all I could do was laugh and laugh. What a super-awesome good time! I run over my girlfriend with the 'Steamroller' on a regular basis! HA HA!