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STRANGE BREW

   

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, March 11, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE: This very silly PG-rated comedy has received an unlikely Blu-ray upgrade this week courtesy of Warner Home Video. Here’s my Aug. 28, 1983, Deseret News review. The film marked Rick Moranis’ film debut, just a year before he hit it big with “Ghostbusters.”

Strange isn’t the word for it. Weird is more like it. But if infantile humor is your thing, you may get a kick out of “Strange Brew,” subtitled, “The Adventures of Bob and Doug McKenzie.”

“Strange Brew” does have a few chuckles, but the real question is, “Can beer-guzzling, doughnut-munching characters developed from a two-minute ‘SCTV’ sketch maintain interest in a full-length feature film?” And the answer, for me at least, is, “No way, eh?”

The McKenzie brothers say “eh?” at the end of almost as many sentences as Cheech and Chong end with “man.” (And, come to think of it, they guzzle as much beer in this movie as Cheech and Chong smoke marijuana in their films.)

Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis not only star as Doug and Bob here, but also co-wrote the script (with Steven De Jarnatt) and directed this movie together.

The plot, such as it is, has the boys in search of free beer, when they stumble into jobs at a brewery. There they encounter Max Von Sydow as a sinister brewmeister who plans to rule the world through spiked, mind-control beer. His henchman is Paul Dooley made up to look evil in dark eyebrows and hair. They stumble and bumble along and are almost as doltish as the McKenzies.

 

       Max von Sydow, Lynne Griffin,'Strange Brew'

Doug and Bob are framed for kidnapping, as the film progresses through a series of chases, hockey fights and interminable jokes about beer.

The film also uses for humor those favorite subjects of the movies these days; flatulence, burping, vomiting and urinating.

There are some funny bits such as the McKenzies’ lawyer showing them how to “handle” the press, the boys playing with electro-shock therapy equipment, and a unique way to keep from drowning in a vat of beer.

Mostly though, the McKenzies are infantile jerks, along the lines of the Three Stooges, quarreling, bickering, and Bob in particular, when he sucks his thumb periodically and cries when he is separated from Doug.

   

        Rick Moranis, left, Dave Thomas, 'Strange Brew'

Needless to say, a little of this goes a long way, eh? (Von Sydow looks embarrassingly at sea).

The film opens with a funny introduction and closes similarly, as they review their own film, calling it “a good $5 worth for me and my whole family.”

Well, I don’t know about that. “Strange Brew” is rated PG for some profanity, vulgarity and a very brief sex scene. But family fare? Get out, you hoser.