Strange Brew (1983)

Strange Brew (1983)

“Take off, ya hoser!”

The beer-loving Mackenzie brothers (Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis) get jobs at the Elsinore Brewery, where they soon discover the nefarious plan of Brewmeister Smith (Max von Sydow) to take over the world.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Canadian Films
  • Comedy
  • Max von Sydow Films
  • Mental Illness
  • Siblings
  • World Domination

Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this “foolish comedy” (a cult favorite for many) “drags on forever”, with only “a few snickers along the way”. Its primary worth seems to lie in its good-natured yet merciless portrayal of Canadian stereotypes and sayings — every other phrase out of these brothers’ mouths is either “take off!”, “eh?”, “ya knob!” or “ya hoser!” The plot (more complicated than synopsized above) is convoluted, and relies overly heavily on both slapstick (which, as Peary notes, “seems out of place”) and shameless references to other hit films of the year (including Return of the Jedi and Superman III). Strange Brew is notable as the precursor to later “dumb buddies” flicks — such as Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), Wayne’s World (1992), and Dumb and Dumber (1994) — but is this necessarily a worthy achievement?

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • A mildly entertaining satire of Canadianisms — eh, hoser?
  • A few amusing moments of juvenile humor

Must See?
No. While it’s a guilty cult pleasure for many, it’s ultimately not must-see viewing.


One thought on “Strange Brew (1983)

  1. First (and last) viewing. Skip it. A couple of mild laughs but mostly it’s tiresome.

    Idiot humor like this – without wit – tends to work best on idiots (who are very easily amused). The most clever touch was the idea to hinge everything on a parody of ‘Hamlet’; otherwise, this might be closer to simply unwatchable.

    Leads Thomas and Moranis are hopeless as a source of comedy. Of course, that’s the idea here (that they’re numbskulls) but they’re endlessly dull. Best: von Sydow (he may be slumming here but he’s up to the ‘challenge’) and the-always-dependable Paul Dooley as von Sydow’s assistant. (I just *love* that guy!)

    Surprisingly, the movie is nicely photographed. Too bad it’s not nicely funny.

Leave a Reply