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Strange Brew

by Daniel Spinali March 1, 2011
Strange Brew

The American movie machine has had far too much control over this column. How ‘bout some Canadiana, eh?

Bob and Doug McKenzie are losers. There is no doubt about that. Their idea of a good day is to sit around and drink beer, cook back bacon and smoke, on top of perpetually calling each other names.

Having spent their dad’s beer money (not on beer, of course) the brothers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They just drank the last three beers in the house (they gave the third to their dog Hosehead) and are charged by their dad to get him a fresh case of Elsinore beer. They come up with the plan of stuffing a mouse into a beer bottle in order to get a free case from the beer store.

Their plan begins to fall apart the second they reach the counter at the beer store. The clerk refuses to give them free beer and insists that they take up their complaint with the brewery. When they arrive at the brewery, they manage to save the daughter of the recently deceased owner, Pam Elsinore, from injury when her car becomes stuck in the electrified front gate. Once inside the brewery, they find out that since the owner’s death, the brewmaster, known as Brewmaster Smith, and Pam’s uncle, Claude Elsinore, have fired virtually all the employees in an effort to automate the entire brewery. Irritated by this fact (and by the mouse in the bottle) Pam hires Bob and Doug to work in quality control on the bottling line.

While at work, the brothers encounter Jean “Rosie” LeRose, a former hockey player who had a career-ending nervous breakdown and ended up working at the brewery. He, like many others, has fallen under the control of Brewmaster Smith, who in reality is a doctor at the Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane. Using his knowledge of drugs, Smith concocts a beer with a mind control serum that makes people react to certain sounds. His plan is to release the beer to the unsuspecting public at the annual Oktoberfest celebrations in Kitchener, Ont. It’s a first step towards eventual world domination.

This movie is, without a doubt, as Canadian as Canadian can be. It takes place in Ontario, the main characters always have toques on, beer is a major plot device and every sentence ends with “eh?” or “hoser.”

Is there a problem with that? I don’t think so, eh!

Strange Brew

Directed by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, 1983

Starring Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas and Max von Sydow

 

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