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The Independent Critic

Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, Max Von Sydow, Paul Dooley
Rick Moranis & Dave Thomas
Rated PG
90 Mins.
 "Strange Brew" Review 
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Okay. Okay. Okay. I know this is not brilliant filmmaking. I know these are not brilliant performances. I know this is basically a pretty lame film. But, It's SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO funny. 21 years later I still laugh hysterically every time I watch this film, and it hasn't even aged that well. These characters, well they're just goofy, charming, innocent and fun. If I had to pick a film to put in my Top 100 that is not really "rated" there...this would be it. It's a film I watch repeatedly and never get tired of seeing. It's a film of tremendous silliness and stupidity, but it's such well done silliness and stupidity that I find myself laughing every time I see it.

Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas wrote the film, directed the film and star in the film as "Bob & Doug McKenzie," an expanded feature based on their SCTV characters. Unlike most SNL features, this film really works on so many levels. Somehow, they've managed to take that two minute skit and bring the characters to life for a brisk, 90 minute feature film.

The film has great, funny side performances by Max Von Sydow, Paul Dooley and Lynne Griffin. The set design is basic, yet effective as an old looks like the kind of place that would have an asylum inside it.

Made on an extremely low budget of $4 million (in 1983), the film brought in a mere $8 million. So, while it made certainly didn't find a big audience upon release. Yet, the film's shelf life has been incredible and it definitely has a loyal following now.

If you remember the SCTV skit, odds are you'll embrace this film. If you're a fan of truly silly films...along the lines of say a "Wayne's World," then odds are you will find much to love here.

I will add a side plug here. If you have loved this film, check out Disney's recent flick "Brother Bear," now on DVD. It features the voices of Moranis and Thomas in leading roles...and it sounds frighteningly similar to the characters in this film. Once again, while "Brother Bear" itself is fairly basic just hearing the combo of Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas is worth it all for me.

This is a silly, goofy, innocent comic classic...I highly recommend it.


- Richard Propes
The Independent Critic