Strange Brew

Dir: Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis
Starring: Dave Thomas, Rick Moranis, Max Von Sydow, Lynne Griffin

The show SCTV acted almost as a kid brother to Saturday Night Live, with the likes of John Candy and Martin Short turning up on both. And, just like its sibling, SCTV also managed to painfully over-extend sketch characters by thrusting them onto the big screen. Doug and Bob McKenzie (Thomas and Moranis) are Canadian ancestors of Beavis & Butthead, obsessed with beer, donuts and hockey. They're actually pretty entertaining in a Wayne's World kinda way, but here, they're tacked into a totally inadequate storyline about a brewer (Von Sydow, looking suitably mortified) trying to take over the world.

The original TV sketches were mostly improvised, and the leap to feature length is horribly obvious, even with script assistance from (of all people) Steve De Jarnatt. A credit should perhaps also have gone to one W.Shakespeare, since it mostly takes place in the Elsinore Brewery, but not enough is done with this idea to merit having bothered with it at all. There are some genuinely funny moments, but the central characters are off-screen far too often, and the movie utterly flounders without them. The DVD also includes a trailer for a planned animated Doug and Bob show, and it looks a great deal more amusing: if ever there was a case where more is less, this is it.


The beer-hunters
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