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Strange Brew: A Classic Canadian Comedy Film Review

Who says Canada just produces serious stuff, like maple syrup, hockey and politeness? They also have a bonafide classic comedy film called “Strange Brew,” which came out in 1983. Directed and co-written by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, “Strange Brew” is a hilarious spoof on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” set in a brewery in Toronto, Canada. The film may have been a box office bomb when it first came out, but it has since gained a cult following and is considered a classic. Let’s take a closer look.

The Storyline

The film follows the story of Bob and Doug McKenzie (played by Thomas and Moranis), two clueless brothers who find their way into the Elsinore Brewery, run by the evil Brewmeister Smith (played by Max von Sydow), who is using mind-altering chemicals to control the minds of beer drinkers. Doug falls in love with the brewery’s secretary, Pam (Lynne Griffin), and they set out to stop Brewmeister Smith’s evil plan. Along the way, there are plenty of laughs, hockey references, beer chugging, and misunderstandings.

The Cast

The chemistry between Moranis and Thomas is the highlight of this movie. They improvise and play off each other so well that watching them feels like you’re hanging out with a couple of funny friends. The duo appeared often on the TV show “SCTV” as the McKenzie brothers and eventually transitioned to the big screen with this film. The rest of the cast is noteworthy too, with the veteran actor von Sydow perfect for the role of the evil Brewmeister, and Griffin as the love interest adding a touch of sweetness to the film.

The Humor

The humor in “Strange Brew” is uniquely Canadian. The movie is packed with references to Canadian culture, including hockey, donuts, beer, and “The Great White North.” However, even if you’re not Canadian or familiar with Canadian culture, the humor in the movie is still funny and relatable. The McKenzie brothers’ ignorance and sense of humor are infectious, and their accents are hilarious. The film also has plenty of slapstick comedy, witty one-liners, and references to classic films like “Star Wars” and “Casablanca.”

The Music

The music in “Strange Brew” is iconic. The film features several classic rock songs, including “The Weight” by The Band and “Strange Brew” by Cream. The soundtrack captures the laid-back, fun-loving vibe of the McKenzie brothers perfectly. The film’s climax features a musical number that serves as a tribute to classic Hollywood musicals and adds to the movie’s overall charm.

The Verdict

“Strange Brew” is one of those movies that you can re-watch numerous times and still find it funny. It’s silly and fun, and the chemistry between Moranis and Thomas is pure gold. It’s an excellent movie for those who love spoofs, classic rock, and beer. The humor is relatable and infectious, and the film’s portrayal of Canadian culture makes it unique. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and add it to your watch list.


To sum it up, “Strange Brew” is a classic Canadian comedy film that deserves more recognition than it gets. It’s a movie best viewed with friends and a couple of cold beers. The humor is timeless, and the music is legendary. If you’re in the mood for a good laugh, you can’t go wrong with this one. Give it a try and let the McKenzie brothers take you on a hilarious adventure.