Strange Brew (1983)




Critic Consensus: Though lowbrow in intent and outcome, Strange Brew effectively mines laughs from its unique premise and likeable stars.

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Movie Info

Purporting to be loosely based on Hamlet, Strange Brew is about an evil braumeister at the Elsinore Brewery who has discovered an additive that when guzzled in beer, allows the drinkers to be easily controlled. Braumeister Smith (Max von Sydow) has a plan to take over the world with his new brew, and only the Great White hosers of the North, Bob and Doug McKenzie (Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas) -- with their plaid shirts, ski toques, fur-lined parkas, and addiction to beer -- can stop the dastardly plan, sober or not. There are several jabs at "hoseheads" and the business of movie-making, including an epilogue that critiques the film itself. Strange Brew found a cult audience with fans of the Second City comedy troupe, of which Moranis and Thomas were members. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi
Directed By:
Written By:
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Dave Thomas
as Doug McKenzie
Rick Moranis
as Bob McKenzie
Max von Sydow
as Brewmeister Smith
Paul Dooley
as Claude Elsinore
Lynne Griffin
as Pam Elsinore
Angus MacInnes
as Jean LaRose
Tom Harvey
as The Inspector
Douglas Campbell
as Henry Green
Len Doncheff
as Jack Hawkland
Jill Frappier
as Gertrude
David Beard
as The Judge
Thick Wilson
as The Prosecutor
Robert Windsor
as Bailiff
Eric House
as John Elsinore
Sid Lynas
as Angry Man at Movie
Ron James
as Man in Movie
Dora Dainton
as Lady in Movie
David Clement
as Man in the Alley
Paddy Sampson
as Pensioner
Roger Dunn
as Beer Store Clerk
Diane Douglass
as Receptionist
J. Winston Carroll
as Fire Chief
James Conroy
as Bald Con
Glenn Beck
as Prison Guard
Desh Bandhu
as Parking Attendant
Ilija Ilijevski
as M.C. at Oktoberfest
Thom Bell
as Hospital Orderly #1
Christopher Benson Reed
as Hospital Orderly #2
John Stoneham
as Hospital Orderly #3
David Rigby
as Policeman #1
Denis Forest
as Policeman #2
John Kelly
as Policeman #3
Dick Grant
as Policeman #4
George Stinton
as Policeman #5
Mel Blanc
as Mr. McKenzie
Tom Bell
as Hospital Orderly
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Critic Reviews for Strange Brew

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (2)

The plotline (derived from Hamlet) soon goes flat.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The price of a ticket could buy enough beer for an experience at least as memorable as this one.

August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Frankly, I was sold the moment the MGM lion gave out an inebriated belch.

Full Review… | August 30, 2013

Their take on the Bard is as imaginative as any other cinematic adaptation, plus a good deal funnier

Full Review… | April 2, 2010

No, there's nothing intelligent here -- just a couple of likable fellows trying to stop mad Brewmeister Smith (Max von Sydow) from gaining control of the world.

Full Review… | May 13, 2008
TV Guide

The film celebrates stupidity and would likely have caused an international incident if Canadians weren't so nice, but it essentially lives up to its premise, once in a while coming up with a gag that is halfway funny.

May 13, 2008

Audience Reviews for Strange Brew

Follow the idiot McKenzie brothers on this incredibly dumb journey, this is a stupid Canadian comedy masterpiece, hoser!

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

A memorable Hamlet adaptation. Great and silly.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer


I love Moranis, but I'm not a big fan of Thomas. Most of the time this movie was fun and really hilarious, but there are some stupid jokes thrown in that I didn't like, and it disappointed me because I really wanted to like this movie. Overall, though, it's enjoyable enough, but it could be better.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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