BeerFest, its not Hamlet!

Beerfest (2006)

“Prepare for the ultimate chug of war”

Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar
Starring Jay Chandrasekhar
Kevin Heffernan
Steve Lemme
Paul Soter
Erik Stolhanske
Jürgen Prochnow

A lazy afternoon, raining outside and with not much on, I decided to choose a movie that had some beer related theme, so I picked the first one that came up on the googley, Beerfest

These kind of movies, “low brow comedies”, are always hit and miss. I had enjoyed “Dude, Where’s My Car?” (Even with that knob Ashton Kutcher in it) for example, but found “Euro Trip” horrendous.

So I don’t have high hopes for this movie. I am sure it will tick all the stereotype boxes as it is set in Europe in and around the time of the Oktoberfest in Germany. Lets guess there will be a lot of lederhosen and funny German names.

But let’s wait and see, to the movie……..

“Bring on the beer, they’ve got the nuts”, the “hilarious” tagline on the movie poster.

The basic premise of the movie is that two brothers (Wolfhouses) travel to Munich for Oktoberfest, to spread the ashes of their believed beer drinking grandfather, only to stumble upon a secret beer competition described as a “Fight Club” with beer games. The secret beer fest is run by Baron Wolfgang von Wolfhausen (Jurgen Prochnow, of Das Boot fame), who the brothers discover is a distant relative. The baron insinuates that the brothers grandfather was a thieving stable boy who stole a famous Bavarian beer recipe, and their grandmother was nothing but a prostitute.  After making an ass of themselves at the beer competition, swearing revenge and honour they return to the USA to set up an American team to do battle with all those crazy Europeans at the next beerfest.

The motley crew that is assembled is an unlikely bunch, we have a male prostitute named Barry (Jay Chandrasekhar), a man mountain called Landfill (Kevin Heffernan) and a Jewish lab nerd with a Phd in beer, Fink (Steve Lemme), and the two Wolfhouses brothers, Jan (Paul Soter) and Todd (Erik Stolhanske). The five team members, are known as the “Broken Lizard,” comedy writing group, who have made a few similar movies of this ilk in the past. A lot of the movie is focused on This Magnificent five training hard for this fest, and those sneaky Germans trying to recover the stolen recipe.  The movie ends with the ultimate battle of beer games between the Americans and the “krauts”, all rounded off in the “Das Boot” (Boot of beer) challenge!beerfest13

Of course with Jurgen Prochnow we get a lot of Das Boot references, and Donald Sutherland guests at the start, as the Wolfhouses grandfather who drinks himself to death, while Willie Nelson also makes a silly pot related cameo in the end.

 

The movie scored a low enough 41% on the Rotten Tomatoes site, with an average rating of 5/10, but it did make a small profit at the box office taking just over $19 million in the US, from a budget of $17,500,000, thus cornering the frat boy beer swilling market for that year!

So is the movie any good?

I have to be honest I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. The story is good for what it is, and I didn’t have to use up too many of my precious brain cells figuring out any plot lines here, but all the characters are pretty damn funny, and the movie is a good laugh. I really don’t get why it has got mostly negative reviews as for me, a drinker who likes the craic, there were definite moments in the movie that I could relate to, and some of the beer references were spot on.

beerfest3The opening scene is a cracker. A can of beer cracked open, a bottle filled, the can chucked on ground. Classy, with the added on advisory to not to try and copy any of the drinking stunts at home, “Dont drink this much! If you attempt to drink this much, you will die!”

Overall, the characters are quite likable, and Yes I was actually rooting for the American beer drinking team (Go USA!). Most of the gang are drunk all the time, and most scenes are set in bars or drinking parties, so whats not to like? Inebriation all around: lots of falling down, hangovers, vomiting, beer conquests, beer games, beer fights, and tits, and lots of them.

The acting is pretty good too from all involved, with Kevin Heffernan and Jay Chandrasekhar putting in star performances.

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The Germans (the “krauts”) are portrayed as angry, all the time, which is always funny, that and the way they use English: “It was ze greatest beer in all ze world!” I am sorry but that never gets tiring! (and I am currently learning German!)

Of course some scenes are silly. There is one scene with a frog and wanking, which is beyond moronic, and Landfill’s brother joining the gang just makes no sense at all.

Found the “different stages of drink” (drink, fight, singing, hangover, drink again) was brilliantly done, and the training tool on how to drink like the Germans was amusing, but the highlight of the movie for me was Barry’s conquest after a night on the town. Hilarious. And he didn’t give a shit! Just the way I like it!

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A movie called BeerFest, well its not Hamlet, (actually that would be a good tagline!), you know exactly what you are going to get…..people guzzling vast quantities of beer, getting wasted, acting the maggot, and with a bit of nudity and puking thrown in, yeah that’s all good for me.

Its stupid, but its fun stupid, plus I was drinking when I watched it! So, if you are looking for a comedy with a lot of laughs to beat a slow Sunday, to recover from your hangover or whatever, then this is the movie for you.

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Beer drinker and all round annoyance. Likes drinking, football, cricket and having a good time.

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