Not everyone in the world is gonna be altogether familiar with the "Broken Lizard" film series. Those who are familiar tend to lean towards 'Super Troopers' as the best of them - and it's pretty easy to understand why. However, in the meantime, I tend to look at 'Beerfest' as my personal favourite of the bunch. In case anyone's wondering what else they've done - 'Club Dread' and 'Super Troopers 2' is about it, so there's not a whole lot to choose from.
This one had a very limited theatrical release as opposed to the others, and I quite honestly thought it was a straight-to-video deal at the time. Regardless, it has become the Broken Lizard movie that I like introducing people to, even if it didn't do quite as well as 'Super Troopers', critically. Personally, I feel like it's an overlooked comedy title that people tend to turn their noses up at. But for me, it's full of all the hilarious random humour I could ask for, and though low-brow, it's definitely underrated in my opinion. But much like the beer held within, it may be an acquired taste for many.
It all starts when brothers Jan and Todd Wolfhouse (Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske, respectively) attend their grandfather Johann's (Donald Sutherland) funeral. There, the brothers are instructed to spread their grandfather's ashes at Oktoberfest in Munich, Switzerland. While in Munich, they stumble upon a traditional underground drinking competition between countries called "Beerfest". It just so happens to be run by a distant relative of theirs, but the German team angrily accuses Johann of being a beer recipe thief, and continues to drink the American brothers under the table, annihilating them from any hopes of competition.
From there, the brothers swear revenge on the German team to defend their grandfather's good name. They eventually recruit old drinking friends from their college days - Binge drinker Phil "Landfill" Krundle (Kevin Heffernan), Jewish scientist Charlie "Fink" Finklestein (Steve Lemme) and now male prostitute, Barry Badrinath (Jay Chandrasekhar). Together with the help of the brothers' Gam Gam (Cloris Leachman) they train for the next competition while uncovering the truth behind their family's past, and perhaps even stumbling on the perfect beer recipe in the process (if what the Germans say about their grandfather is true).
I feel like as far as the comedy goes in here, there's a little something for everyone even if the movie as a whole isn't necessarily up your alley. For the older crowd, you have people like Donald Sutherland and Cloris Leachman in here, who are both great at tickling that funny bone (even if it is for a short time). On top of that, the Germans as the villains here are hilarious with the way they talk and intimidate - that might sound worse than it's meant to, but just give it a watch and you'll see what I mean. Everything's one extreme or the other with these guys - extremely polite or extremely nasty.
Going back to what I said about this perhaps being an acquired taste, I would strongly suggest giving this a proper chance if you are a fan of 'Super Troopers' and haven't seen it. There's a good chance that you'll still find 'Super Troopers' superior (and in many ways, it is) but there's something about the random and even ridiculous comedy that makes this a lot of fun to watch. It's the kind of comedy you go into knowing that it's gonna be stupid, so I'd suggest not taking any of it seriously at all. It's a movie meant for a good time, so get some drinking buddies together and try to keep up with these guys!
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