WHERE Actor‚Äôs Theatre (650 E. Stonewall Street)
ADMISSION is Free and so is the popcorn. Cash bar available.
STRANGE BREW 
Directed by Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis
Canada, USA / Color / English
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.
Rated PG; 90 min
At one point, Bob says, “He saw Jedi 17 times, eh!” What isn’t obvious two decades later, is that Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi opened in May 1983, while production of “Strange Brew” had wrapped five months earlier, in December 1982. Not only hadn’t the McKenzie brothers seen “Jedi” – but they couldn’t refer to it by its full title, since the “Revenge”/”Return” issue was still up in the air while they were filming.
The name of the brewery in this film is Elsinore Brewery. Max von Sydow, who played the Brewmeister in this movie, was also in the film The Seventh Seal. In that film he and his squire were heading towards the village of Elsinore, but decided not to because the plague was there.
The basic plot as well as many of the name of the brewing company are references to William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. The castle in “Hamlet” was Elsinore. The heir to Elsinore’s father was murdered by her uncle, who then comes to her as a ghost. In Hamlet, the uncle’s name was Claudius, and in the movie he is named Claude.
Rick Moranis’ feature film debut.
Among many others, the “If I didn’t have puke breath, I’d kiss you.” line was improvised.
Lynne Griffin’s character Pam Elsinore must have just turned 18 to inherit the company as outlined by the lawyer. But her birth date on the video game is in 1959. Her character would have been 23 when the movie was filmed in 1982. Lynne Griffin was actually 30 at the time.
Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis created their popular toque-wearing, beer-swigging “Great White North” hosers Bob and Doug McKenzie on the great TV comedy show SCTV to fulfill a Canadian broadcasting regulation that required Canadian shows to have a certain amount of “Canadian content.” In 1981, Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas recorded a Bob and Doug McKenzie comedy album, The Great White North, which sold a million copies. Based on this success, they thought about parlaying that into a feature film. They hired Steve De Jarnatt to write the first draft. Initially, Thomas told De Jarnatt that he wanted to base the film’s story around Hamlet but he ended up being too faithful to the play and was told be more creative with the parallels to it. Moranis and Thomas’ agents sent the script to various Hollywood studios and a few days later they had a deal with MGM based not on the script but on record sales, “the breakout potential, and the fact that it was being advertised on a television show”, Thomas remembers. They were unhappy with the script because Bob and Doug were improvised characters done in their “comic voices” and they felt that nobody but themselves could write for these characters. Thomas began rewriting the script without Moranis who was now uncertain about doing the film. After working on the first 50 pages, Moranis took a look at what Thomas had done and they worked together rewriting it.Originally, Moranis and Thomas were not going to direct or write the film but ended up doing both with the guidance of executive producer Jack Grossberg, who had produced films by Mel Brooks and Woody Allen.