If you plan on seeing Beerfest, you don’t care what the reviews will say. But, to start, know this: The fourth production by Broken Lizard is stupidly funny and just so wrong. As a fan of Super Troopers, I knew going in that it would be ridiculous and above critique. And it is. For as much as there is wrong with this movie, the antics of Broken Lizard balanced this laughfest even as the end credits were rolling.
This is the only movie I have ever been asked for ID at the ticket booth and then again at the door of the theater. I was half-expecting (and very much hoping) that there would be beer served inside. No such luck, but the movie’s warning in the first minute explained why no theater should serve alcohol with this movie: if you try to drink as these characters do you will die.
Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske play two brothers, Jan and Todd Wolfhouse, who travel to Germany during Octoberfest to spread their grandfather’s ashes in his home country. After starting a riot, they find their guide who brings them to the family resting grounds: Beerfest, the top secret Olympic games of beer drinking. How top secret is it? Only those invited are allowed to live. The brother’s guide is instantly taken off camera and shot. But, sudden death is part of the game. As are monkey chug, depth challenge, quaters, and, of course, beer pong. After being embarrassed by their German cousins the Von Wolfhausens in a chugging match, the brothers are told that their grandfather was a mere stable boy who stole the recipe for the “greatest beer in all the land” and left with his whore mother for America. Tossed out of Beerfest, the brothers return to the US, determined to go back the next year and defend their family’s honor–especially their gam gam’s reputation as a whore.
Jan and Todd gather up a team of top drinkers. First is Landfill, played by Kevin Heffernan, who is a hotdog eating, beer swilling guy, who was fired from a local brewery for drinking off the line. Next is Steve "Fink" Finklestein, played by Steve Lemme, a scientist who is taken on for his precision in beer pouring, and also for his quantum physics skills. His job is to figure out how to chug from a glass boot the Germans drink out of without it spilling. Finally Barry, played by Broken Lizard himself Jay Chandrasekhar, a former quarters and pong champion who now turns tricks under a bridge in town. Once the team is assembled, the year of training begins.
The team drinks and drinks and drinks and drinks. From their first days as innocent drunks, they move up the alcoholic scale until they are able to drink as much as they can and not be affected by the alcohol, perfect to the competition. They also find in the training the secret recipe and brew the greatest beer ever. Tragedy strikes when the Germans get wind of their brew mastery and try to steal it back. Landfill, in a daring attempt to protect the team, falls into a vat of fresh brew and dies an alcoholic’s sweetest death. But, never fear, Landfill 2 is here. Yes, Heffernan returns as Gil, Landfill’s identical twin brother, who taught Landfill all he knew about drinking. Gil asks to be called Landfill in his honor–and also so there wont be any confusion in case the audience is in fact drunk.
A team renewed, they go on to Beerfest to face the best drinkers of the world. Do they win? Yes and no. Officially, they lose the championship but win the rematch and the German’s brewery on top. While this movie won’t win any awards, it’s in the running to be a college cult classic. It has immature laughs, inspirational beer games, and an inconsistent plot to nowhere. See this movie, it’s a no brainer.
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