Beerfest – a movie review

We made a crap film! I'll drink to that!

We made a crap film! I’ll drink to that!

Stars: Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske, Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Cloris Leachman, Donald Sutherland and Jurgen Prochnow
Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar

Movies don’t seem all that easy to make. You need a fair bit of money, a lot of people appear on camera and behind it, someone to write it and then other people to get it screened in the cinema.

With so much money and so many people involved you’d think that crap films just wouldn’t get made. You’d think that someone in charge of the money or even someone working on the film would say ‘‘you know what? This film sounds like shit. We shouldn’t make it’’.

And yet crap films exist. I’m not talking about films that looked like they were good but ended up failing at the box office. It can be hard to pick what would be a good film. I’m talking about films that, right from their genesis, were destined to be crap.

Films like Beerfest. It’s a film from the comedy group known as Broken Lizard. They’re the guys who made the mildly amusing Super Troopers back in 2001 and, since then, have released progressively worse films. Well, I don’t know that’s entirely true. The film after Super Troopers was Club Dread and that was crap. Then there was Beerfest. Crap. Then there was The Slammin’ Salmon, which I have no interest in seeing at all. Sure, it could be stellar comedy. But I doubt it.

Beerfest is about brothers Jan and Todd Wolfhouse, who go to Oktoberfest and discover a secret event called Beerfest. It’s a series of drinking games in which teams from every nation compete (including ‘‘Australians’’ – complete with totally awful ‘‘Australian’’ accents). In their first attempt the brothers get laughed at so they go back to the US and build a team to compete the following year. And win back the family brewery from the Germans or some such rubbish plot device – I honestly wasn’t paying that much attention.

The films feels like it was thought up by a bunch of guys sitting around and drinking beer. And then it underwent absolutely no refinement. All the jokes are either about drinking (burping, being drunk, urinating, vomiting, sleeping with an unattractive person, etc etc) or cheap national stereotypes (Germans are evil, Australians are blokey, Americans are awesome, etc, etc). One of the few funny moments is seeing Jurgen Prochnow make fun of his famous role in Das Boot.

The acting is pretty crap too – the presence of Cloris Leachman, Donald Sutherland and Jurgen Prochnow only serves to highlight how bad it is.

There is apparently an uncut version of this film. Why anyone would want to watch more of this film is a mystery to me. At 110 minutes the original version was already way too long.

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