Beerfest (2006) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Tuna's notes

This is the latest Broken Lizard comedy, and it essentially consists of drinking games on steroids.  It is crude, disgusting, racist, and misogynistic. It glorifies alcohol abuse, and contains foul language, perverse sexual situations, and excessive violence. There is not a single scene or line of dialogue that is in any way politically correct.

In other words, it is a whole lot of fun.

When their grandfather dies, brothers Paul Soter and Eric Stolhanske head to Germany with his ashes. There they are told that their great-grandfather was the bastard son of a stable boy and a whore. The idea that lovable great-granny is a ho bothers them, but they choose not to believe it anymore than they believe that the old man stole the formula for the best beer in Germany before he left with his whore bride, particularly since he never went into the brewing business!. Great-grandma eventually tells a somewhat different story, basically that she was a ho, but was madly in love with great-grandpa, and that the boys are actually the rightful heirs to the entire brewery in Munich.

Fortunately, their grandfather had the good sense to die in October, and to have a family in Munich - therefore placing the lads in the middle of Octoberfest.  While there, they are admitted to a secret beer drinking contest called Beerfest, which is sponsored by their relatives. When they get their collective asses kicked by the Germans in the beer games, they decide that the only way to get even is to recruit a hand-picked team and go back the following year to "kick some Kraut ass." The biggest training obstacle is figuring out how to drink from the dreaded "boot," but this challenge gives them even more motivation. During their extensive training program, they discover the "stolen" beer recipe and reason that if that part of the story is true, then there must be more to great-grandma (Cloris Leachman) than they had ever suspected.

The film is a riot, and the DVD is outstanding. Overall it's the best youthploitation gross-out comedy since the first American Pie. You have to see Cloris Leachman demonstrating oral sex on a summer sausage. If this sort of crude humor is your idea of funny, run, don't walk to rent your copy.



The DVD is no less than spectacular, including two commentaries, featurettes on the influence of beer on history, drinking games, and meaningful deleted scenes. The widescreen transfer is wonderful.



  • Breasts from Candace Smith and Sarah Figoten

  • Breasts from several unknowns in a complicated "chain strip" like the game of Mousetrap.

  • Breasts from Simona Fusco in the deleted scenes.

  • Bum from Jay Chandrasekar

Scoop's notes

I liked the movie. Maybe not as much as Tuna did, but I liked it. The Broken Lizard guys did a beautiful job at writing what they know about. They were beer-swillin', party-lovin' frat boys themselves, and they just raised their own university experiences to a mythical level and packaged the film in the context of a sports film. They followed the basic formula of the "underdog slobs triumph over institutional snobs" movie - it's basically Rocky - but instead of taking place in a real sport, the story unfolds within a secret underground beer-drinking Olympics.

It has a couple of beautiful little "inside" jokes that cracked me up, one a reference to American Werewolf in London which I won't spoil for you, the other an homage to Das Boot. You see, as Tuna noted, the greatest challenge in major league beer-drinking is to chug the entire boot-shaped glass. The Germans call it "Das Boot." Never mind that "Das Boot" means "The Boat" and that the German word "boot" is pronounced about the same as the American word "boat." None of that matters. What does matter is this:

(1) The evil head of the German drinking family is played by Jurgen Prochnow, who played the submarine commander in the classic film "Das Boot."

(2) When the Germans have to get to America to make an offer on the secret "stolen" recipe, they make the trip by ... submarine.

I wouldn't have agreed with Tuna's "high C+" rating based on the movie alone. My take on it is that it's a pleasant watch targeted at drunken frat boys everywhere, and has just enough verbal laughs that I never really got bored by the slapstick. I was impressed that they did a good job at developing each of the individual characters, but I still would have called it a C if I had watched it in a theater. The overall DVD package raises it to a whole new level. Two full-length commentaries, various interviews, featurettes, and deleted scenes make the disc well worth a look for lowbrow comedy lovers. Even the menu is hilarious. I almost forgot to start the movie because I got distracted by the humor in the animated menu (a staged press conference for the American drinking team).

The Critics Vote ...

  • British consensus: they hated it. One star out of four. Mail 0/10, Telegraph 4/10, Independent 2/10, Guardian 2/10, Times 2/10, Sun 6/10, Mirror 2/10, BBC 1/5.


The People Vote ...

  • Box Office Mojo. It grossed $19.1 million. A disappointment. The Weekend Warrior expected it to approach ten million on opening weekend and finish second, but it took in about seven million and finished fourth. Although it opened in about 3000 theaters, it could not beat Little Miss Sunshine, which was in its fifth week and only on half as many screens.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this can't be higher than a C+, as people who hate gross-out comedies will especially hate this one, but for genre fans, this is the best new one since American Pie.

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