Entertainment Weekly - 09/01/2006
"It's R-rated puerility for actual immature grown-ups....Bet on this: These guys did their own stunts." -- Grade: B+
With a title that insures against accusations of false advertising, BEERFEST is a raunchy and genial amalgamation of ANIMAL HOUSE, STRANGE BREW, FIGHT CLUB, and every clichéd sports film ever made. Written by and starring comedy troupe Broken Lizard (SUPER TROOPERS, CLUB DREAD) and directed by Lizard member Jay Chandrasekhar, the film is unapologetically sophomoric, never missing a chance for a belch, flatulence, bared breasts, or Cloris Leachman doing lewd things with a sausage. After the death of their bar-owning German grandfather (Donald Sutherland), Jan (Paul Soter) and Todd (Erik Stolhanske) Wolfhouse must travel to Munich to scatter his ashes. Fortunately for them, it's Oktoberfest, but the brothers aren't there very long before they embarrass themselves at a public celebration and find themselves at Beerfest, an annual international underground beer-guzzling competition. When they compete, they are disgraced by their German cousins, the Von Wolfhausens--headed by father Jurgen Prochnow--who claim that the Wolfhouses' late grandfather stole a beer recipe from them many years before. Jan and Todd return home to train for next year's competition, incorporating into their team a few old college pals--male prostitute Barry (Chandrasekhar), burly Landfill (Kevin Heffernan), and science nerd Fink (Steve Lemme).
For BEERFEST to work, it's imperative that viewers find humor in exaggerated German accents. Cloris Leachman appears to be enjoying throwing all comic caution to the wind, and Prochnow gets to lampoon DAS BOOT in a funny sequence. Big, sloppy, and ridiculous--compliments in this case--all apply to the third Broken Lizard feature, which is sure to burp its way into every fraternity house film library until the world ends.
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