Monday, April 25, 2022


The Viking melodrama The Northman, now in theaters, dramatizes the Nordic legend that was the root of Shakespeare's Hamlet. It's to the credit of Harkins Theatres that, as the "Tuesday Night Classic" for this week, they're showing another, rather more lighthearted version of Hamlet: 1983's Strange Brew, the big-screen outing of the SCTV "hosers" Bob and Doug McKenzie, played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas respectively.

No, really. The toque-wearing, beer, donut and back-bacon loving Canadian brothers from the second-greatest sketch comedy show of all time (second only to Monty Python's Flying Circus, that is) serve as a sort of two-man Horatio in the yarn, in which Pam Elsinore (Lynne Griffin) finds, after the death of her father, that her Uncle Claude (Paul Dooley) has taken over the family business, Elsinore Brewery. A video game assumes the role of The Ghost. Best of all is the great Max Von Sydow, who plays an evil brewmeister completely straight, as if he was the villain in a Bond picture.

Directed by Thomas and Moranis from a script they wrote with Steve De Jarnatt, this very silly but sweet-natured and sometimes hilarious '80s curio deserves a bigger cult. I defy anyone to deny the ring of Shakespearean poetry in a line like "Gee, you're real nice. If I didn't have puke breath, I'd kiss you."

Strange Brew plays at 7 p.m. Tuesday at numerous Harkins locations, as part of the chain's "Tuesday Night Classics" series. Tickets are just $5; go to for details.

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