This past week has been quite a busy one, so when I was thinking of what to write this week, I needed a bit of fun. This week, you should watch… Beerfest! Beerfest is just a fun and silly movie from the the comedy team that brought you Super Troopers. They are known collectively as Broken Lizard and their comedies are just the right amount of quirkiness for me.
What’s Beerfest About?
The movie was released in 2006 and directed by Broken Lizard member Jay Chandrasekhar. After the death of their grandfather, brothers Jan and Todd Wolfhouse are sent to Germany by their grandmother. They are to take the urn to place along side the von Wolfhausen ancestors. There they are to meet someone who will take them to the secret location.
Once at the secret location, they discover that there is actually a beer-themed contest going on. Countries competing in an underground style beer Olympics. Jan and Todd found out that America was not in the competition and that the finals was Ireland vs Germany. They watched as the event went into Sudden Death where all 5 members of the team have a Chug-Off. The last member of the team has to drink out of a boot shaped glass called ‘Das Boot’.
The German team defeats the Irish team (yeah right) and Jan and Todd are introduced to their German cousins. Team Germany consists of Rolf, Otto, Gunther, Hammacher and Schlemmer von Wolfhausen. Their grandfather is Baron Wolfgang von Wolfhausen and he is also the man running Beerfest. Jan and Todd are told that their grandfather stole a recipe and is not a true von Wolfhausen but a stable boy.
Defending Family Honour
After being unceremoniously tossed out of Beerfest, Jan and Todd return to America with a goal in mind. They want to return to Germany next year and win Beerfest. They recruit former college friends to form their team of five. Barry Badrinath, ‘Landfill’ Krundle and Steve ‘Fink’ Finkelstein join up to begin year long training.
Not only do they have to consume copious amounts of beer, but they need to perfect the skills needed to win the games. Games include beer pong, trick quarters, long distance quarters, turbo quarters, the long pour, monkey chug, bat spin, Beirut, line chug and of course the dreaded ‘Das Boot’.
The two brothers find out the truth about their grandfather, that he is the rightful heir to the von Wolfhausen estate. So the motivation to compete and win is increased. Heading back to Germany and once more finding the secret Beerfest competition, Team USA is ready to win.
Who’s In It?
The movie stars all five members of Broken Lizard. Jan and Todd Wolfhouse are portrayed by Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske respectfully. The rest of Team USA has Kevin Heffernan as ‘Landfill’ Krundle, Jay Chandrasekhar as Barry and Steve Lemme as Steve ‘Fink’ Finkelstein.
Starring as the German Team… and with exaggerated German accents… were Nat Faxon as Rolf, Will Forte as Otto and Eric Christian Olsen as Gunther. The other two members of Team Germany were actual Germans in Ralf Möller as Hammacher and Gunther Schlierkamp as Schlemmer. Baron Wolfgang von Wolfhausen was portrayed by the wonderful Jürgen Prochnow.
Some of the other cast members included Oscar winner Cloris Leachman as Great Gam Gam Wolfhouse. Donald Sutherland had a wonderful cameo in the beginning of the film as Johann von Wolfhaus, the grandfather who passes away. Also appearing were: M.C. Gainey as a priest, Philippe Brenninkmeyer as Herr Referee, Mo’Nique as Cherry, James Roday as German Messenger and Willie Nelson as himself.
I really enjoy watching this film every now and then. It is just so much fun to watch. I do, however, have only one issue with this movie. Both the Canadian and Irish teams lose to the German team. As a Canadian who now lives in Ireland, I do not think that Germany could beat either nation. In fact, in the year that this movie was released, Canada actually won the Beer Olympics.
During the commentary tracks, the Broken Lizard team explain why they chose Germany. Basically, it comes down to the fact that they didn’t feel Canada, Ireland or other nations known for their drinking would be accepted as the ‘bad guy’. Plus, we wouldn’t have those wonderfully exaggerated German accents.
I love the film, and I am sure I will watch again in the future. However, next up from this team is the sequel to Super Troopers. The time is meow!