HAPPY HOUR (1987) Troma-esque comedy about two big beer companies destroying society with their top secret ingredient.

Happy HourTheme Song:


“I Wouldn’t Do That to You” by Devo. I think a lot of people dislike the 80s soundtrack work Mark Mothersbaugh did. This certainly doesn’t make a strong case for his efforts. The weird synth stuff makes it a little difficult to take seriously.

Interesting Dated References: Two morbidly obese people fornicating being presented as unique; Children drinking beer; Wacky slapstick 80s comedies being enjoyable; Movies being watched in a party environment.

Best Line: None of note.

Social Context: Beneath the Troma-esque comedy, there’s actually some sort of anti-big business diatribe going on, but of course it’s totally lost under a bunch of silly action. Happy Hour was written, directed, and produced by John De Bello, the man who created, wrote, directed, soundtracked, and edited the majority of the Killer Tomatoes franchise. If you’re familiar with that body of work, you’ve probably got a good idea of the 80s slapstick action going on here. This appears to be one of only two non-Killer Tomato related credits in his resume.

Summary: Happy Hour begins with two scientists in a lab experimenting on mice. A male scientist, Blakely, and his female partner, Meredith, discover some type of secret ingredient that makes beer very addictive to all. To clarify, the secret ingredient that makes beer very addictive is not depression or living in the Midwest.

Happy Hour

So, their employer, Marshall Industries, starts selling this addictive beer and their sales go through the roof. The only problem is, everyone, including children, start becoming comical drunks. Not one single person becomes a depressed, emotionally-unstable drunk. Instead, they all just get happy and hug.

Happy Hour

This magical secret ingredient is stored in two different vials, one of which is quickly stolen by the disgruntled female scientist, Meredith. All of the action I just described transpires in like three minutes.

Happy Hour

Meredith takes her vial to El Macho, who is Marshall’s big beer competitor. In an effort to try to steal back the vial, Marshall Industries hires Jamie Farr and Tawny Kitaen as some type of spy duo. Oh, and in a counter-effort, El Macho has their spy, Rich Little, try to infiltrate Marshall. Sound ridiculous? It is. Sound a bit boring? It is. Full of attempts at wacky hijinks? It is. Funny? That depends.

Happy Hour

Then things start to get sillier and sillier. Seriously, you could slap a Troma sticker on this and it would be right at home. There are a lot of people who enjoy movies like this, but I may not be in the right mood.

Happy Hour

Eventually everyone is wasted and society is falling apart. Jamie Farr and company go golfing with a guy who looks a lot like Obama and they all decide to use Eddie Deezen to infiltrate El Macho.

Happy Hour

Jamie Farr’s voice sounds exactly like my grandpa’s. This fact is not interesting to you. So then Deezen, Farr, and Kitaen get caught-up in some Mexican shootout. Meanwhile, Rich Little is trying to steal the secret ingredient from Marshall Industries, and then our two scientists decide to steal both vials of the ingredient and ride off into the sunset. Then the movie ends. Here are some girls in bikinis to make up for this terrible analysis:

Happy Hour

Happy Hour

Poster and Box Art: The poster for Happy Hour was wonderfully illustrated by movie poster powerhouse Drew Struzan. Do you understand how many posters this man has illustrated? He’s a master of the air-brush/colored pencil and he really shines on this one. Another thing about Drew, he always nailed the actors’ faces. If you want to learn something, you should buy this book.

happyhour_poster_detail

Availability: Out of print officially, but it appears you can watch it via Amazon Prime. It also has aired on MGMHD channel as Sour Grapes.

Leave a Reply