In 1980's "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes," writer-director John De Bello tried to make an over-the-edge travesty of bad movies: satire disguised as a typically inept low-grade shlocko-atrocio bomb. But after suffering through the '80s, maybe he's decided it's better to join them than lick them. "Happy Hour" (citywide) is a bad movie pure and simple.
Not that De Bello has lost his aspirations to satire. In "Happy Hour," he's after some hulking targets--mass consumerism, venal corporations, yuppie vacuity, movie violence, ads and addictions. Though he doesn't miss everything, his lances tend to bounce off squishily--just like those killer tomatoes.
The premise: A one-time college idealist-turned-beer-chemist accidentally discovers a secret ingredient that makes his Marshall Beer so wildly addictive that children begin pouring it on their cereal and the populace en masse becomes hopeless sots. Outraged, his erstwhile idealist-schoolmate heists half the formula for a rival beer--El Macho--triggering a full-scale brew brouhaha, complete with saboteurs and commando squads.
There are some good actors buried in here, including Jamie Farr on a macho binge, Richard Gilliland in a Bob Crane vein and Debi Fares--who is so loonily attractive as the dumb blond deluxe that you'd like to see her try something less demeaning.