Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Animal House

“We have an old saying in Delta House: don't get mad, get even.”

            Before I transferred to a four year college from community college (Yes, the show pretty much hits the nail on the head about being at a community college except for the fact that it does not suck) I always thought that every frat party and house would look like the one in Animal House. I quickly realized that not all frats are like the Deltas in the movie but I did manage to be friends with a guy who in all seriousness was in a frat like the Deltas even down to their decrepit house and all the beer bottles and cans everywhere and pulled off a stunt similar to the one in the ending. All they were missing was D-Day on the motorcycle and an awesome basement (their “basement” was all tunnels since it was part of the Underground Railroad).
            Animal House is about the Delta fraternity and their insane members. The house is a disaster that looks like it should be condemned. Otter is the head of the frat and a complete smooth talker and womanizer. Boon is second in command and Otter’s friend. He has a girlfriend but also likes to have a good time drinking and going to parties like the rest of the frat. Bluto Blutarsky can barely pass for a student he is just enrolled in classes so he can be part of the frat.
            The dean of the college, Dean Wormer, wants the Deltas kicked off campus for good. He enlists the help of the Omegas and some ROTC members. The Omegas are preppy smart, good looking snots and are not well liked by too many on campus. They hate the Deltas as well.
            There are so many hilarious, outrageous moments in this movie it is hard just to choose one scene to say I liked the best and even if I could it would not be even remotely funny…. Alright maybe I will just say what my favorite part is…. Bluto, D-Day, and Flounder steal a horse from the head of the ROTC Neidermeyer. They bring the horse into Dean Wormer’s office where Flounder is told by the other two that he has to kill the horse. Flounder does not want to kill the horse so he fires the gun to the ceiling and the horse drops dead! D-Day and Bluto run in saying there were blanks in the gun the horse was not supposed to die it must have had a heart attack!..... See ridiculous amazing humor and this is just one of the dozens of crazy scenes in the movie.
            The cast is really great. John Belushi was the only well known actor out the cast at the time and he had never made a movie before this he was just really well known from Saturday Night Live. I found him more hilarious when he did not say anything his actions and facial expressions were enough to make me laugh. Tim Matheson plays Otter. As far as college frat movies go Matheson as Otter is the quintessential smooth talker and ladies man. Otter was not even slimy he was just charming. All the other frat guys including the ones from Omega were excellent. Karen Allen plays Katy, Boon’s girl friend. I had no idea she was even in the movie when I first saw it so I was happy to see her in something besides Raiders of the Lost Ark. In the extras for Raiders Steven Spielberg said he saw Allen in Animal House and wanted her to be Marion Ravenwood. I think I cracked up seeing Bruce McGill as D-Day the most. I am so used to seeing him as this fat old detective on Rizzoli and Isles and just seeing him on other TV shows throughout the years. a younger Donald Sutherland shows up for two scenes as one of the profesorrs who shares with Katy, Boon, and new frat member Pinto some weed over at his place.
            John Landis who besides this movie is most famous for directing Michael Jackson’s Thriller video and An American Werewolf in England. The story is based off stories written by Chris Miller in the National Lampoon Magazine. The screenplay was written by Miller along with Douglas Kennedy and Harold “Egon Spangler” Ramis and some of their experiences along with Miller’s were added to the movie.
            Animal House is the perfect college movie. From start to finish it is just hilarious because it never for one moment takes itself seriously. The ending is probably one of the best endings ever it is so fitting to all the characters in the Delta house. All the college/fraternity- themed films that have been made after Animal House or in its likeness cannot even hold a candle to this original and still incredibly entertaining movie. The reason Animal House has most likely stood the test of time is because new generations of college kids find it and relate to all the insanity and know at least someone like one of the characters. Some things may have changed from the 1960s setting of the movie but boys will be boys and their craziness has not changed at all.