Watched John Landis's 1978 Comedy National Lampoon's Animal House

"Toga! Toga! Toga!"
--Bluto (as played by
John Belushi)

National Lampoon's Animal House is a 1978 comedy directed by John Landis, who later went on to direct many of my favorite movies including Trading Places, Coming To America, and Spies Like Us. It's about a rambunctious fraternity that causes trouble and fights the dean of their college when he tries to expel them. It's highly regarded as one of the funniest movies of all time with the AFI naming it #36 on its 100 Years... 100 Laughs List, and Bravo rating it #1 on its 100 Funniest Movies list.

This film was
National Lampoon's first feature film in a line of many that include National Lampoon's Vacation, European Vacation, Christmas Vacation, Vegas Vacation, and Loaded Weapon (just to name a few).

The film takes place in 1962, when college freshmen Larry Kroger and Kent Dorfman seek to join a fraternity at Faber College. After being treated pretty badly by the Omega Theta Pi House, they try next door with the Delta Tau Chi's. In need of the dues, the fraternity accepts them as pledges.

The role of prominent Delta member John Blutarsky (Bluto) and much of the film was written specifically for John Belushi, and he is definitely given the chance to shine in the role.

Dean Vernon Wormer played by
John Vernon tries every trick he can think of to get the fraternity charter suspended and the students expelled. He even institutes what he calls a "double secret probation".

In addition to the dean's antics, the fraternity also faces opposition from their next door rivals, the Omega Theta Pi House.

Donald Sutherland makes a cameo as one of Faber College's professors.

Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable movie, but I think I was hoping for more. I can see why it was such a big influence on many films I love, like
There's Something About Mary or even more obviously Old School, but I think it's either a bit overrated or it doesn't stand the test of time. It pains me to say that because I really wanted to love this film. Unfortunately, I think it fell a bit flat.

If you're a fan of the "gross out" comedy genre, I would say it was worth checking out, but I don't have an overwhelming desire to see it again.

Related Items:
Animal House on Blu-ray
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