Saturday, August 30, 2014

National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)

While the first section of its title may confuse you, mainly due to the Chevy Chase movies bearing the name, as well as the painfully unfunny string of semi-recent sex-comedies college, National Lampoon's Animal House has stood the test of time as one of the all-time great comedies, and college movies! A pretty good status for a gross-out frat movie that breaks as much glass as Jackie Chan's Police Story...

Of all the fraternity houses at Faber College, Delta House is the least popular in the books of the uptight Dean Wormer, who hates the frat's constant pranks and drunken antics. He has the house put on double secret probation, with the condition that if Delta makes one more mistake, they'll have their house charter revoked, with a possibility of expulsion. Not taking this lying down, the Delta House plan on getting even with Wormer-If they're going down, so is he...

Animal House is an extremely entertaining movie. The comedy here is mostly all funny. There are a couple of jokes here and there over the course of the film that don't hit the mark, but what's really problematic is the finale. Not only is that marching band part so stupid it's dumb, but I've never found the ending 'where are they now' captions for the characters all that funny. That, and they don't even make much sense, given everyone in Delta House was expelled...Unless something happens offscreen, but if it did, I would like to friggin' know! I did after all watch a whole movie with these characters, so I would prefer an actual conclusion rather than just an abrupt finale that stops moreso than it ends.

The other fault of Animal House is the characters. As the movie is more just a collection of scenes with a plot stringing it all together (like what Caddyshack did) the characters don't have much to them-They're just fun guys. While I would've preferred there be a little something more to them though, this isn't a problem that by any means sinks the movie, but it's still irksome. As for characters I didn't like, I feel that way about Karen Allen's, and that whole storyline with her and Boon. I also feel that Donald Sutherland's character is completely pointless. I'd like him more if he was in more scenes, but he's barely in the movie.

The acting is all very good here, such as Stephen Furst as the wholesome Flounder, That Guy from the Twisted Sister Music Video as the psychotic and militaristic Needermyer, John Vernon as the rude and dickish Dean Wormer, and most importantly, John Belushi as the drunkard slob Bluto.

Animal House has a great soundtrack, from Shout, Shama-Lama-Ding-Dong, Louie Louie, to the songs of Sam Cooke. This is a film with musical taste! The ending song however, I don't like so much. The chorus is fantastic, and both complements and ends the film perfectly, but the rest?! It sounds like a crap falsetto Pallisades Park soundalike.

National Lampoon's Animal House isn't one of the funniest movies ever made, in my opinion, but it is a hysterically entertaining time, and I'm sure it'd make for a great watch if you're in college!...

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