National Lampoon's Animal House (DVD, 2003, Double Secret Probation Edition; Full Frame) Reviews
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National Lampoon's Animal House (DVD, 2003, Double Secret Probation Edition; Full Frame)

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Zany College Fun: Animal House

Dec 29, 2007
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Humor, Fun, John Belushi and other unknowns

Cons:Gross

The Bottom Line: Highly satisfying parody of campus fraternity life. Basis for most road trip, couch potato, and geek movies of the last thirty years.


Animal House (1978)

"Toga! Toga! Toga!" group chant

This is a comedy that seems to be a big hit with one and all because the frat house boys that we like to laugh at so much just never grow old.

The frat house boys of Animal House are doubly funny because they have previously unknown comedians John Belushi, Tom Hulce, and Tim Matheson doing their shtick and everybody agrees that they know what they are doing when it comes to comedy. John Vernon provides straight man support, as does a wigged out Donald Sutherland.

National Lampoon's Animal House concerns a frat house on the campus of staid midwestern Faber University, c. 1962. The conflict is between the lackadaisical residents of Delta House (the frat boys) and the college administration, led by Dean Wormer (John Vernon) who wants nothing more than to get rid of Delta Fraternity.

There is, of course, a suck-up fraternity, Omega, which is eager to do the Dean's bidding. ROTC members Doug Niedermeyer (Mark Metcalf) and Gregg Marmalard (James Daughton) are more than willing tools to prosecute Dean Wormer's nefarious plan to root out Delta using any means necessary.

The movie is basically a coming of age story wrapped in a rapid fire comedy that showcases the talents of the then unknown John Belushi, Tim Matheson, and others. Belushi is by far the most memorable as Bluto Blutarski with his coarse habits and physical gross out humor. The fascistic Doug Niedermeyer is a great counterweight to the subversive Blutarski. The rest of the cast is also great with many memorable hijinks from Tom Hulce, Karen Allen, and Peter Riegert, to name a few.

Animal House is a movie you need to watch because it is involving and funny and goes by way too fast. It has probably lost a bit of luster because, as the original, it spawned literally dozens of copy cat movies, none of which will hold a candle to this one. All the road trip, college, coming of age, and teen angst movies that have come since owe a huge (and usually unacknowledged) debt to National Lampoon's Animal House. Much of the shtick that first appeared in Animal House has made careers for both the participants and copy cats. I can't give the movie much higher praise than that.

The Universal Collector's Edition DVD contains a pristine copy of the movie in color, in 1.85:1 theatrical aspect, and running 109 minutes. There is a 45-minute making of documentary included as an extra feature but no commentary. Still, this is as good as it gets for modern screwball comedy so take a look.


Recommend this product? Yes


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ANIMAL HOUSE is the film that launched National Lampoon as a comedy powerhouse. Developed by the editors at the Harvard Lampoon, the film is a collect...
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ANIMAL HOUSE is the film that launched National Lampoon as a comedy powerhouse. Developed by the editors at the Harvard Lampoon, the film is a collect...
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ANIMAL HOUSE is the film that launched National Lampoon as a comedy powerhouse. Developed by the editors at the Harvard Lampoon, the film is a collect...
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ANIMAL HOUSE is the film that launched National Lampoon as a comedy powerhouse. Developed by the editors at the Harvard Lampoon, the film is a collect...
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