National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)

National Lampoon’s Animal House
Directed by John Landis
Written by Harold Ramis, Chris Miller, Douglas Kenney
(number 287)

Content warning for animals in distress, animal death, rape jokes, sexual abuse in this movie.

Okay so I have seen a movie like this before, Monsters University. Which was a weird movie for Pixar to make TBH, since it’s basically this but for kids. And this movie is one of those classic gross out/sex/slapstick comedy about a bunch of dudes.

Kevin Bacon plays a bad guy – a pledge for the ‘fancy’ frat house, John Belushi as the stereotypical drunken lout and Donald Sutherland as the coolest professor in the world. (Has a great cat, writing a novel, gives his students pot).

I guess a lot of my feelings about this film are covered in my review of Dazed and Confused where I basically don’t understand why it’s fun to watch people bully each other and treat them like crap. Or why is it funny to kill a horse? I just.. urgh.

Oh and… attempted rape. Like, very near miss date rape. How… funny? with his little angel and devil on the shoulder and the devil calls him a homo for not raping her? And there’s a lot of things like that later in the movie with other characters too. To be honest it was just gross.

Oh hey, there’s lots of references to this in season three Veronica Mars as well aren’t there? I guess that this film must’ve been influential. Is this the front runner for stuff like The Hangover? Road Trip? All those kind of stoner comedies? I don’t know if that’s a film family tree that needs celebrating.

Does it make me love the people? I… don’t think so.

Bechdel test: There’s a tonne of girls talking to each other in the sorority with their bras off, about how they’re having a pillow fight but only Mandy is named. And then she immediate is peeped on by Bluto as she gets undressed. He even gives us a little knowing eyebrow raise so we’re complicit in his peeping. So that’s just great. Mandy and Babs are the ‘nice girls’ and then there’s Katy who’s the ‘cool girl’ (please watch Gone Girl for the definition of this) and then a few other women who only speak to men.

Best line:

No more fun of any kind!

State of Mind: I kind of want Bluto’s shirt which just says “college” but overall. Nah. Nah to this movie. I want to question why it’s on the list but.. so’s a whole lot of other crappy male centred comedy so I dunno. This kind of film makes me want to give up this list. I won’t, because I have found a bunch of gems in here as well but…urgh.

Watched movie count


3 thoughts on “National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)

  1. Wow you really didn’t like this one. Great review nonetheless – all you have said is spot on. Tbh, it’s hard to understand why on earth this made the top 500?!?!

    • Yeah, I think this list has some pretty bizarre entries. The list was partially critically acclaimed stuff and partially user voted so I blame the readers of Empire magazine XD

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