In the latest of hot DVD releases, the gross-out comedy genre comes into full swing. It was 25 years ago that writer Harold Ramis and director John Landis set the standard of party movies. Animal House not only was a hit in and of itself, but it launched the careers of many of its stars.
John Belushi was Bluto, the quintessential party animal. His career was just beginning to peak from film (Neighbors) and television (SNL), but was cut short by a drug overdose in March of 1982.
The ultra-suave, ultra-hip Otter was played by Tim Matheson. Younger audiences will recognize him as the campaigning older brother to Chris Farley in 1996's Black Sheep.
Karen Allen's film debut led to other films such as Scrooged with Bill Murray and The Perfect Storm.
Kevin Bacon would eventually go on to become the biggest star of the bunch, starring in mega hits like 1984's Footloose and not-so-mega hits like 2000's Hollow Man.
It's not, however, the individual performances that stand out. There were no Oscar nods or Golden Globes or honorable mentions. The great part about Animal House is the ensemble.
All the cast mates have their moments, including geeky Pinto, down-to-earth Boone and portly Flounder. From the ultimate toga party to guitar smashing and kidnapping and simple chaos, every scene is memorable.
One that stands out is when D-day (Bruce McGill) and Bluto steal a horse and order the newest recruit Flounder to kill it, which leads one of the biggest gut laughs anyone has ever had.
These moments and a few special features are now being included on a 25th Anniversary re-release on DVD, complete with new sound and picture quality. The result is a timeless piece of work, worthy of a Jury Award at Cannes. Well, maybe not.
It should be in the video library of every film buff, right between Casablanca and Gone with the Wind. And if you haven't already seen it, you should put it at the top of your rental list. No matter how strict a parent is or how dull your math teacher might seem, he or she saw Animal House. Don't be fooledÉ They loved it. It is the greatest comedy of a generation.
Zach's Quick Capsule Review: Skip Political Science, go to Blockbuster now.
Animal House celebrates 25th year with DVD release
Published: Thu Sep 04, 2003 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 05:19 p.m.