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DVD Review

DVD cover

National Lampoon's
Animal House


Starring: John Belushi, Tim Matheson, John Vernon, Verna Bloom, Thomas Hulce and Donald Sutherland
Distributor: Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprise
RRP: £14.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 15 February 2016

This raunchy, screwball spoof about college life in the 1960’s sees Bhuto, Otter, Pinto and Flounder lead the way with their outrageous behaviour in the ultimate campus comedy...

For those of us of a certain age, Animal House will always be fondly remembered. It could be because Bhuto (John Belushi) was such a crazy character; it could be because it reminded us of our own college days; or, more likely, it could be because it was one of the first movies we saw where we got to see boobies on the big screen... Whatever the reason, this film will always hold a special place in a generations heart.

Sadly, it's a little disappointing to note that it's pretty tame and the comedy is fairly low key when compared to similar films that have been released since. While it's true to say that this is the father of all college life movies - all films of a similar genre (that includes American Pie) borrow heavily from this classic comedy. But, sadly this has aged rather badly. There are racist and sexist scenes which will have you sucking in breath sharply, and certainly wouldn't be tolerated in a movie made today.

This is the movie that made John Belushi a star (briefly until his premature death), and there are plenty of other familiar faces including a young Kevin Bacon, Donald Sutherland, Karen Allen (who played Marion in Raiders of the Lost Ark) and Stephen Furst (Babylon 5).

As with all these teen comedies, it only works if you like the main characters and hate the villains. Animal House works on that front, and it was interesting to hear on the extras, that Kevin Bacon (Chip Diller) and James Daughton (Douglas Neidermeyer) really did feel like outsiders when it came to hanging around with the rest of the cast when not filming.

This is a rather strange release. There are numerous editions available to buy online, all cheaper than the £15 price tag here, including a Blu-ray release and versions with other films included. It's also missing the mockumentary Where are they Now? which has been available on other releases.

Extras include "The Yearbook" an "Animal House" Reunion (45 min, 19 sec making of features that was produced in 1998); text based Production Notes and Cast and Filmmakers; and Theatrical Trailer (2 min, 40 sec).

For some, this will be a movie that is fondly remembered and shaped their informative years, but for a younger generation this may be a little on the dull side.


Nick Smithson

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