NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
Like “The Blues Brothers,” I was just a bit too young to appreciate “Animal House” when it came out. I was more of a “Revenge of the Nerds” kid, which was released six years later. Still, looking back on “Animal House,” it’s a silly and fun film, which still held onto the 60s flavor but had the edge of the 70s, when it was made. Telling the story of a two nerdy kids joining the Delta House on campus, “Animal House” set the bar for wacky college films. It’s also an interesting spotlight on John Belushi, who got his feature film start with this movie and shines in the film more than I remember.
“Animal House” is a nice piece of counterculture which takes place at a time when there wasn’t much counterculture out there. It seems almost embarrassingly tame by today’s standards, but it was an edgy piece of work back then. Watching it again with the eyes of a parent, there are moments that do make me roll my eyes (as I watch my kids edging ever closer to the age of the characters in the film), but there’s still plenty of slapstick, crazy characters and naughty nature to enjoy.
The Blu-ray comes with an interesting long-form documentary “The Yearbook: An Animal House Reunion.” There’s also U-Control scene comparisons and music spotlights, as well as BD-Live and Pocket Blu access. Die-hard should enjoy playing the SceneIt? game feature. The last feature is “Where Are They Now? A Delta Alumni Update,” which is a John Landis-directed mockumentary about catching up with the characters. Most of the features are imports from the previous DVD release, and that mockumentary really falls flat, proving that the cast and director were better off with a script.