How the teen gross-out thing got its start
Rating: NNNNNANIMAL HOUSE (John Landis, 1978) now gets hailed as as a masterpiece of anarchic humour, but let's not get.
ANIMAL HOUSE (John Landis, 1978) now gets hailed as as a masterpiece of anarchic humour, but let’s not get carried away. John Belushi’s turn as the leader of the wild Delta House fraternity nailed his reputation as an id wrapped in a large intestine, and it’s his barrelhouse performance that carries this movie. That and John Landis’s early talent for piling gag upon gag, later perfected in the first Blues Brothers movie. Granted, Animal House did bring the sick and twisted, post-Watergate glee of National Lampoon and Saturday Night Live to movie screens for the first time. It boasts the most influential food fight ever. It cast the democratic nature of American comedy in a new, lower register. And it is the father of every gross-out comedy that’s graced American cinema for the past half-decade. OK, maybe it is a masterpiece. NNN (August 10, Royal)