National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978) (mini-review++)

(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

acting 7

directing 8

effects 7

editing 7

writing 8


4.5 out of 5 🐙


The movie that started a seminal comedy franchise. It may be the movie that put the gross out comedy genre on the map. Sure, I’m talking about this like it’s some kind of historic film. It’s not that serious. But it seriously is a historic comedy film. It was John Belushi’s finest hour (all due respect to the Blues Brothers) in his all too short comic career. He was accompanied by other actors turning in fine comic performances like Margot Kidder, Peter Riegert, Donald Sutherland, and Kevin Bacon. I won’t say more because what more can be said about a comedy classic?

I will close with my favorite line from the movie. It’s not especially funny on its face and I don’t think anyone would choose it as their favorite. It takes place when Donald Sutherland (playing a sleazy and completely disrespected college professor):

[None of his literature students are paying attention] 

Jennings Don’t write this down, but I find Milton probably as boring as you find Milton. Mrs. Milton found him boring too. He’s a little bit long-winded, he doesn’t translate very well into our generation, and his jokes are terrible.

[Bell rings, students rise to leave] 

Jennings But that doesn’t relieve you of your responsibility for this material. Now I’m waiting for reports from some of you… Listen, I’m not joking. This is my job!


On a personal note, this was also the first time (redacted on the advice of my better sense). Just know it was an important revelation for me.







(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

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