Animal House, Blu-Ray (1978/2011)
Starring: John Belushi, Kevin Bacon, Karen Allen, Donald Sutherland, Tom Hulse, John Landis, John Vernon, Tim Matheson
Director: John Landis
Studio: Universal 6115277 [7/26/11]
Video: 1.85:1 1080p HD
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French, German, Spanish, American Spanish, Italian DTS 2.0 mono
Subtitles: English SDH, European or Canadian French, Italian German, Catilan Spanish, American Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Suomalaisa, Dutch, Norwegian
Extras: “The Yearbook: An Animal House Reunion” – doc. with interview and behind-the-scenes’ footage with cast; “Where Are They Now?” – mockumentary featuring the original cast; “SceneIt? Animal House” – movie clips, trivia & more; BD Live; Pocket BLU app
Length: 109 minutes
Can’t believe I hadn’t seen this originally. This was the first National Lampoon feature and a young Kevin Bacon made his first credited screen appearance in it. Both Donald Sutherland and Karen Allen are very cute. Belushi is up to his usual disgusting tricks, but the lowbrow humor seems to work OK in this crude parody of college life in the 1960s. (Even his giant zit imitation.) The Toga Party scene is too much, and the scenes with Otis Day and the Knights performing (in two quite different locations) presaged Landis’ later Blues Brothers. The extras lack some of the bonus features which were included in the 1998 Collector’s Edition 2003 Double Secret Probation Edition, and the 20087 30th-Anniversary Edition, though on the Blu-ray there is more than enough room. These include Universal Animated Anecdotes about the production and a music video – “Shout” by MxPx. There’s online complaints about being forced to view many previews for other movies before getting to Animal House. Didn’t have that problem with the Blu-ray, fortunately.
Though l wasn’t a frat type, it brought back some of my college days – especially the wonderful gags on the ROTC guys. The bit about the Delta guys taking their dates to the all-black club to hear Otis Day may not have been politically correct, but it was certainly funny. Oregonites can note that much of the movie was shot on campus in Eugene. I was wondering if the mouldering Delta frat house was a real fraternity on the campus or created for the movie. The Blu-ray transfer is good, but the shot of the horse dying from fright at the blank shot into the air didn’t work.
— John Sunier