HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, Russian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Animated menus
  • Music video - MXPX 'Shout'
  • 2 Documentaries - Mockumentary + The Yearbook
  • Trivia track

Animal House - 25th Anniversary Edition

Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 104 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Made in 1978 for an audience similar to the one the recent American Pie films are, Animal House contains a kind of sweet crudity that today is almost blasť. Our modern films tend to go a little bit to extremes to wring the laughs (or just plain controversy Ė any press is good press), while Animal House has some more subtle laughs hinted at, rather than inferred.

Thereís nothing new here. Or perhaps there is. I canít think of a college movie of this nature previous, so perhaps itís all new with multiple imitators having followed since. At any rate, we follow the misadventures of a chapter house at Faber College (yes, Emil Faber is a distant relation of mine), nicknamed Animal House. Drunkenness, lechery, fighting, destruction, drunkenness and more destruction all do their part to contribute to making the nickname stick.

And drunkenness. Did I mention that?

It seems our heroes must pass some kind of test or get thrown out of college and, naturally, they need to cheat to do so. Hey, theyíre having fun at college, not joining a prayer group. Naturally, the bureaucrat dorks in the neighbouring house have their noses firmly in place up the deanís arse, and make sure the Animals donít succeed. So, with little else to do since being thrown out of college, whatís a bunch of horny, drunken louts to get up to? Sabotage, thatís what. Sweet, sweet sabotage.

"The time has come for someone to put his foot down... and that foot is me!"

Cinema of the time was going through a renaissance of exploration of the medium, and films of this irreverent nature were starting to pop up all over the place. Animal House still manages to hang in there as a film, regardless of its 25 years, although by todayís standard quite a number of the gags are a little ordinary and even naÔve. However, this was the first and paved the way for a slew of films of the ilk. Any film involving madcap college kids drinking and committing pantie raids has its roots firmly established in this film, I think itís safe to say. Itís a benchmark by which all later college movies are measured, even though it has far been eclipsed gross-out gag-wise and scantily-clad young ladies having pillowfights-wise.

  Video
Contract

Being the 25-year reunion version, the film has been treated to a sterling transfer. Barely an artefact throughout and an exceptionally good-looking picture bring us the film in all its visual horror. Colours are great and evenly delivered, flesh tones are natural and the limited shadow detail is quite visible. The film has been brought to us in 1.85:1 with 16:9 enhancement and looks just great. Overall, much respect has been shown to the film and the quality of the overall delivery is apparent. The layer change stops in at 74:41 and while mildly noticeable, isnít disastrous.

  Audio
Contract

Whilst we get a nice Dolby Digital 5.1 surround dealie, it doesnít really have anything too immersive in it. Dialogue is all okay, although there are one or two occasions for a quick replay. Sound effects are quite dated however, with plenty of stock sound effects peppering the landscape. There are only so many times you can hear the same sound of breaking glass dropped onto a smashed liquor bottle, smashing window pane or smashing pumpkin.

The film is set in 1962, so we get to enjoy lots of cool early rock and roll of the day. The score is also poignant with plenty of American brass fulfilling the college atmosphere. However, this is not nearly as much fun as the drunken versions of Louie Louie or Shout.

  Extras
Contract

Animated menus run rife throughout with montages of popular film bits. Then we are given five extras atop those with the first being a mockumentary entitled Where Are They Now? Ė A Delta House Update. Running for 23:23, this follows closely the spirit of the film and has been made for this 25-year anniversary edition. There is occasional footage to jog the memory, but mostly it features the surviving cast (or those they could track down or were interested) in character describing their lives since the heady days of Animal House. Fun and worth watching to see what the young people in the film look like today.

A rather unannounced music video from MXPX (whoever they are) performing Shout follows. This runs for 4:20 and contains some limited clips from the film, but I am at a loss to explain what it is doing on this DVD. Oh well.

Did You Know That? Universal Anecdotes is a comprehensive trivia track that plays throughout the film and is pretty interesting and occasionally even funny. For anyone whoís seen the film a million times this is a fun way to rewatch it, in lieu of an audio commentary.

The Yearbook: An Animal House Reunion is a recent documentary about the making of the film and the history of how it came to be. Interviews with principle crew deliver some interesting insights into the production, with the whole thing running for a huge 45:19.

Finally, the trailer swings by for 2:45 with a creepy voiceover. Itís delivered in 1.85:1 with 16:9ness and has been cleaned up considerably. And there you have it. A nice little collection for the connoisseurs of Animal House to get their pointed teeth into.

  Overall  
Contract

Well, a classic film is treated classically with a fabulous transfer. Some nice extras fill out the disc well giving meaning to the Special Edition tag. I recommend it for anyone who wishes to pay homage to the roots of some very funny films of today. Animal House comes from a time where sequels were rarely envisaged because there were no video or DVD sales in the equation, therefore the films had to have lasting appeal on their own merits.

Itís funny and itís crude, but itís also a little dated. Anyone who can overlook this minor detail though will find themselves some almost charming gags hidden among the refuse of Animal House itself. So letís change the Ďdatedí to Ďnostalgicí and everything will be okay.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=3545
  • Send to a friend.

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
  •   
      And I quote...
    "John Belushi is young and still alive during this film, something he canít say about his later years."
    - Jules Faber
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Teac DVD-990
    • TV:
          Sony 51cm
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Subwoofer:
          Akai
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
      Recent Reviews:
    by Jules Faber

    Narrow Margin
    "Gene Hackman as an action star? It happenedÖ "

    A King in New York: SE
    "Taking a poke at too many demons makes this film a little stilted and not among his best works"

    A Zed and Two Noughts
    "Is it art or is it pornography? Who cares? Both are good."

    Blake's 7 - The Complete Series One
    "Performances are fine, but the flimsy sets, the crappy props and the undisguisable late 70s hairdos are just too much."

    Heavens Above
    "While not amongst some of Sellersí more confident roles, this one is still up there amidst the more subtle of themÖ"

      Related Links
      None listed

     

    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright © DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5   
    rss