What I Think Animal House is About
I have to admit I know very little about fraternities since my only experience with Greek life was to have a timid, quivering pledge of one of the sororities come up to me on my college campus, and asked if I had thought about pledging. I said no. And not nicely. I was a big asshole; I admit it. It was sophomore year, and I was going through shit, and then on top of that I was a surly asshole, so my apologies to her.
Anyway, long story short, I didn’t pledge. I think I was a member of some sort of national journalism fraternity/sorority type deal in high school. I have a pin somewhere. Are the Masons a fraternity? Or is that the Illuminati?
I haven’t seen Animal House; I know. I’ve been terribly wrong. From what I understand, it’s the quintessential fraternity comedy that has spun into an entire marketplace of crap boyfriends have made me sit through. It’s the genesis of fratire, and all things college/binge drinking related in popular culture. So, uh, thanks for that. Also RIP John Belushi who was a national treasure. Let’s jump in.
In a world without honor, I’m assuming some New England American town in the 1970’s, there is a college that’s probably supposed to be a simulacrum of a Big Ten or Ivy League school. I’m going to bet the writer was a bit fratty and wanted to regale the world with hilarious tales of living in squalor for a few years in college for fun. I’m going to guess that he made himself the attractive one who is a bit shy. There is always a hot doofus, who isn’t as bad a doofus as the rest, and ends up king of the doofi, but manages to still be a good guy somehow. Doofus magic is like that. Isn’t National Lampoon related to the Harvard Lampoon? Yes, that sounds right. So this is Harvard. I want you to soak that in. Hollywood’s ideal Harvard student in John Belushi. Because Harvard thinks it’s worthy of Belushi.
You ain’t shit, Harvard.
Belushi is beyond you.
John Belushi is the president (boy king?) of the Delta Theda Bara fraternity at…Schmarvard University in…Iowa City, Connecticut. This all reads so University of Michigan to me. Right down to that weird, Humpty Dumpty looking fucker on the lower right, but whatever. The Delta’s are the coolest and uncoolest frat at Schmarvard. They don’t have a lot of legacy pledges, and don’t subscribe to traditional Schmarvard pedigree. They aren’t megga hotties, or play rugby, or have disposable sports cars. Some of them might even have gotten a scholarship to play badminton. They can’t bring in those babes on the cheer squad, (spoiler: women are status symbols and not people), but they make up for it by throwing killer parties in their gorgeous historical home that is now decrepit, and coated in a thick layer of vomit.
The school hates them because they want to tear down that million dollar home, and build a shiny new office for the administration. That dweeb down at the bottom, who is probably named Conover or Rutherford but has a snazzy nickname like Tot or Scooter, is the son of the president of the college, and is planning on pledging Delta so that he can bring information back to his daddy. Could the president of the college just take the building and cut Greek life? Yes, but there’s one rich Delta donor who won’t keep giving funding if the house is demoed. So now Tot must spy. I might be convinced this movie is just Accepted with fraternities.
Tot doesn’t blend in very well, and the Delta’s catch on, declaring revenge on the president, and the administration. Staggered between elaborate party scenes, one featuring an army general on a horse for some reason, Belushi — THE KING OF THE DELTAS — decides that the only way to really get back at President Abernathy, (it’s probably Abernathy), is to wreck the sport car that Tot is now driving cheerleaders around in while wearing a sweater vest like a chump. Also, he has a Ted Bundy haircut.
Side plot: The avatar for the writer, who I assume is the little weirdo on the roof on the left, loses his virginity (FINALLY) to the Mrs. Robinson on the other side of the roof. I mean, it was really time. He was 18! And men must sleep with all women constantly in order to be real men! Because it’s not about having the sex you want to have, but living up the warped idea of conquest. But no worries. He manages. And is an AMAZING lover. Takes to it like a duck to juggling. If Game of Thrones has taught me anything, young virgins are excellent at sex right out of the gate. Also dragons are real.
Belushi wrecks Tot’s car, and throws the keggers of all keggers. Not only does he do a keg stand, but pulls off the keg triple axle. It’s where you do a backflip, a spinning back tuck, and a cartwheel onto the keg into a kegstand without fucking up the landing. Only the purest, truest Deltas have managed it.
I have no idea what that guy on the motorcycle is about but he probably rode that bike through a wall to much cheering.
In the end, Writer Avatar is elected (?) president of the Deltas and John Belushi graduates. He bestows upon him the sacred drinking chalice of the original Delta Theda Bara president, who wittled it out of mahogany and poor people. The Writer Avatar, Mike or something, sheds a single tear before declaring the wild rumpus start, and an orgy ensues. John Belushi rides off to graduation, where he immediately arrested.
Three years later, Belushi is picked up from prison by Dan Aykroyd.
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