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Total Frat Movies: Animal House

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Gentleman, today Total Frat Movies is paying homage to the movie that set the bar. It broke the mold. It showed the world. It is THE A1 fraternity movie. This isn’t Sparta, it’s fucking Animal House, and if you don’t like it the back button should be easily locatable at the top of your browser.

For those of you who haven’t seen this movie, may I be the first to say on behalf of all of the commenters here at TFM: take a lap. What you “just haven’t gotten around to watching” in at least the past 18 years of your life is a comedy that fully encompasses what it means to be in a fraternity. The story follows the shenanigans of the troubled, bottom-tier, Delta house. Facing collaboration between the dean of students and their campus rivals, the top-tier Omegas, the Deltas are pegged with “double secret probation.” While the dean makes it his personal mission to get the Deltas kicked off campus, they continue to party and bullshit like Biggie wrote the song about them. From putting a horse in the dean’s office to hosting a band party with Otis Day & the Knights, the Deltas really do not give a single fuck.

Aside from the plot, the thing that really makes this movie so encompassing of all aspects of fraternity life is the fact that anyone in any house can relate to it. Whether you come from a house of WASPy gentleman who prefer to do things by the book like the Omegas, a mismatch of individuals who like to party their tits off like the Deltas, or a house that falls somewhere in the middle, Animal House is a great movie because it incorporates both sides of the fraternal spectrum. If there isn’t a scene in the movie that someone in your house hasn’t come close to replicating, you are probably in a social club.

Another great feature is that it showcases two great actors in the earlier parts of their careers: Kevin Bacon and the late John Belushi. Although Bacon does a fantastic job of playing the suck-up Omega pledge Chip Diller, he doesn’t come close to touching the iconic image that John Belushi created while playing the 7-year-senior, John “Bluto” Blutarsky. Yes, good ole’ Bluto is what every super senior in every house eventually starts to resemble. He can chug a bottle of whiskey, he parties with kids 5 years younger than him, and he performs his part of the ritual in a bathrobe. Without John Belushi’s part, there would be no fat guy in a “College” sweater poster, there would be no reminder that there is somebody much funnier than his talentless imitation of a brother, and there would certainly be no Animal House.

This movie is so important because it takes us back to a time when the world wasn’t trying to come down on our culture like a pack of malicious dogs. People realized that pledgeship served a purpose of building people up after breaking them down, the drinking age was 18, and the world encouraged kids to have a good time while making the most of their college years. The worst thing you had to worry about wasn’t jail-time for misconduct, but a slap on the wrist from the dean of students. What happened to people seeing fraternities as a group of men committed to being part of an organization bigger than themselves? While we are vilified for hazing “scandals” and gratuitous partying, our community service is completely overlooked. Animal House is an escape from the cold-hearted representation of today that takes us back to the glory days of ivy-covered college campuses, front-yard keggers, and public humiliation of pledges that everyone could enjoy. It takes us back to the days that our fathers and grandfathers were a part of. For this reason, Animal House is the perfect Total Frat Movie.

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Grandex Marketing Manager, Snack Enthusiast, Lover, Gator. Co-Host of the Inside TFM Podcast.

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