Animal House is a 1978 comedy film that takes place in fictional Faber College in 1962.  The stars are John Belushi as “Bluto”, Tim Matheson as “Otter”, John Vernon as Dean Wormer, Tom Hulce as “Pinto”, Stephen Furst as “Flounder”, Peter Reigert as “Boon”, and Bruce McGill as “D-Day”.  The writers are Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters), Douglas Kenney (Caddyshack), and Chris Miller (Multiplicity).  The director is John Landis (The Blues Brothers).

The story opens with two college students, Larry Kroger and Kent Dorfman, searching for a fraternity to join.  They first check out the Omega House, which they decide is not them.  Next, they go to Delta House where they hear it is the “worst house on campus”.  Both Kent and Larry like Delta, so the fraternity allows them to pledge.  Meanwhile, Dean Vernon Wormer enlists the services of the Omegas to help him revoke Delta’s charter and kick the boys off campus.  The next morning one of the Omegas, Doug Neidermeyer, bullies Kent into cleaning up after his horse.  Two of Kent’s fraternity brothers, “D-Day” and “Bluto”, witness the bullying and convince Kent, whose fraternity name is “Flounder”, to take Neidermeyer’s horse to Dean Wormer’s office.  They give a gun to Flounder and tell him to shoot the horse, but he doesn’t know that the gun only shoots blanks.  D-Day and Bluto leave him alone in the office.  After having pity on the horse, Flounder aims the gun away from it and fires.  But the horse is so frightened by the noise that it has a heart attack and dies.  Flounder, D-Day, and Bluto panic and run away, leaving the dead horse in Wormer’s office.  The next day, Bluto and D-Day steal what they believe are the answers to the midterm psychology test, unaware that the Omegas had already taken the real ones.  They replace them with the wrong answers and the Deltas get every question wrong.  As a result, the aggregate GPA of the fraternity goes so low that Wormer informs the Deltas that one more mistake will result in the revocation of their charter.  They ignore the warning and throw a wild toga party.  The following day, Wormer follows through with his threat and shuts down Delta.  The boys are devastated but four of them get dates to a roadhouse bar when Otter, the leader of the fraternity,  pretends to be the grieving boyfriend of a girl who had recently died.  When they enter the bar, they discover that it is a mainly black bar.  Intimidated, the boys abandon their dates and hurry back to campus.  The next day, Dean Wormer tells them that due to their low GPA and their lewd behavior, they are all expelled.  Crushed, they all give up hope until Bluto gives a motivating speech to encourage them to seek revenge against Wormer and his henchmen Omegas.  They have a plan to ruin the school’s homecoming parade.

One of the most interesting characters in the film, besides Bluto of course, is Robert Hoover, the president of Delta House.  He is not quite like the rest of his Delta brothers in that he sees the very real consequences of their actions but, somehow, always ends up going along with them.  He is the voice of reason in the house, if there is one.  Hoover does appear to care more about his grades than the rest, getting four Cs and an F on his midterms.  In fact, he’s the one that informs the other Deltas of their failure on the psychology midterm.  He almost fits in better with the Omegas, except that he isn’t nearly as stuck up as they are and he believes in playing fair.  We witness this when he stands up for his Delta brothers at the hearing after the toga party when he is not allowed the same length of time as Neidermeyer to plead his case.

What is particularly unique about Animal House is that so accurately depicts college life for many people.  In college, young men and women are, for the first time, out of their parents’ watchful eye and are, therefore, free to do as they please.  So many of them indulge in such activities as getting drunk, staying up late, having sex, and sometimes not caring about class grades.  In short, it brings out the id in all of us which, for those of you who are not psychology experts, is the side of the human personality that is always looking for instant gratification, no matter how inappropriate it may be.  We see this over and over again throughout the film, especially in the toga party scene.

To wrap, Animal House is a very funny movie for anyone who wishes to reexperience some of the events of their college years, which many consider to be the best of their lives.