In honor of the 41st anniversary this week of National Lampoon’s Animal House, the uproarious frat comedy that is still vibrant, raunchy, refreshingly un-PC, and hilarious as ever, Universal Pictures has released a “Best of Bluto” video that compiles some of the most memorable scenes by John Belushi‘s iconic and slovenly character.
Watch the 10-minute compilation video here below (note – it contains explicit language).
National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978) Blu-ray | DVD
Directed by John Landis
Written by Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney, Chris Miller
Starring John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce, Mark Metcalf, James Daughton, Kevin Bacon, Stephen Furst Universal Pictures
Rated R | 109 Minutes
Original Release Date: July 28th, 1978
If you are bored with the recent crop of 3D animation, superhero films, remakes, sequels, reboots, and reboot-quels, then perhaps you should step back in time and enjoy the classics. Turner Classics runs its TCM Big Screen Classics series where classic films head back to theaters for a few days at a time. This week, it’s the John Landis comedy National Lampoon’s Animal House starring John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Tom Hulce, Karen Allen, and more.
I went to the Sunday night showing of the film. Check out a retro review of this classic here below.
What started out as a sketch on Saturday Night Live, The Blues Brothers became one of the best comedies to feature rhythm and blues musical acts. Starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as “Joliet” Jake and Elwood Blues, respectively, the 1980 film had the two characters in a tale of redemption where they embark on “a mission from God” to save from foreclosure the Catholic orphanage in which they were raised.
Unfortunately, John Belushi died in 1982, but somehow a sequel was developed and released in 1998. Despite having the creative and performing core group return, the sequel never quite lived up to expectations and turned out to be a commercial and critical failure.
However, Aykroyd is going to develop an animated series based on the two films. But it is not as bad as it sounds thanks in part to the creative team that is involved. More on the story below.
The Blues Brothers, an audacious, hilarious, over the top, high budget, quirky, zany R-Rated musical film, which showcased the exploits of one Jake and Elwood Blues, two caucasian blues musicians decked in black hats, sunglasses, and loosely fitting yet snazzy suit and tie combos, celebrates its 35th anniversary today.
The film, one of the earliest cinematic tie-ins to come from the long running comedy-variety program from Saturday Night Live (where the characters musically made their debut), remains a high octane cult favorite to legions of fans around the world to this day for many reasons: The crazy quilt plotting and pacing by director John Landis, off-the-wall characters that range from sinister country folk to Nazis that hail from Illinois (the film is set in Chicago), and the music, which is red hot blues and R&B standards sung by the likes of heavyweights of that genre like John Lee Hooker, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway and Ray Charles. Also of course, the performances of the lead characters, Dan Aykroyd (who co-wrote the script with Landis), and the late, great, cherubic, rough-around-the-edges king of the irreverent and brash comedy castle, John Belushi.
Animal House, the 1978 smash hit comedy which ushered in a new genre at the time in Hollywood known as the “gross-out picture,” was instrumental in making the magazine and brand name National Lampoon more prominent to the mainstream, and made a superstar out of last-of-the-rebels comedic kamikaze pilot, John Belushi, celebrated its 35th Anniversary late last month.
Produced on a small budget, shot up in Oregon for the most part, directed by John Landis, and written by Lampoon stalwarts as Chris Miller, Harold Ramis, and the late Douglas Kenney (who was the first editor of Lampoon and who has a role in the film as “Stork”), Animal House was originally released in the teeming summer of 1978 and surprised everybody by going on to make over $120 million and making a total and complete template of the juvenile delinquents taking on the school system which represents authority kind of comedic narrative that has been going on since The Marx Brothers’ Horsefeathers and probably even earlier.