Well, well, kiddies, those midterms were super funnerific and you escaped Valentine’s Day alive. Some might say it’s time to party. Others might say, “No, party people, it is time for some videos!” Then, off in the distance, some wise old sage may chime in, “No, it is time to watch videos about partying.” Biff agrees with the wise old sage. Since the old Biffster and all of you college-going cronies out there are anticipating the opening of the new Will Ferrell movie “Old School,” let’s take a look at a near forgotten style of filmmaking. No, not 1940s French neo-realism, sillyheads, the lost art of the fraternity film!
As we all hopefully know, one cannot engage into an intelligent conversation about frat movies without bringing up the queen daddy of them all, 1978’s “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” Oh those crazy Deltas! Boon, Otter, D-Day, Bluto, Pinto and poor Flounder do the best they can to drink and party their way through college. Directed by John Landis, this made stars both out of him and of John Belushi, whose two sizes too small “College” sweatshirt looks extra hip in Portland’s current fashion climate. This was also Kevin Bacon’s breakout role and also a great step to use in his Six Degrees game (it especially helps with those tough Peter Riegert connections). Also when viewing this video pleasure, be sure to take in the beautiful Eugene countryside since the majority of filming took place at the University of Oregon. Oregon rules! Go trail! Sorry, sorry, Biff just a little too caught up in all of this fraternity brouhaha. Although everybody else in the Delta House has their moments, this movie truly belongs to Belushi. If you’ve ever watched TBS for about 15 minutes, you’ve no doubt seen a commercial for “Animal House” where Belushi is chanting “Toga! Toga!” It all pretty much evolves from there. Biff’s favorite scene: Belushi taking the acoustic guitar of a sensitive singer-songwriter and smashing it against the wall. Brilliant.
Speaking of brilliant, what about “King Frat,” the poor man’s “Animal House”? Filmed in 1979, “King Frat” follows the hilarious hijinks of the, you guessed it, the Deltas. These Deltas just can’t stand the Alphas, and lots of mooning and inflatable dolls are used to get back at those stuck up Alphas. The Pi Kappa Delta house is led by JJ “Gross-Out” Gumbroski, played by a seemingly 35-year-old John DiSanti. “Gross Out” earns his name in the film by vying for the state farting championship against opponents with names like Ms. Baked Beans, Ira “Hemorrhoid” Cooperstei, and Frankie “Fartwell” Modjulario. Yes, that’s right, kids, their gaseous explosions are even measured by the “Fart-O-Meter.” Classy! Other hilarity ensues.
Say what you will about “King Frat” but Biff will give it this: It has the catchiest theme song ever written for a movie, ever. Biff is humming it right now. “King Frat! King … Fraaaat!” God, that’s good. Interesting note: Legend has it that this movie was originally titled “King F’ing Frat.” This would explain the break in the title song as well as why on Biff’s copy the title in the movie says “King @%$* Frat.” Who knows what those Hollywood ad wizards will come up with next!
Oh wait, I know, the movie “H.O.T.S.”! This 1979 drive-in special follows four girls who, dissatisfied with the snobby sororities, decide to start their own with one simple goal: to steal all of the attractive men away from campus. Apparently wearing tight T-shirts that say “H.O.T.S.” and matching bicycle shorts is the way to accomplish this ambition. Where to begin with the antics? There’s a strip football game, a topless skydiver named “Boom Boom,” a party that involves both moonshine and a live bear, a wet T-shirt contest, and best of all, a jock-strap raid. Biff certifies “H.O.T.S.” pure genius and gives it a master’s in awesomeness. Be sure when watching this on deluxe DVD to keep your eyes out for Danny Bonaduce, who makes an appearance during a low point in his career. Well, a real, real low point. Lower than the usual low. H! O! T! S!
What was my point again? Oh yeah, college rules! Or something like that. I don’t know. It’s late.