Some people label film watching as escapism, others label it as a waste of time. I’m sure if we took a poll, we’d unearth 1000’s of labels, none of them may apply to you. I watch them for a variety of reasons; often because I worked the technical end of a Pixar precursor and I’m still fascinated by the techniques.  Some times its because my free time often comes after midnight and I live in Houston where everything interesting closes up at 9p. Other times its because I hear about films from an era I missed, so I want the experience. Now.

Case in point – Animal House – circa 1978. I’ve heard people talk about it forever but I had never seen it. I knew it would be silly and in fact, it was, but brilliantly capturing the situational lunacy characterizing the college experience, whether its today or the 60’s setting of the film.

belushiThe plot is absurdly predictable. The acting is marginal-to-good. The direction and timing are good, but not anymore so than modern-day comedies relying on 13-year-old boy humour.

However, what I noticed and appreciated, having seen John Belushi in old SNL YouTube clips, was that I didn’t get the sense he was acting, rather he was just being himself in front of the camera. To me, Animal House owes its success to Belushi’s often improvised, script-rejecting humour which also made the original cast of SNL wildly successful.

Belushi, had he not overdosed on cocaine mixed with heroin in 1982,  would have been 65 today. Thanks John, for your uncanny ability to still make people laugh.

Toga, to-ga, TOGA!

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