Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 170
[Landis] shows firm control of the satirical content of [Animal House] so that every jab strikes home and very few gags go on too long, unlike his Kentucky Fried Movie where almost every sequence lingers until the initial laugh turns to a yawn. His bad-taste buds have been tightened, too, so that the killing of the bully-boy officer's adored horse by the idiot freshmen trying to prove themselves as 'mad, bad and dangerous' as their peers, stops short of actually wanting to make one throw up and produces instead a smile of relief—but only just….
This is a painfully funny movie, which may offend as many as it amuses, but, to quote Gloria Swanson: 'It's not the fault of films today that they are ugly: it is their business to mirror life, and that has become ugly, so they're only doing what they are supposed to do'. (p. 32)
Eric Braun, "'National Lampoon's Animal House'" (© copyright Eric Baun 1979; reprinted with permission), in Films and Filming, Vol. 25, No. 7, April, 1979, pp. 31-2.
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