September 21, 2002

National Lampoon is back – and they’re out for blood!

The National Lampoon franchise has been in decline for a number of years. The last one I even bothered to see was Senior Trip, which I never get tired of for some reason. In a bid to regain new followers and possibly win back some of the older crowd that loved Animal House, Van Wilder has been created to fill the shoes that Eric Stratton left behind.

It would be boring and DONE BEFORE to simply compare Van Wilder to Animal House. Of course, there are similarities – that’s the whole point. There are similarities to a number of recent campus comedies of late – Road Trip, Dead Man on Campus…the list goes on and on. What I really see is a simple cross-pollination of two movies – Billy Madison and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Van Wilder’s got the cult of personality of Ferris Bueller and the school issues and fear of growing up of Billy Madison. Throw a bit of Real Genius and Back to School and that’s the entire script.

Not that it wasn’t fun – Van Wilder has now surpassed American Pie and Road Trip as the grossest comedy ever. I had nightmares about the dog jizz donuts. I’ll bet that dog could give Walt Flannigan’s dog a run for the money! I was less impressed by the colon blow episode – it was done better in American Pie. The old lady seduction was also very similar to one in Kingpin – was that the same old broad? All in all, there were very few new gags, but there is only so much the American censors will take before the reviled NC-17 is bestowed.

The one thing wrong with the film was Tara Reid. Have I told you how much I hate Tara Reid? I mentioned it in my review of Josie and the Pussycats – she is just repulsive. Besides the obvious flatness to all characters she has ever played – she is scary looking. She has the body of a twelve year old boy – how that could ever inspire an erection is beyond me.

Another disappointment was the supposedly “unrated” DVD version I saw – what was so unrated about it? I am guessing that some of the “bonus” footage was that of the doggie love scene and maybe some dirty talk…but it wasn’t the big deal it was supposed to be. I was confused as to how the unrated topless tutor scene was so…unrated. Now if the guy would have been naked….

Worth borrowing from a friend…I wonder if PETA protested those prosthetic doggie nads?

Year – 2002
Rating – R
Runtime – 92 minutes
Genre – National Lampoon
Director(s) – Walt Becker
Writer(s) – Brent Goldberg, David Wagner
Actor(s) – Ryan Reynolds, Kal Penn, Tara Reid, Tim Matheson, Curtis Armstrong
BOB Rating – Three BOBs
Favorite Quote – "That's no's for my schlong!" - Taj Mahal Badalandabad (Kal Penn)