The 411 Movies Top 5: The Top 5 College Movies
The 411 Movies Top 5: Hello everyone and welcome to 411 Movies Top 5 List. We take a topic each week and all the writers here on 411 wrestling will have the ability to participate and give us their Top 5 on said topic. So, onto this week’s topic…
The Top 5 College Movies
5. NIGHT OF THE CREEPS – I actually forgot that this movie takes place at a college but, yes, it takes place at the prestigious Corman University. But what everyone remembers about it, and rightfully so, is it’s about alien slugs that turn people into zombies. And who is going to rescue the students of Corman University? Detective Ray Cameron, brilliantly played by Michael Hunsaker hisself Tom Atkins, Chris “Spanky” Romero, played by the second Rusty, Jason Lively, Cynthia, played by Jill Whitlow, a shotgun, and a flamethrower. Night of the Creeps has a weird tone and pace, with flashbacks to the 1950’s, an odd backstory for Detective Cameron, and a low level goofiness that doesn’t become full on goofy until the last quarter, when it’s alien zombie slaughter jubilee time. The alien slugs still freak me out, and the scene where the guy in the wheelchair, trying to escape the bathroom via crawling on the floor and getting attacked by the slug gives me the supreme willies. A true eighties classic. Oh, it also features a scene where a zombie is killed with a lawnmower to the face. That’s just awesome.
“I got good news and bad news, girls. The good news is your dates are here. What’s the bad news? They’re dead.”
4. ROAD TRIP – This gross out comedy from 2000 features a four man road trip to retrieve a sex tape that was accidentally sent to a guy’s girlfriend. The guy in question, played by Breckin Meyer, is in a “committed” long distance relationship and, despite banging the ever eager Amy Smart, still wants to stay in that committed long distance relationship. The road trip to retrieve the sex tape is filled with various shenanigans that, when you write them down, come off as typical college movie/modern road movie clichés, but as executed in Road Trip they’re freaking brilliant. I still laugh just thinking about the scene where the guys (Meyer, Sean William “Stifler” Scott, Paulo Costanzo, and DJ Qualls) try to jump a bridge that’s out. The aftermath of that jump is exactly what would happen if four idiots tried to jump an out bridge. Fred Ward shows up and brandishes a gun like a lunatic, Andy Dick is super sleazy in a skeevy cameo as a hotel clerk, Horatio Sanz is a waiter you don’t want to mess with, and Tom Green is goofy as a college tour guide. And Amy Smart is topless. That’s worth like five points right there.
3. REVENGE OF THE NERDS – This college comedy is a tremendous underdog story featuring a bunch of nerds battling against an environment that caters only to the jocks on campus. The nerds, the Lambdas, are humiliated again and again (they aren’t even really allowed to become the Lambdas at first), but when they decide that they’ve had enough and get revenge on their tormenters (the Alpha Betas and their female counterparts the Pis, things start to get better for the Lambdas. The nerd cast is unbelievably good, with Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards doing brilliant, iconic work as Lewis Skolnick and Gilbert Lowe, Curtis Armstrong as Dudley “Booger” Dawson (am I the only one who refers to him at all times, even when he’s in a different movie or TV show, as Booger? Even in Better Off Dead?), and Timothy Busfield as Arnold Poindexter (Poindexter, Arnold). On the jock side you’ve got Ted McGinley as the uber douchebag Stan Gable, Donald Gibb as Ogre, and John Goodman as one of the best asshole football coaches in movie history (he only has a few scenes but he’s brilliant. I mean, think of the “You know, when you were a baby in your crib” speech). The immortal Bernie Casey shows up, too, as the head of the national Lambda Lambda Lambda organization who decides, yeah, the nerds can be Lambdas. I’d imagine what the nerds do to the Pis would be seen as sexual assault today, but, hey, it’s a movie. It’s funny and makes sense in the context of the movie. It’s okay.
2. BACK TO SCHOOL – Easily Rodney Dangerfield’s best movie, Back to School is Rodney as a rich guy going to college to hang out with his distant son (played by Keith Gordon). Rodney’s Thornton Melon has no real intention of going to class and actually getting an education (he goes to class, yes but he doesn’t take it all that seriously), but he does have plenty of fun fucking around with the tight ass economics professor Phillip Barbay, giving college dean Ned Beatty a bunch of money, and banging Sally Kellerman. And partying. Thornton parties quite a bit. He also helps the school win a major diving meet by doing an impossible dive (the Triple Lindy is the greatest dive in the history of the movies). Sam Kinison shows up as a hilariously insane history professor (his bit where he tells everyone what really happened in Vietnam is an absolute classic), Robert Downey, Jr. appears as Gordon’s goofball buddy Derek, William Zabka as a douchebag jock (another classic douchebag performance from Zabka), M. Emmet Walsh as a diving coach, and Adrienne Barbeau as Thornton’s soon to be ex-wife. Oh, and who could forget Burt Young as Thornton’s bodyguard/buddy Lou? “You got a problem? No, I don’t got a problem. Now you do.” Brilliant stuff.
1. NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE – A disgusting yet lovable fraternity full of drunks and degenerates ends up battling the college dean and the student council over general decency. You root for the frat of drunks because they’re cool, and you hate the dean and the student council because they’re a bunch of smug, stuffy racists. I don’t think anyone’s college experience is quite like that today (mine wasn’t), but today’s students no doubt use the events depicted in the movie to help parody their own college experience. Especially the heavy drinking stuff. There’s a reason students the world over have posters in their dorm rooms of John Belushi’s Bluto wearing that “college” sweatshirt. That, and the fact that the movie is still hysterical to this day, is the reason Animal House is, and likely always will be, the best college themed movie. It was inspired by real events (I saw a documentary where screenwriter Douglas Kenney was said to have based parts of the movie on things that really happened), and the movie inspires real events today. It’s timeless. Brilliant, too.
Wednesday Lee Friday
5. Old School (2003) – What happens when a couple of grown-ass men decide they want to start a frat? Laughs time a million, that’s what! I’m one of those people who can’t resist a good comedy with guys like Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn. And if Snoop Dogg stops by, so much the better. This is one of those college standard films with all the booze, hijinks, hazing, and boobs you’d expect. But it also has a heartwarming edge and far more soul than you’d expect from a movie in this genre.
4. Higher Learning (1995) – I had already graduated college when I saw this movie, but it was still highly impactful. Race relations, fitting in, sexuality, consent, and how to manage other’s expectations of you are just a few of the heavy topics this film attempt to cover. One could argue that it takes on too much subject matter for one movie, but that’s kind of what it’s like going away to college. You’re learning (and unlearning) a zillion things at once, and not really sure about any of it. Beware—this one is far from a comedy.
3. The Social Network (2010) – If you enjoy snide rich people, snide smart people, snide girlfriends, and general pomposity enveloped in a kickass soundtrack—you’ll love this movie. If not, it’ll still provide you with an interesting and engaging story. And if you drink every time they say “Winkelvoss,” you’ll be too drunk to care how objectionable all these characters are.
2. Good Will Hunting (1993) – Can you even remember a time when Matt Damon wasn’t a household name? That time was before Good Will Hunting. That’s when people figured out that Damon and Affleck were brilliant writers and versatile performers. This movie also features the late Robin Williams, the adorable Minnie Driver, and Stellan Skarsgard. If you’ve never seen this one, it’s well worth your time.
1. Animal House (1978) – Widely accepted as the king of all college movies, this one has no equal. John Belushi’s introduction to the big screen was a big friggin’ deal. It also introduced us to the likes of Karen Allen, Tommy Hulce, Stephen Furst, Kevin Bacon, Tim Matheson, Bruce McGill, and plenty more I’m sure I’m forgetting. If you’ve ever attended a toga party, been involved in a food fight, or referenced having an angel or devil on your shoulder—you have this movie to thank for that.
YOUR TURN KNOW IT ALLS
List your Top Five for this week’s topic in the comment section using the following format:
5. CHOICE: Explanation
4. CHOICE: Explanation
3. CHOICE: Explanation
2. CHOICE: Explanation
1. CHOICE: Explanation