Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bluto - the most "unsuitable" of all 'Role Models'

John "Bluto" Blutarsky - the late, great John Belushi's signature role in National Lampoon's Animal House, definitely one of the funniest films ever made.

I first learned of it through Barry Norman's late-night BBC film preview programme - I suppose in the late '70s, when it first came out. It never came to my smalltown cinema, and I would have been too young to appreciate it then anyway. One moment lodged in my adolescent brain: the bit near the end where a young boy is sneaking a look at Playboy in his bedroom when a curvaceous bunny-girl is improbably catapulted through the window on to the bed beside him, and he looks up to the ceiling and cries, "Thank you, God!"

I didn't get to see the film until I went up to Oxford some years later. It was one of the first of the then regular series of Monday evening video screenings at the Union Society in my opening term. Yep, I had been at University only a week or two when I encountered this life-changing vision of how much fun my student days could be. Well, I think I would have figured it out for myself anyway, but this was certainly an inspiring - corrupting? - example. I often say that I have never looked forward since that day......

And at the centre of all the high-spirited (and mostly alcohol-fuelled) mayhem is, of course, Bluto - the ultimate 'animal' in the determinedly disreputable "Animal House" fraternity. However gross he is ("That boy is a P-I-G, pig."), it's impossible not to love him: he has such a fierce loyalty to his friends, such an admirable intolerance of bullshit, such an irrepressible joie de vivre.

Which is your favourite Belushi moment in this wonderful, wonderful film? Is it the dying fly dance from the end of 'Shout!', smashing the hippy romeo's guitar, chugging the bottle of Jack Daniel's, or "My advice to you is to start drinking heavily!"? It's all there on YouTube. Well, nearly all of it - I couldn't find the cafeteria sequence, alas.

However, I think this is surely Bluto's finest hour - his rousing 'battle speech' before the film's climax.

God, I love this film!


KingTubby said...

This one is a real contender. Belushi teaching a frat the alternative version of Louie Louie.

Oh, Louie Louie, oh no
Get her way down low
Oh, Louie Louie, oh baby
Get her down low

A fine little girl a-waiting for me
She's just a girl across the way
We'll take her and park all alone
She's never a girl I lay at home

At night at ten I lay her again
Fuck you girl, oh all the way
Oh my bed and I lay her there
I meet a rose in her hair

Okay, let's give it to them right now!

She's got a rag on I'll move above
It won't be long she'll slip it off
I'll take her in my arms again
I'll tell her I'll never leave again

Get that broad out of here!

More detail on this three chord icon can be read here:

Apologies, for all the self promotion, and on the subject of hustlers here:

Froog said...

I don't remember that in the film. And I've seen it at least a dozen times.

Who knows where your references come from Tubby. Your frame of cultural reference is too diffuse for me!

I'm glad you have found so many points of common interest on my little blog here.

Although I do worry about how much free time you have had on your hands to go dredging through all this old archive stuff.