Animal House was important to American cinema for not only making a profound satire on college life, but also for spawning the toilet humor classic King Frat. Released in 1979, one year after John Landis’ film arrived, King Frat not only tries to rip off Animal House, but tries to shamelessly outdo the competition using the most tasteless, brainless, gross-out humor one could imagine.
Instead of using a continuous storyline throughout the movie, King Frat is divided into little vignettes about the antics of the Phi Kappa Delta house at Yellowstream University. In the first scene they accidentally kill the President of Yellowstream by mooning him and giving him a heart attack. At his funeral, they light off a giant stick of hash (which more or less resembles a slab of meatloaf) and light it in the ventilator system causing the crowd (including small children) to get high, as the Delta’s steal his body and drive away in their hearse. The Dean, who used to be the warden at the State Pen, decides to take revenge and become the new President.
The main character, “Gross-Out” Gumbroski learns about a local charity fart contest and is determined to win, but unfortunately gets disqualified for “drawing mud.” A man in a monkey suit accidentally gets stuck inside a sorority girl during intercourse and has to be removed by a physician. Faked seizures to get out of paying the restaurant bill and blowup dolls as girlfriends; what’s not to love? All the while the Delta boys are trying to elude the Dean and battle the rival frat house, without attending a single day of class throughout the film.
Unlike its teen sex comedy competitors, King Frat holds up amazingly well and is really quite funny. Even after repeated viewings, the gags don’t get old even though the humor could have come out of the mouth of a four year old. You really get the feeling the cast had a lot of fun making this one.
King Frat, along with its meager cult following, has its place in exploitation film history. Its director Ken Wiederhorn made his directorial debut with the 1977 Nazi zombie film Shockwaves and went on to direct Return of the Living Dead 2 and Meatballs 2 (how apt). Writer Ron Kurz had great success when he went on to write the first four Friday the 13th movies (and then never worked again). And Wiederhorn, Kurz and much of the King Frat cast went on to make the 1981thriller Eyes of a Stranger.
King Frat’s only legitimate release is a PAL DVD import, but bootleg and old VHS copies can be easily found. If you can get your hands on a copy, get a case of beer with your best friends and you won’t be disappointed. King Frat‘s tagline says it all: “#@!! the rules, #@!! the Dean, #@!! the college, #@!! everything… it’s beer time!!”