REVIEW – I would be lying if I did not mention that National Lampoon’s brand of humor did not inspire me early in life. As much as the magazine inspired me, the movies clearly had this dark bleak sense of humor mixed with sex, drugs and just the freedom of living life. When I and my friends snuck in to see Animal House as pre-teens, it changed my life forever. My mother would always watch Saturday Night Live in the early days, because she loved that cutting edge humor and inspired me to never conform to the normal when it came to my life and who I would turn out to be. National Lampoon’s humor was fueled by shock, by offering an alternative and most of all by really not caring who it offends. Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead directed by Doug Tiroli is a love letter to the fans on the origins from when it was called the Harvard Lampoon till the day it all ended. The film interviews everyone from that era who is still alive, from editors, publisher, actors and art directors. The story really flows throughout and will educate the viewer on things that went down during pivotal moments in the history of the publication. The film has a great sense of humor that even people not familiar with the history can feel at ease with, and not feel like they are being cast to the side.
The issue I had with this film is not what the film touched on or featured but what it actually forgot. There is no real mention of the third founder Robert Hoffman. They give us like a little tidbit what happened when Hoffman cashed out but not really too much. It would have been great to know what made him so bitter, and why he has really distanced himself from this era so much. I mean at an hour and a half, you always know people are going to want to know more about more things. When they started talking about the films, you knew they would mention Animal House, they would go on about Caddyshack and even Vacation. But, no mention about Class Reunion that came out in between Caddy and Vacation. It shocks me because the magazine did a big article and a big to-do about the film, when they had the cheerleaders doing these cheers and one did not have anything on underneath her outfit. The sad thing is that the film just flew by and was fun while it lasted. I just wish it would have lasted longer and gave us more insight into more things. But, like the Tower Records documentary diehard fans are going to find something to be nit picking about. I will say 2015 has been the year of the documentary and this one is no exception. Thank you so much for the memories and the inspiration, lord knows what kind of hard luck story I would have been without them. Let me re-think that last sentence.