Written by: Carroll Jenkins on January 9th, 2010
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1979 (King Frat), USA, 1977 (Cheering Section)
Directors: Ken Wiederhorn (King Frat), Harry Kerwin (Cheering Section)
Writers: Ron Kurz (King Frat), Wayne Crawford, Harry Kerwin (Cheering Section)
Cast: John DiSanti, Charles Pitt, Roy Sekoff, Robert Small, Dan Chandler (King Frat), Rhonda Fox, Tom Leindecker, Wayne Crawford, Greg D’Jah, Jeff Laine, Patricia Michelle, Karyn Wagner (Cheering Section)
DVD released: October 6th, 2009
Approximate running times: 86 Minutes (King Frat), 83 Minutes (Cheering Section)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame Anamorphic Widescreen (King Frat), 1.33:1 Full Frame (Cheering Section)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English (Both Films)
DVD Release: Saturn Productions / Navarre Corporation
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: OOP
Synopsis: When the slob fraternity moons the President of Yellowstream University, he drops dead in the street.The Dean declares war on the Pi Kappa Delta house with the assistance of the snob fraternity.
This is the most blatant rip-off of Animal House ever made, though most replicated scenes reveal subtle changes. No, not really – there’s nothing subtle about this movie at all. Case in point: one of the Pi Kapps peeps into the upper windows of the sorority house, but uses a tree instead of a ladder to climb up. And wears a gorilla suit.
The rivalry with the snobs and the scheme of the Dean to eradicate the slobs are minor subplots, and the title could just as well have been King Fart. There isn’t much focus on a central plot, and many subplots are thrown away without resolution. That’s not the point anyway – this is lewd and crude T&A served with a steaming heap of Number 2. In fact, there seems to be more hairy men’s butts on display than women’s breasts.
As gross out comedy King Frat succeeds. There are lots of one-liners and sight gags and the sets are suitably slovenly. The characters are all two dimensional and cartoonish but the portrayals are surprisingly capable. John DiSanti plays J.J. as a cross between John Belushi and Lou Costello. Dan Chandler as the dead pan Chief Latrine of the Kissawong Tribe gives the most notable comedic performance. Dan Fitzgerald almost outdoes John Vernon with his over-the-top Dean. The pacing is brisk and the potty humor never stops.
A double feature on a single sided DVD so there are the inevitable compression issues. Still, this is a good source, colors are clear and bright. Framing appears appropriate with this full screen presentation. There are no subtitles or closed captions, but the cheesy soundtrack comes through clear. Overall a flawed but acceptable transfer.
Note: this version is a screener disc and may not be representative of the retail product.
The second feature, Cheering Section, emphasizes the strengths of King Frat the film and the presentation. Another rather aimless sex and drugs comedy it is even more sleazy (set in High School doesn’t help) but much more pointless and far less funny. It also looks like it was sourced from a worn Betamax tape of a cable broadcast from a really beat theatrical print. Next to this King Frat is demonstration disc quality. Animal House was a composite of short stories cobbled together to form a feature. King Frat is even more episodic and disjointed, but the Pi Kappa Deltas carry on the low brow tradition with nary a semblance of class.