Rated Greg’s Top 5 Fictional Frat Brothers
- John Blutarsky – Delta Tau Chi (Animal House)
- Frank The Tank – Lambda Epsilon Omega (Old School)
- Teddy Sanders – Delta Psi Beta (Neighbors)
- Steve Sanders – KEG (90210)
- Booger Dawson – Lambda Lambda Lambda (Revenge of the Nerds)
While movies geared around fraternities have traditionally been lighthearted, boys will be boys comedies, Goat takes on a much darker portrayal of greek life, focusing particularly on hell week. It’s based on a memoir from author Brad Land who recounted his experiences pledging a fraternity at Clemson University in the 90’s (Goat takes place present day at a fictional college in Ohio). Where each of the characters listed above were troublemakers but had hearts of gold (well with the exception of Booger. Sidenote – Similar to Barney Stinson’s theory that Daniel LaRusso was the true villain of Karate Kid, I’m starting to think the Lambda Lambda Lambda’s were the true villains of Revenge of the Nerds. That movie is soooo dated! If the nerds pulled those “pranks” in real life they’d certainly all be registered sex offenders and Lewis would probably still be in prison for his devious funhouse dalliance).
Wait where was I? Oh yeah, so where each of the characters listed above were troublemakers but had hearts of gold, Goat’s frat boys seem to lack that good natured quality. Rather, director Andrew Neel does a great job of exposing the appalling behavior young men are capable of as part of a pack mentality without proper guidance. Make no mistake, you will be disturbed for long portions of this movie and Neel is not subtle in his views on the Greek system. There’s a very off-putting dynamic on the screen and it’s pretty interesting how they created it. Apparently, Neel had his own little Stanford Prison Experiment going on and when the cameras were not rolling, he kept the pledge actors completely separate from the actors doing the hazing on screen. To increase the tension, the pledges didn’t know what they would be made to do once action was called and just had to roll with the punches (though they were obviously assured that they would all be safe).
You know who’s really good in this movie? Nick Jonas! I wasn’t even aware he was an actor but he’s very convincing and can probably quit his day job should he choose to. James Franco is also marketed as part of the main cast, however he’s really just a glorified cameo playing an alum (not that that’s a bad thing, Franco has a knack for hitting pinch hit home runs). The rest of the cast is filled out by slightly beefier versions of Steve from Stranger Things. All in all Goat is a decently acted, unique film but because it’s so tough to watch at times it won’t be high on my list. Grade: C *Please note the key below, I’m switching things up a bit this year.