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College


By Serena Donadoni | Posted 9/10/2008

It's not just the high school seniors on their first campus visit who get hazed in College: The audience gets a healthy dose of all-American debauchery, too. Using 1978's Animal House as her model, TV commercial director and Baltimore native Deb Hagan takes an adolescent rite of passage and turns it into a primer on collegiate sadism, pushing the R rating to new raunchy lows in the process. No matter how detailed the description given by the effusive Fletcher (Ryan Pinkston), the pre-frosh visiting Fieldmont University won't understand until they've been there themselves. Screenwriters Dan Callahan and Adam Ellison have created three archetypes for this hellish adventure: serious-minded photographer Kevin Brewer (Drake Bell), browbeaten science nerd Morris Hooper (Kevin Covais), and brutish horndog Carter Scott (Andrew Caldwell). If any of them believed a trip to Fieldmont would be about academics, that idea is soon dispelled by their encounters with the inhabitants of the disgraced Beta Phi Tau fraternity, where humiliation is always on tap. Focusing on the three P's of collegiate comedy--penis, poop, and partying--the filmmakers have created a campus as obstacle course, where the hapless visitors are subjected to torture techniques perfected through decades of pledge belittlement. As generic as it is explicit, College ups the gross-out ante, but never really pays off.

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