'Animal House' reunion gets rowdy

— A class reunion of the rowdy "Animal House" gang shut down Hollywood Boulevard with a parade featuring a live elephant, an ROTC contingent, a cheerleading squad and an interruption by the "Deathmobile."

Actors Tim Matheson, Karen Allen and Stephen Furst rode on a cake float in Thursday's procession, which recreated the 1978 comedy's catastrophic climax.

The event, which Universal Studios Home Video organized to promote the 25th anniversary DVD set for release on Tuesday, culminated in a faux-foodfight between scores of extras sporting generic "College" sweat shirts like the one the late John Belushi wore in the film.

Otis Day And The Knights performed the song "Shout."

The film, which became a surprise blockbuster and launched the careers of many of its young stars, chronicled the antics of the disreputable Delta House fraternity as it uses lust and alcohol to fuel a revolt against authority in the early 1960s.

What made the film an enduring hit? "I think it's about wild rebellion, and it's about kind of conventional conservative oppression up against rule-breaking," said Allen, who played Katy, the movie's comely voice of reason.

Other cast members at the parade were Matheson, who played slickster Otto; Furst, the chunky newbie Flounder; Martha Smith, who was the sexpot Babs; Mark Metcalf, the uptight Neidermeyer; and John Vernon, the blustery villain Dean Wormer.

Belushi's widow, Judy Belushi Pisano, also participated in the event.


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