Total Frat Movie Is Seriously Disgusting

Photo: Getty Images.
So, there's a movie coming out this weekend called Total Frat Movie, and it's awful. There are few words to describe the plotline, characters, and overarching message (if I should be so generous to say that this film has a "message") other than: demeaning, misogynistic, idiotic, and not funny. It's a knockoff of Old School that suggests all fraternities are filled with guys who say things like, "Who wants to bang hot sorostitutes?" As for its depiction of sororities, the general idea is that they're made up of women who are so desperate for male attention that they wear neon bikinis at all times and are grateful to be used as pawns by their frat daddies.

Why am I being so judgmental? Because this is pretty embarrassing for anyone who is, was, or plans to be involved in Greek life in college. There's intense hazing, date rape, girls being manhandled by drunk frat members, and extremely dangerous binge drinking. The most confusing part is that it was inspired by the college lifestyle hub TotalFratMove.com, a preexisting site dedicated to writing to the Panhellenic community. But this movie is just pretty disgusting. Even the film's director, Warren P. Sonoda, doesn't include it in his Twitter bio along with the rest of his films like Trailer Park Boys and Swearnet: The Movie. Total Frat Movie is a mockery of what it's really like to attend a large school with a diverse community full of intelligent and dynamic students.

In this movie, set at the fictional Mason Dixon University (classy name, right?), Greek life rules the campus, and the GDI (goddamn independents, or students not involved in Greek life) are all total losers. This campus is frat or die. A set of three horny freshmen are titillated to join the fictional fraternity Alpha Chi Gamma. The main character, Charlie Martin (Justin Deeley), is a legacy (of course) and plans to follow in his deceased father's footsteps as the big man on campus. One half of this dumb and dumber duo is a ladies' man (despite doing things like pouring a beer on a girl's chest to see through her shirt), and the other is an idiot (nicknamed "Douchenozzle"). They live and die by the mantra: "It’s not a frat. It’s a fraternity. Would you call your country a cunt?" Together, they are going to conquer the campus, bang lots of hot chicks, and be really drunk while doing it. Because that's all college is, right?

The first scene of the movie is an uninterrupted three minutes of underage binge drinking accompanied by the blare of electronic music. Someone also chugs a beer through his butt (which is so disgusting, unsanitary, and unsafe — please do not dare your friends to do that). The rest of the movie is basically a blur of spilled beer, girls in bikinis being given to other guys as actual objects, and guys in pastel polos being complete dicks to each other, all in the name of brotherhood. There’s a rape scene in which Charlie is drugged with GHB, forced to have sex with a porn star, and then secretly videotaped in footage that goes out to the entire school. He also gets a sexually transmitted disease from the porn performer, but he doesn't care because, "That’s life when you’re a motherfucking frat star." Sure.

Of the half dozen female characters who have speaking parts, nearly all of them end up topless or in a bikini to deliver their lines.

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This archetype of displaying masculinity through fraternity brotherhood has been around for a while. Animal House came out in 1978, inspiring a slew of similarly themed movies about a dark-horse frat forced to redeem itself, either through parties, pranks, or outsmarting the dean. Similarly, Porky's, about high school friends eager to lose their virginity, came out in 1981. It also depicts the same type of juvenile hijinks that would only make a high school freshman laugh. Later came National Lampoon's Van Wilder, PCU, and Old School, all centering on a booze-filled house teeming with wild frat boys. Where Animal House and Porky's feel nostalgic, Total Frat Movie feels stale. Animal House takes place on a fictional campus in 1962. It's now 2016. We're living in a more enlightened time, when we know that it's not funny to make light of real campus problems like blackouts, date rape, and deadly alcohol poisoning. Who even finds entertainment in such derogatory themes?

The only voices heard in the movie are white, privileged, fratty, cisgender boys. Of the half dozen female characters who have speaking parts, nearly all of them end up topless or in a bikini to deliver their lines. The closest thing to a female lead is Charlie's love interest, Katie (Rebecca Dalton). In the midst of all the female sex objects, she does charity work, loves Shakespeare, and appears to be the most popular girl on campus. She's the closest thing to being pure in the movie, until she immediately has sex with Charlie during their first date. The other main character is her best friend, Becca (Ann Pirvu). She is the wicked witch of campus who will do anything that her boyfriend (Charlie's nemesis) tells her to do, sexually and otherwise. Basically, they represent the Madonna and the whore: the girl you take home to your parents, and the girl you sleep with. Amongst all the sexed-up students, there are zero people of color in leading, or even minor, roles. The movie's oblivious lack of diversity is not just lazy, it's inaccurate and offensive.

There are a few things that TFM almost gets right. College is absolutely the time to form lifelong friendships, to hook up with people, to drink a little too much, and to figure out what you want to do in your post-grad life. But, beyond that, this movie is an awful stereotype that glorifies taking advantage of women and using violence to get what you want. It also posits that rape, STDs, and cheating on a partner are not a big deal, when in fact, they are. All of the characters in this movie are in for a rude awakening when they leave the walls of their vomit-stained compound. If you do find this movie alluring, then I am very sorry to report that this is not what college is like at all.

Attending college is a privilege, and this movie is a disappointment.

Anyway, it comes out in theaters and iTunes September 23.
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