Haze or Frat-Ricide

Who doesn’t enjoy a little Euripides with their breakfast cereal or, in this case, with their unrelenting celluloid exploration of sadistic, on-campus initiations? Of course, hazing has been ceaselessly explored in the news each time there’s a new frat and in previous efforts such as Todd Phillips and Andrew Gurland’s documentary Frat House (1998) and John Landis’ comedy Animal House (1978). Even the Lifetime channel (The Haunting of Sorority Row (2007)) and one of this year’s best movies (Prof. Marston and the Wonder Women) have taken out their paddles, exploring the female side of these rituals. However, seldom has Dionysus and the Bacchae been incorporated into the subject matter.

(Please note that Tennessee Williams was inspired by the same source material for Suddenly Last Summer, a tale of lobotomies, cannibalism, and repressed homosexuality. Sounds very much like a fraternity initiation in the end, doesn’t it?) Indeed, few films,
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