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National Lampoon wants to reboot their brand; defends new Vacation

Critics are not being kind to the new VACATION film, our own Chris Bumbray among them. In fact, it has been over a decade since the last film bearing the name National Lampoon even registered with fans. Still, VACATION will make a decent amount at the box office and could revitalize the name that used to be synonymous with edgy humor and comedy films. In fact, National Lampoon's current president Alan Donnes has compared the new VACATION to the work John Hughes did on the original.

Donnes has heard the vocal outcry about the poop jokes and sex humor that some have taken issue with and told The Hollywood Reporter how they aren't that far from the first VACATION film.

Everyone's complaining about the rim job jokes and the swimming in poop. The first movie has animal abuse, elder abuse, masturbation, adultery — they tie a dog to the car and drag it. There's nothing in this movie like that. They went really far that time, but over time it's mellowed. You just can’t do those things anymore. Why are there rim job jokes? Because you can't kill a dog in this movie.

National Lampoon is set to relaunch their brand via a website on September 1st which will be followed by more movies, television series, and YouTube projects. But, Donnes feels that the National Lampoon brand would enjoy a full reboot with the right support in Hollywood.

I don't think there’s someone trying to sell a controlling interest in the company, but it's a public company. If someone wants to sell their stock, they're in the business to do that. We'd love investors, but rather than just some investment capital group, what we really would prefer is an entertainment entity investing in National Lampoon and taking it several levels higher. It would be great if a [Steven] Spielberg, a Warner Bros. or Fox saw the potential in the brand, bought it and invested, and elevated it. Our philosophy is, let's find people who are very good at what they do and partner with them.

The VACATION series is the forefront of the National Lampoon library along with ANIMAL HOUSE. Both series have not had a good run of sequels and I am not sure the reception for VACATION will change that. Still, if the new film earns enough to cover it's $31 million budget, I wouldn't be surprised if they could find a studio worth investing in them.

VACATION is now playing.

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