The 90s Cult Comedy That Was Made To Offend Is Being Erased

By Brian Myers | Published

The early 1990s marked the beginning of political correctness in politics and mainstream media, a phenomenon that at one time was more mocked than lauded. While most contemporary voices will agree that a deviation away from language that is perceived as harmful has been a good thing, there are those who point out the issues from the fringes of the politically correct movement that make some of its players deserving of a jab or two. The 1994 comedy PCU takes those on the fringes and encapsulates their nonconventional viewpoints inside a hilarious film that is noticeably missing from streaming services.


PCU is the story of a high school senior named Tom Lawrence (Chris Young) who is paying a weekend visit to the fictional Port Chester University. He quickly finds that he is a guest in an environment that has been taken over by the extremes of the political correctness movement. Fraternities have been outlawed, sensitivity awareness is front and center, and daily demonstrations promoting a myriad of boutique issues are a campus mainstay.

A Young David Spade

Tom is immediately courted by a neo-conservative group at PCU named Balls and Shaft. Led by Rand McPherson (David Spade), this group represents the polar opposite of the politically correct mentality that is the norm at the university. Rand and his pals are from wealthy white families and suffer from the worst case of entitlement issues in the Northeast.

Balls And Shaft Vs. The Pit

Balls and Shaft might represent the opposite side of the coin from the rest of the students at PCU, but their rival group, known as The Pit, settles somewhere between the overreach of the language police at the school and the antiquated homophobic, racist, and misogynistic viewpoints of Rand and company.

The Pit is loosely led by an upperclassman named Droz (Jeremy Piven), who keeps company with a group that combines the antics of the Tri Lamdas in Revenge of the Nerds with the nihilism of the Delta boys in Animal House. Tom gravitates toward Droz and his fellow degenerates as they become privy to a conspiracy between PCU President Ms. Garcia Thompson (Jessica Walter) and Rand.

A Quotable College Comedy

PCU follows a similar story arc to many college-campus-based comedies. A rowdy fraternity or group of misfits is targeted for removal by an administrator with dictatorial tendencies and a penchant for breaking all the rules if it gets them to their desired means. In that regard, the film brings nothing new to audiences as this plotline has been played out ad nauseam. But PCU does bring fresh gags, witty one-liners, and a seemingly endless supply of quotable material that make it a fun film to watch and rewatch.

PCU has a solid supporting cast that includes Jon Favreau (Swingers), Jake Busey (Starship Troopers), Matt Ross (American Psycho), and Sarah Trigger (Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey). One of the film’s highlights is the appearance of George Clinton and Parliament, who perform at a party thrown by The Pit.

PCU Is Being Left Out


Considered an Animal House for the 1990s, PCU falls far short of the National Lampoon mark. But it’s a fun film that shouldn’t be forgotten, and the fact that it’s not streaming or available On Demand is making it quickly fade into obscurity.

PCU is full of snappy dialogue, solid acting, and unique college pranks that inspired at least some of the Gen X teens at the time to aspire to The Pit’s level of deviousness.