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Making The Film

Salamanders: A Night at the Phi Delt House

Film by Marie Hornbein, George Hornbein, Tom Keiter, Kenneth Thigpen
Produced by George Hornbein and Ken Thigpen
Cinematographer: George Hornbein
Sound: Tom Keiter and Marie Hornbein. Audio mix Tom Keiter.
Editing: George Hornbein
Copyright: 1982, Documentary Resource Center, Inc.
12 minutes, Color
Original format: Film: 16mm, 1982
More Film Facts
Home streaming only. For other permissions apply to Marie Hornbein, George Hornbein, Tom Keiter, Kenneth Thigpen or to the distributor.


Preview one minute trailer - Comment on film


Every spring the brothers of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity at a large state university capture salamanders at local ponds and display them in a makeshift pool in the fraternity basement where they are the center piece for a weekend long party. The festivities include cookouts, races, drinking games and an ongoing contest to see who swallows the most salamanders over the weekend. Three female guests join in the swallowing contest and are egged on by their male hosts. The year that the film was shot, the local animal rights group tried to stop the party until an accord was reached in which the fraternity brothers agreed to "kill the salamanders humanly" before they were swallowed. The agreed upon way to humanely kill the salamanders was by using CO2 gas.

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