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Porky's was one of the originators of the teen-sex genre and remains
one of the best. Since it takes place in the 50's, I find it's not as
dated as a lot of 80's films, especially with this mostly unknown cast.
I was too young to see the film in the theaters when it first came
around, but I can imagine the entire audience rolling out of their
seats with laughter through virtually every scene.
Any fan of American Pie owes it to themselves to see what started it all, and in many ways delivers far more. Tons of nudity, profanity and laughs make this an R-rated treat.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Accept the fact from the start that no one is intentionally viewing the
Porky's films for scintillating social commentary and high art, but
rather for cheap low-brow humor and titillation and you may actually
end up enjoying this guilty pleasure. Porky's pretty much came out of
no where in the early 1980s and became a surprise smash hit - largely
due to its imaginative ad campaign, but also because the film delivers
on exactly what it promises.
Set in the early 1950s at a Florida high school, the film follows the mischievous adventures of a gang of high school students on the hunt to lose their virginity, with various obstacles thrown in their path. Porky's is the name of a legendary strip joint where the gang is thrown out of and humiliated at in the beginning. Porky's is owned by the titular character - a Boss Hog-type involved in various shady activities whose brother, the sheriff, aids and abets. The gang agrees to set aside personal differences to pool resources and get some revenge on Porky and his pals.
Dissed by the critics who could not understand the film's popularity, the film is really like American Graffiti with nudity on Viagra. The success of the film as a sex comedy is not hard to understand. First, the guys that comprise the gang are distinctive enough and well-played enough to engage the viewer. A number of familiar faces and character actors pop up. It is not a stretch to wonder whether Kim Cattrall's performance as a sexy gym teacher nicknamed Lassie did not help influence her casting in her ideal role years later on Sex and the City. Solid actors like Alex Karras, Susan Clark and Boyd Gaines show up in various roles. Nancy Parsons is pretty hilarious as the nightmarish gym teacher Ms. Balbricker, who becomes a thorn in the side of the guys. The sequence where she tries to convince the principal to have a line-up of the male students' privates so that she can identify which private she caught in the girl's shower room, while her fellow gym teachers snigger away behind her is worth the price of admission. Of the guys, Don Monahan is probably the most memorable as the eternally luckless Pee Wee, who forever manages to get humiliated in some fashion. Kaki Hunter is also pretty good as the lead girl, delivering a healthy dose of no-bull bluntness.
The film has a good share of belly laughs and is not afraid to push buttons. It even manages to sneak in an anti-bigotry message. It also succeeds because it is actually able to appeal across the genders. While the search for guys to lose their virginity was recycled over and over again in other films, few had the success of Porky's and its sequels. This is for several reasons. First, while the guys are not above leering at naked girls, the girls are not afraid to give back as good as they get and are oftentimes in on the joke. The film's matter-of-fact, unguilty embrace of sex and nudity is a plus. The notorious scene with the guys spying on the girls in the shower becomes far less exploitive when the girls discover the perpetrators and start antagonizing them. On a side note, what a refreshing twist it would be to have a scene like this with the genders reversed - do filmmakers not think that young girls have any sexual curiosity? Additionally, while the film has a healthy dose of female nudity, it is also refreshingly awash in male nudity - including surprising frontals - so that the girls dragged along to this by their significant others at least have some eye candy of their own to enjoy. This is something other films of this ilk more often than not failed to get.
In the end, for low-brow laughs, nudity and titillation, it is simply hard to find another sex comedy - then or now - that delivers it better than Porky's. The fact that this remains true nearly 30 years later must count for something.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just scratch my head in disbelief while reading some comments... *
movie to be cursed & disemboweled * vile * women hating * i'd rather
die than see it again * gone into conniptions at the VHS rental store
because they carried it.
Come on! You people need help FAST. Yes, it is true this movie isn't refined, sophisticated and its attempts at sociology (EG the antisemitism angle ) are paper thin; yes, it is true it belongs among the juvenile junk movie production of the reagan era, even if the movie isn't a full fledged US production; yes, it is true characters are stereotypical & paper thin...as with most character of juvenile 1980s movies anyways; yes, it is true actors no way look like "16-17yo" (that is high school, not middle school like some accurate critic suggests ), but that is true of most juvenile movies, including the pathetic "Beverly Hills" of the 1990...Luke Perry looked what, 38? And I laughed crazy at another 30-something-looking actress playing the maladjusted teenager; yes, it is true they laugh too much on screen, but so much for many other bigger productions. HOWEVER This movie still oozes some kind of (weird) charm because -let's face it- it depicts highschool years like we wanted ours to be...fun...sleaze...pranks...some minor violence for thrills, but nobody dies, gets permanently hurt or sent to jail for life. Sure, women are mainly praised for a bunch of hair down there...but if the movie is women-hating, then women looking at which car men drive or the like (=movies ) are men-hating. That is how teen years are supposed to be, while old eyes see this and react to this like Beulah Balbricker. Not award-winning material, but neither the vile, demeaning tripe some want it to be. Or perhaps those people in high-school were debating global warming, exploitation schemes in perspective since Gengiz Khan & so forth. As well, end titles give 1981 as year of release. That period (late 70s-early 80s) was plagued by escapist movies, preferably set in the 1950-60s...remember the cold war was at its highest, and masses needed escapism.
First R-Rated movie that I ever saw, I still remember the night at my grandparents with their free weekend of HBO, me sitting in the dark with the volume turned so low I am not sure if I could even hear it. I was 12 at the time and I still remember changing the channel at 1 o'clock in the morning thinking I just heard my grandfather get up. A truly funny movie.
10/10 for sure...if you didn't like it to bad don't watch it again, and if you complain it waisted 2 hours of your life boohoo...nothing in life is a waste..didn't like it oh well move on then .. Its funny for what it is... I don't think this movie was made to be a brilliant piece of film history...the kids are hilarious...its high school antics is it only a good movie if there is blood and guts, sex or major star...this movie has so many silly parts to it, so there is a bit of nudity bit deal..at least you don't see pee wee shooting anyone..You can watch this movie knowing that there is one person in your life that is characterized in this film...laugh and have fun with it... I enjoyed all three
Porkys is the original base comedy teen film and does it oh so well. From Porky's pig pen, the holy grail of sex to the howling PE teacher (a young Kim Catrall)the classic comedic moments just keep coming, the moral of the story (anti-anti-semitism) seems as if it may have been levered in as an after thought to give the film more depth but this could just be the film ageing. Overall Porkys can be clunky but this is an inevitable part of it's 80's heritage and it beats the pants off Animal house blow for blow (atleast Porkys has a plot)though not as side splitting as American Pie this again seems to be a product of age. See it but treat it like your mates dad, where your mate gets all his jokes from but your mate tells them in more your way. Respect for the Porky's sign though, i want it on my wall.
O.K....First, I am 48 years old, female, and a teacher. second, I have seen all the Porky's movies multiple times. I saw the original first release in college with friends and peed in my pants laughing. I read a comment by someone here that if you still like this movie after 40 that you need help. Thank GodI can still see the humor in this movie. My husband and I watched it together and both died laughing all over the place again. I hope I am never too old to laugh at sex jokes, pompous teachers and administrators, red-necked bigots, and horny teenagers. A sense of humor has helped me to survive 25 years of teaching and right wing conservatives with absolutely no sense of humor(I think that, more than anything, is why I am not a conservative anything!!). Parents wanting to know about this movie: 1.15 and under; No way! (They wouldn't get the best jokes anyway) 2. 15 and up; with parents (but only if the nudity doesn't bother you.) 3. Language is very crude (Hey, it's supposed to be High School!!!) 4. I saw it in college, which I believe is the perfect age for this flick. You can really appreciate the high school stuff (not too far removed) but you can see the adults side of the movie. 5. Basically, this is just your old fashioned "us against them and we get 'em Good" movie with a lot of penis jokes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"I've never seen such wool, you could knit a sweater."
In the 50's, high school kids just want to get laid and have an awful hard time doing so.
It's amazing that one film can almost completely focus on getting laid, but Porky's does so, and is successful at it. The jokes are almost entirely based solely on sex. Such gags as "Cherry Forever", "Mike Hunt", "Lassie"(..Miss Honeywell's "response" to the smell of a boy's locker room), Ms. Balbricker's request for a "mole inspection"(..after letting something "slip through her fingers")and the principal's response to such a scenario("tallywacker"), all contribute to the crude hilarity that is Porky's. While tame compared to even PG-13 comedies today, Porky's is certain to offend some with it's naughty humor. And, before there was Meg Ryan's fake orgasm in When Harry Met Sally, there was Ms. Honeywell(Kim Cattrall, who would've had to have been a major wet dream for many teenagers at that time, I imagine, was a fox!)announcing to the whole gym what a real one sounds like! And, Dan Monahan's Pee Wee is a priceless character, finally getting his "cherry popped" at the end, securing a neverending pursuit of satisfying a lengthly quest. Good support by Art Hindle as a police officer whose younger brother, Mickey(Roger Wilson)wouldn't halt waging war against Porky(..the massive Chuck Mitchell). Interesting enough, Susan Clark(..as Cherry Forever)and Alex Karras(..as Sheriff Wallace, Porky's brother)both would later star as husband and wife on the popular sitcom Webster. The cast work incredibly well together and share a camaraderie that's actually quite poignant, even though their topic of choice is chicks(..my kind of guys).
The drama aspects are also here. One of the group of horny males is a kid named Ted whose abusive father just got released from serving time for homicide. There's an emphasis on accepting a Jewish student who, for a time, was frowned upon, but is actually a hospitable guy. But, the core is a large repulsive strip bar owner in the next county from where most of the film is set, named Porky whose equally repellent brother is the sheriff. The boys attempt to pay for sex from some of his girls, get tricked and humiliated, and seek revenge against him for their mistreatment. So there are alternating story lines which accompany the main point of the students seeking sexual fulfillment so they can no longer dream of "what it's like."
The grand finale, when the gang put together a plan to get Porky back for putting their stubborn friend in the hospital because he wouldn't quit returning to the bar to get revenge, adds the exclamation point, even though we're asked to believe they could get away with it just through crossing over into another county.
When I first saw the ads for this film in the theater, I thought it
looked like yet another absurd, stupid, juvenile comedy.
Then the producers made the astute move of airing commercials showing brief interviews of people leaving the theater after having just seen this movie. They were all smiles, and universal in explaining just how funny they thought it was. It sold me and my wife and I tried it.
The movie was indeed at times absurd, often juvenile, and one of the absolutely funniest movies I've ever seen. It may well have the single funniest scene in any movie, ever. (Ms. Ballbricker explaining to the principal and the coaches about her desire for a 'lineup'. If you haven't seen the movie, this doesn't sound like much. Watch it and see. You'll turn red and be holding your stomach for all you're worth before the end of the scene).
When you feel you are in the mood for a sometimes silly, often raunchy, but VERY VERY funny movie, put this on some Friday evening. You won't be disappointed.
"Porky's" is the ultimate teenage fantasy, a movie celebrating group
mentality shenanigans, everything from obsessing about sex to pulling
the ultimate prank on that one old guy always bringing you down. It's a
film that says that at heart, we're all good-natured kids that wish we
could be irresponsible every so often.
This is "Porky's" only point, both its hindrance and most celebrated characteristic. There isn't any character development or a through plot line -- going to the strip club Porky's is only representative of two major scenes in the movie. It's about high school kids horsing around and trying to get laid in Florida in the '50s. There are some admirable but pointless subplots fixed on anti-Semitism and parent abuse, but it's just about laughs.
What makes "Porky's" unique is that it's about laughter, it's not just about creating it for the sake of being a comedy film. A stand-out scene is when the strict oafish gym teacher Ms.Ballbricker is explaining to the principal her plan to identify a trouble-making student by lining up several of the boys to examine their manhood. In the background, two of the students are dying from laughter and even the principal at one point can't hold it in any longer -- then a nice close-up of a portrait of President Eisenhower with a big grin on his face. That sums up "Porky's" nicely: we all need to laugh at the ridiculousness and humor of certain situations. If only the film spent a bit more time hammering that in instead of meandering about like a bored high schooler.
This is a film you can watch over and over again, not only because it can be funny for all appropriate ages, but it only thrives from scene to scene. The entire high school-aged fantasy of boys getting spy on the girls' showers owes its birth to this film, the hilarity as the new gym coach learns why the attractive young girls' coach is nicknamed "Lassie," and of course that ultimate revenge against the powers that be, in this case Porky and his redneck sheriff brother, who try and stop kids from having fun. It can be watched one scene at a time -- there's nothing gluing it all together.
Bob Clark's film has a carefree and reckless attitude that resembles that of his characters, but as admirable as that is -- and a rare find in a movie indeed, especially comedy -- there's no doubt that "Porky's" avoids being the kind of coming-of-age film it could have been. There's no substitute for memorable characters in addition to unforgettable scenes, but "Porky's" viewers can at least relish the latter.
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