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Porky's was one of the first American teenage sex comedies to be a major hit at the box office, but I find its success rather perplexing. As a coming-of-age story, I think the film works well enough: the nostalgic setting and strong sense of camaraderie is certainly appealing, while the bitter feud between the teens and the Everglades rednecks, and a subplot that deals realistically with the issues of racism and family violence adds drama to proceedings. I do, however, find the film's raunchy antics nowhere near as funny as its characters, and director Bob Clark, obviously think they are.
The 'Mike Hunt' telephone gag which has the teens in stitches isn't that hilarious, or original, having been conceived in the mid '70s by pranksters John Elmo and Jim Davidson; the repeated jokes about penises soon become very tedious; and as much as I enjoy seeing a young Kim Cattrall without her kecks on, her 'Lassie' scene is embarrassingly bad and far too drawn out. Clark seems to think that if his characters roll around in uncontrollable fits of hysterics for long enough, it'll eventually have the audience laughing along with them. Not in my case I just found it irritating.
I had the great pleasure of seeing Porky's in a late night showing on opening day in March 1982 in a theater packed to the gills with 18-25 year olds (although I was 30). I hurt for 3 days from laughing so hard.
There is a portion of the movie, beginning close to the 1 hour mark that is the absolute funniest 14 minutes ever put on film. This includes these three hilarious scenes: Coach and Lassie in the boys locker room (Coach Brackett finds out why they call Miss Honeywell Lassie), then it segues to the guys peeping through the holes into the girls shower room, where Beulah Balbricker gets a 'handle' on Tommy's situation, immediately followed by the scene with Coach Brackett, Coach Warren and Head Coach Goodenough in Principal Carter's office with Beulah describing the "incriminating mole". There were people out of their seats, laying on the floor of the theater screaming with laughter. I have yet to see another motion picture invoke this kind of hilarity in a movie theater. I saw it in the theater 2 or 3 times in it's original theatrical run with the same response. When it became available, I bought the VHS copy, then the laser disc copy and when I got the DVD a few month's ago, I watched it for the zillionth time and I still laugh my butt off when I see those scenes. The acting is great for a bunch of no-names, there are actually great multiple plot-lines (in addition to the typical "get laid at any cost" plot) and the cinematography, editing and sound is above average. They made this movie in 90 days for less than $4 million and it grossed $7 million opening weekend and has grossed over $100 million in theaters to date, most of that in 1982 dollars. The only thing I can say bad about Porky's is that they should have stopped after the first one. The first pathetic sequel (The Next Day) lacked humor, the second sequel (Porky's Revenge) had 30-year-olds playing teenagers and they had long-since lost their youthful charm.
It is, however, quite funny. Just sit back and watch the group of pals playing tricks on each other and sticking together when things turn serious. Watching it today brings back memories of some of the stupid things me and my high school friends did back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. We all tried to get into strip clubs before we were 18. We didn't see any trouble with breaking the law as long as nobody got hurt. We all were out to have a much sex as we possibly could. That's what a good portion of growing up for us guys is all about!
That said, the events depicted in this film, such as destroying a night club and sticking our manhood through a hole in the girls' shower didn't happen. That's why films are made. They take ideas in our heads and try to show what would happen if they actually played out.
Only the coldest and stiffest of men couldn't find anything to laugh about with this movie. It is in no way meant to be taken seriously. It has been criticized to the point of no return, though. Why? Are some people unable to laugh at juvenile pranks, or were they on the receiving end of them when they were in high school?
If you had fun growing up, you will probably like this film. If you look back at your younger years with regret, then you most likely won't enjoy it.
8 of 10 stars
And just gotta add 4/4/2007...... RIP Bob Clark. We'll miss you, man!
The Hound will see you on the other side some day!
Two laughs, even better.
I got more laughs than this out of "Porky's", but since I went in expecting them to reach the lowest common denominator, I got just what I came in looking for.
Who doesn't know the story, o connoisseurs of lowbrow humor? What you want to know is if it's funny. Of course it is, but this isn't the best movie for family video night (then again, it depends on the family).
I won't spoil any of the gags for you but I can tell you the biggest ones depend, separately, on eggs, oversized condoms, holes in the girls' showers and a prank call to the local diner. And where, in one instance, you'd keep a driver's license.
Sorry, you'll just have to see the thing.
Eight stars, and beware of moral turpitude.
If you haven't seen it, here's my take on it. People who are stuffy, proper, sophisticated, and politically correct in a social sense are not going to care for this movie. On the other hand, if you are laid back, easy going, don't have to have an uplifting and moral story line, and appreciate comedy (often sexy and somewhat raw), you are going to love this movie. The producer and director very obviously made this movie for the simple purpose of providing the audience with a lot of very funny comedy. And they succeeded immensely (if you are laid back, easy going, etc.) The scenes range from funny to hilarious.
Buy or rent the video. I've seen this on network TV and it is very "sanitized".
It's not the funniest movie you'll ever see, except for a few truly hysterical scenes, but you have to love the way it captures the fun irresponsibility of high school. I think a lot of people can relate to this no matter what generation they're from, making it a definite classic. My advice is to steer clear of the upcoming remake, which will undoubtedly be raunchier and ruder, but probably have ten times less heart.