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Porky's is a coming-of-age movie. The teenage boys the story focuses on think coming-of-age is just about seeing naked girls and, if at all possible, having sex with them. So we follow this band of horny young men on their quest to see some breasts. They go to a nightclub where love is for sale but that trip doesn't end up going according to plan. In the movie's most famous scene they spy on a group of girls in the shower. At least that leads to a pretty funny scene in which coach Beulah Balbricker, whose name tells you all you need to know, lays out her plan to identify one of the peeping Toms. Sadly, that's pretty much the only funny scene in the movie. And what the movie lacks in laughs it doesn't make up for in outrageousness. Porky's has a reputation for being wild and raunchy but it is actually rather tame. If the most outrageous thing in your movie is a scene featuring a handful of girls in a shower for a minute or two your movie is not particularly outrageous at all. So there's no laughs, no raunch, and pretty much no plot. That's not a formula for a successful teen sex comedy. Toss in the fact that supporting characters, such as the aforementioned Balbricker, are more interesting than the guys the movie actually focuses on and the movie is clearly doomed to fail. The fact that the character of Pee Wee, who is focused on most of all, is incredibly annoying certainly doesn't help matters any. The fact that the threadbare plot ultimately leads to a simply absurd climax is just the final insult. Porky's is noted for helping to launch the teen sex comedy genre. It may be among the first, it's certainly among the worst.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the early 1980's, I attended Leroy D. Feinberg, an elementary school
located on Washington Avenue in South Beach (for those not familiar, if
you've heard of Ocean Drive, Washington Avenue is one street over).
Behind Leroy D. there was a large white building that used to be an
adult school; some of our classes were held there. This building was
also the set of Porky's. I was too young to see Porky's in the theater
had to wait for that all-important late-night cable sneaky-view a
staple of teenagers in Generation X. I loved what I saw, but what boy
wouldn't? You talk about sex a lot, and show naked girls, any teenage
boy is gonna be smiling. And I felt a connection to it because it had
been filmed at my school. But recently, for fun, I've been re-watching
movies that meant a lot to me as a kid. Some, like Risky Business and
The Sure Thing, still hold up. Porky's, though, doesn't hold up, but it
is interestingly odd.
First off, they don't make them like this anymore. This kind of unabridged sex urges and casual racism doesn't fly in the PG-13 world. In many ways, these kids' (who bordered on actually being 30 when the movie was filmed!)racial attitudes are both despicable and realistic given they're supposed to be 50's era high schoolers. There's a scene at the beginning where three characters discuss the plan to hire a "N-word" to scare the others in a prank; yeah, two of them scold the southern boy for using the word, but it's a casual scold and then answer, yeah they "got one." Their description of him is even more offensive, right down to his low-level labor-status and gold teeth. There's another scene where two of the kids tell the Jewish kid that, hey they're sorry about the racism of their friend, but he ain't a bad guy and they gotta support him because, you know, he's their bud. The casualness of all this is shocking the film kinda accepts it as correct which it is, given the era the film is representing, but still. This is a comedy and it's bordering on maybe being too accurate in the worst ways.
This doesn't make the movie evil, though. Bob Clark wrote and directed a slice of life film that got the reputation for being the daddy of all high school sex flicks. It is a sex comedy, but I think it's also a 50's era portrait of high school. It's not well rendered on that level, but it is that. And so Clark incorporating racism and casually dealing with it isn't offensive on that level and to be fair to him: In the end, the characters bond with the Jewish kid. He does try to come out on the right side of things.
But the weirdest part of the film? It's acted and shot in a way that the majority of the characters are difficult to distinguish; if you noticed, so far I haven't named any characters, because I can't remember them. Save for Meat or Pee Wee, named for their, um, god-given abilities, it's tough to remember these characters' names. I think that has to do with the big three: the writing, acting, and mainly the direction unlike most films aimed at teenagers, Clark avoids cloying musical interludes, close-ups and punch-line dialogue instead he films group shots with a lot of overlapping speech, offhand jokes, and laughter (have you ever seen so much on screen laughter in a movie? I haven't and I admit, it works it does make a lot of scenes seem funnier, especially the tally-whacker inspection scene). If you think about it, either Clark's techniques here are unexpectedly arty or incompetent and make the film uninvolving on a character level (probably both). It's a slow film, too, with often telegraphed from a mile away jokes that still many times hit, somehow (case in point: the screamer. Who couldn't see the joke coming Clark takes forever to get to it and yet, it does end up getting some chuckles.) Outside of those chuckles, though, what's left for a modern audience to enjoy? Not much. It's a raunchy comedy with a slow pace, little music, and remote, often boring personalities played by actors who look like they're in grad school rather than high school; it contains casual racist and sexist attitudes that are bound to un-funnily offend because they aren't underlined and loudly pronounced bad. The Regan Era was the last time that the 50's could not only be romanticized, but tolerated. That era of segregation and conformity has passed us by, thankfully(it had cool cars, though). Rock n'Roll was a sign, as were the Beats, that something was off in this decade for so many, and no matter how much Regan wanted to paint the 50's as the perfect America, he was bound to fail; nostalgia for this decade worked from the early 70's into the 80's because of all the strife going on, but eventually, I think people realized or remembered a lot of that strife happened because of the 50's way of thinking. Porky's was a Regan Era film thru and thru which ironically, he would have hated. But nowadays, like the 50's itself, it seems racist, sexist, and a little slow.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
We follow a bunch of high school kids through a period in their
puberty. Their lives mainly consist of watching the girls in the shower
and making life a living hell for their teachers and for each other.
The movie is packed with practical jokes and eccentric characters, like
Pee Wee with the short d**k (which he measures every morning) who met
up for sex with the school "mattress" Wendy already wearing a rubber,
or the fat teaching b***h Beulah Balbricker who is determined on making
life a living hell for the boys. The name "Porky's" is the name of a
striptease bar the boys get thrown out of and humiliated in in the
beginning of the movie. They have their minds set on revenge, but
that's not easy as the owner's brother is sheriff. Only by forgetting
their internal differences can they defeat Porky and his gang.
Funny comedy, but it's not the best in comedies. Still, it's funny. Never a dull moment. Although, the script destroys a bit of this film.
Rated R for Profanity and Graphic Nudity.
Porky's was the only chance for the sex crazed students of Angel Beach High School to satisfy their needs. Unfortunately Mr. Porky just didn't like the uppity punks from ABHS, except to rip off, beat up and just generally abuse. And thus the stage is set for the ongoing battle between the forces of horny and evil. When not waging war on Porky the students are constantly pulling all the pranks, almost always sex related, that you remember from your own high school days. Funny from beginning to end, you don't need to look for the "hidden meaning", the "statement being made" or any other underlining truth. It is just totally straight ahead funny! Good ol' locker room humor and definitely not a movie you take your Mom to!
I really can't understand why this movie has so many detractors. I think this thing is absolutely hilarious. The actors look like they are having a blast. This is not a movie to take seriously. Think of it as a visual stand up comedy. Think back to the pranks you pulled in high school. This movie reminds me of many of the fun things I did or saw in school. Of course, the things depicted in this movie would land all the participants in jail today. A lot of the things that I did would be the same. Yet, 99% of all these things were harmless. No wonder the kids today are wound so tight. If they even look like they are having fun, the cops come. It is a light hearted movie, that captures a time when a boy could want to catch a glimpse of a girl without being labeled a sex offender.
All of the Porky's movies are the funniest that you will ever see! Its loaded with sex humor that you almost pee all over yourself for watching it. But please do not let your kids watch this movie because it is full of nudity. I give this movie a TTTTEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNNN!!!!
Wow...i'm 17 and i saw Porky's for the first time a few weeks ago and immediately rented Porky's 2 and Porky's Revenge. It's appalling that none of the wonderful actors had good film careers after these. Dan Monahan starred as Pee wee. Tony Ganios as Meat, Roger Wilson as Mickey, Mark Herrier as Billy, and (MY FAVORITES) Scott Colomby as Brian, Cyril O'Reilly as Tim and Wyatt Knight as Tommy. Seeing these guys pull their hilarious pranks on each other and the evil Ms. Balbricker (Nancy Parsons) makes my day every time i watch it.
This is one of the best of the 80s but I don't know why some users hate on this movie. Now the cast maybe not big time stars but I will pick this over any teen movies that came out of the 80s thats why we need more movies like this but some kids love the breakfast club. So I give this an ten.
Never in any film have I wanted to laugh so much. How this film accomplishes it, is pure Genius. For every joke you get 2 laughs! One for the joke and one for the cast laughing at it. Laughter is contagious and no other film actually portrays laughter better then this film. Its amazing how the director got the actors to react the way they did. The gym scene shows what I'm talking about better then anything. Laughter in that scene looks so legit. If they were faking the laughs then I'm one of the many who were fooled! Great job!!
First, you have to rent this film because any funny scene will be edited on television. The film goes into the 1950's nostalgia territory but tells the story of the regular guys not the squeeky clean geeks of "American Graffiti" or the greasers of "Lords of Flatbush." These are the guys you hung around with and told dirty jokes with (regardless of the decade). The jokes here are mainly on the guys, especially with one guy named Pee Wee. We see guys get caught literally with their pants down in various situations as they try to spy on girls in the shower or lose their virginity. Kim Cattral is hot and the film is worth a look just for her performance (which is way to short and could have shown more skin considering the movie does feature nudity.)
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