Porky’s (1982)

6 Feb

1252464798

Smith’s Verdict: *

Reviewed by Tanner Smith

Vulgarity can be funny in movies. For example, “National Lampoon’s Animal House” was merciless in vulgar, offensive, and stupid moments—one after another—and was funny as a result because the characters were likable, despite what they did or went through. Now, we have “Porky’s,” a comedy with jokes about sex, violence, Trojans, nudity (male and female), vomit, killer overweight female gym coaches, and voyeurism. But the characters are unappealing and uninteresting. Those characters are high school teenagers.

This movie represents close to the worst of teenagers. They pull pranks on each other when they’re not obsessing about women’s reproductive organs. There is not one moment when they seem like real teenagers—just nonstop obsession and crudeness. And what’s worse—the actors do not act, sound, or even look like high school teenagers. They seem like they were left back a few times. That wouldn’t surprise me, considering their intelligence levels that you might be able to guess.

“Porky’s” is a really lame movie that not only believes that teenagers are cynical snobs all the time, but also hates women. I mentioned there was a “killer overweight female gym coach” in “Porky’s.” Her name is Ms. Balbricker. All she is used for is being the butt of a lot of jokes (one in particular, I did laugh at, despite myself—it’s the scene where she tries to convince the principal to inspect…well never mind) and there is no way that her character is established, so the result is not very funny or insightful, but somewhat sick. And all the other women in this movie are treated the same way (although they’re skinnier). They are feared and seen by the main characters as aliens from another planet. No attempt is made to strike up friendships with these women.

But it’s not like the women in this movie are given reason for that anyway—one attractive gym coach, in one scene, howls like a dog during sex (OK, I laughed at that scene too).

When you hear the main teenager Pee Wee constantly saying he needs to have sex, you realize exactly how he feels about these women, which is nothing special. Pee Wee is supposed to be the one to care for. How could I, or anybody, possibly show any sympathy with this kid? Pee Wee is also the character you see in these kinds of movies that has a scene where he is embarrassed. In “Porky’s,” he has been forced to strip naked (actually, he does it voluntarily because he believes he’ll “get lucky”), is chased into the street at night, pulled over by the cops, and dropped off to his friends at the local hamburger stand.

To director Bob Clark’s credit, he knows how to direct actors into descending into their characters for long shots so that they talk and then after a while, something happens that brings the story up a little bit. Too bad these characters bring the movie to a halt while trying to carry the whole thing. Clark takes the blame for that, especially the infamous peephole scene in which three of the boys (yes, including Pee Wee) watch the girls shower at school by looking through small holes in the wall of the showers. This scene is directed, written, and acted with smarm—it’s not funny, it’s just sick.

In fact, “Porky’s” itself is sick and has too many things going on with it. I guess I should mention that one of the kids is a racist and gives this nice Jewish kid a hard time until they form a sort-of friendship. I also should mention that the title refers to a redneck strip joint run by an overweight man named Porky, who embarrasses the boys to the point where one of the kids (I can’t remember his name and he’s the only one to gain any kind of sympathy in this movie) tries to get revenge and gets his friends to help him at the end of the movie.

There is so much that happens in this movie that I’m exhausted in a movie that I really didn’t like. It’s mind-numbingly witless and crude.

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