Porky’s (Canada/USA 1981)

porkysI am really scraping at the bottom of the barrel here. For some sorry souls Bob Clark’s smutty box office smash still qualifies as nostalgia. This review does not have to hurt too much. You can always apply something to numb your eyes. I hope any pain may turn into some pleasure.Ā  If you could at least smile while reading this, that would be awesome.

Moving on to the jokes – they are based entirely around sex. What a surprise! Such gags as “Cherry Forever”, “Anyone seen 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. 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 the beginning of the movie. The strip club 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 success of the film as a sex comedy is not hard to understand. First, the guys that comprise the gang are distinctive 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, Beulah 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.

I must say that Eisenhower’s portrait on the wall added a nice touch to the above scene. As for the male characters, Don Monahan is probably the most memorable as the 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. 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. 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, unassuming embrace of sex and nudity is a plus. The notorious scene with the guys spying on the girls in the shower becomes far less exploitative when the girls discover the perpetrators and start antagonizing them. The film has a good share of belly laughs and is not afraid to push buttons. It even manages to sneak in a paper-thin anti bigotry message. That period (early 1980s) was plagued by escapist trashy movies, preferably set in the 1950s/60s…remember the cold war was at its coldest, and the masses needed escapism to warm them up. And they needed trash. Crude, empty, shallow with plenty of naked women.

But it is fun if you are in a raunchy mood and do not want to engage the old brain cells. šŸ™‚

Catrall Kim_Porkys_704_432

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Comments

  1. Awesome post. Care to follow me back ?

    Liked by 1 person

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