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Porky’s

tn_porkysPORKY’S is a monument to young men and the issues that interest them. It’s about trying to get laid, spying on naked girls, fake IDs, sneaking into titty bars, dick size, the proper use of condoms, practical jokes, convincing cops to let you go, getting in fights, standing up to fathers. But mostly it’s about giggling – lots of giggling about dicks and what not.

It also takes place in the ’50s, and it’s kind of a fantasized nostalgia where men play 16 year old boys (director Bob Clark points out that people looked older back then) and everybody’s friends with everybody else and the boys can pull of anything and get a fantastical revenge on a seedy character they really shouldn’t fuck with if this were real life because somebody would get their legs broken. So it’s a nostalgic look at their coming of age years but it’s not the same type of nostalgia George Lucas and others of this generation had. It mostly ignores the cars, the music, the dances, the hairstyles and all that shit that usually gets fetishized in anything about the ’50s.

mp_porkysIt does address the era though. There’s some casual racism by white people, and a Jew so used to being picked on that he had to learn Judo. So you know everything’s not hunky dory. In one scene, as a roomful of dudes laugh hysterically at a woman talking about dicks, the camera slowly zooms in on a smiling photo of Eisenhower.

This is about as male as a movie could be. It has a hairy chest and smelly armpits. The women are pretty much treated as pieces of ass or bitches to make fun of. Kim Catrall gets a dirty jockstrap stuffed in her mouth during sex (to be fair it has already been established that the smell turns her on). On the other hand, the women are in charge. They know what they’re doing. It’s the men who are slaves to their dicks, hopelessly chasing “beaver” like it’s the lost ark, carefully maintaining penis growth charts or finding themselves huddling together naked, excited by the sounds of fake sex in the other room. Even the big-dicked muscleman known as “Meat” is rendered helpless by the vague possibility of getting laid.

The movie’s excitement is kind of contagious. By that I don’t mean you’re gonna get a boner like the characters do, but that it’s easy to forgive how juvenile it is and get into the spirit of it. It’s all about bonding: guys giving each other shit, but also looking out for each other; playing pranks on each other, but also planning them together. According to the writer/director, the late Bob Clark, most of it – the angry husband prank, the dick in the hole, the howling sexpot, the phone call for “Mike Hunt,” the Jew and the anti-Semite bonding over a fight – came from his group of friends growing up in Fort Lauderdale. So he’s not trying to build the most outrageous gags like you would do now. He’s just trying to share funny stories about him and his buddies. Same goes for his later movies, like BABY GENIUSES and KARATE DOGS, I think. Totally autogbioraphical. I might have that wrong, I’ll have to look it up, but probly not, I’m pretty sure that’s correct. Yes, I just looked it up and it is correct. BABY GENIUSES 2: SUPERBABIES includes some composite characters but otherwise they’re all very true to the actual events, including some documentary footage of some of the dog karate, etc. Source: wikipedia.

I’m not sure how respectable PORKY’S is considered these days, but I’d say I’m pro-PORKY’S. People dig the nostalgia of Clark’s A CHRISTMAS STORY, this is that movie’s horny older brother. Because of the horniness and the movies it inspired it has a reputation for crudeness, but it’s not just some thrown together crap. On a technical level it’s not as show-offy as Clark’s BLACK CHRISTMAS, but it does have some subtly impressive moves. For example the scene I mentioned with the Eisenhower portrait, where the coaches crack up while Miss Balbricker proposes a manhunt for the penis she saw sticking out of a hole is all done in one 4 minute long take, with the coaches gradually losing their shit and the principal able to hold it in until the very end. And the big showdown in the movie is brilliant because the boys have arranged for the school’s marching band to wait at the county line for their victory over Porky. So the climax and end credits are set to the most over-the-top triumphant music of celebration possible, but it’s right there in the scene, no manipulative score or soundtrack music necessary.

Before we wrap up here I got a couple miscellaneous points to make. #1, please note that in the iconic shower peephole scene the boys are thrilled at the sight of pubic hair. I believe Pee Wee says it’s “enough wool to knit a sweater.” REVENGE OF THE NERDS had a similar voyeurism scene where Booger declared “We have bush!” I only bring this up because I have noticed from the pornography these days that the women seem to shave it all off now. What the fuck is that? I don’t get it. Public hair was once a badge of honor for young people, proof of adulthood. Now all the porn stars are trying to look like pre-teens. I guess this is just a matter of taste, I’m not gonna argue for being “more natural” or something. Or to not shave your legs or armpits. But how bout some centrism on this issue is all I’m saying. Let’s not get carried away with the grooming in my opinion.

Now, the #2 note I have is about Porky himself. He’s a great villain because the guy seems pretty real, and he’s sleazy as fuck and with his brother as the crooked sheriff the system is rigged in his favor, and these kids have to overcome him still. But you know what, man? I kind of think Porky is right, though. Here’s these underage kids coming into his bar, wasting his time with their cheapskate offer for whores, and they really do pose a threat to his business because he could lose his liquor license if the wrong people knew these kids got in. Yeah, his brother’s the sheriff, but the sheriff doesn’t control the state liquor board. Obviously it’s a real threat otherwise Porky wouldn’t back down at the end when he can’t talk about what the “youngsters” did to him without admitting that they’d been getting into his club.

So he has every reason to fuck with them, and it’s not like dumping water on them is that much worse than the pranks they constantly play on each other. He’s working in their medium, speaking their language. He does take their money, you got him on that one. And he is committing some crimes, but then so are the Angel Beach boys – underage drinking, fake IDs, lying to cops, peeping, exposing themselves. They can’t get high and mighty against Porky on some law-abiding-citizen trip.

And what do they do? They completely destroy his place of business. They literally demolish it. Even ignoring the massive property damage you gotta figure there were people inside there, they were lucky they didn’t kill anybody.

I don’t know man, when I get to part 3 we’ll see who I’m rooting for. I like these kids, but I gotta tell it like it is – they’re the wrongdoers in this “blowing up an occupied building and destroying a guy’s life for dumping water on them that one time” situation. Well executed, but unethical. As of part 1 Porky deserves his revenge.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Sunday, September 27th, 2009 at 12:39 am and is filed under Comedy/Laffs, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

54 Responses to “Porky’s”

  1. Porky’s is awesome!
    I would never think that you would do a review of Porky’s…
    Good one Vern.

  2. As a devotee of the PORKY’S trilogy, I must warn you Vern…it’s all down hill from here.

  3. GRIM GRINNING CHRIS

    September 27th, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Yeah, it IS all downhill from here… but as the movies get progressively worse (though still enjoyable with some great gags and great jokes… just THINKING about the “woogie boogie!” scene in 2 cracks me the fuck up)… the tits get progressively better.

  4. ‘hopelessly chasing “beaver” like it’s the lost ark’

    Sums it all up from the guys perspective. The whole plot in 8 words.

    Way to tell it Vern.

  5. Not sure whats with you older guys and liking bush(not the president). I had this conversation a few days ago and maybe its just because of the generation I grew up in but I just cannot understand how a human male could find that much hair on a female attractive in any way. I mean if I took a girls pants off and saw that it would probably gross me out pretty bad(not so much I still wouldn’t go through with it though). It’d be the same thing as discovering she hadn’t shaved her legs and I wasn’t expecting it.

    As far as this movie goes I’ve never been that big of a fan. I remember always trying to watch it late at night along with American Pie and trying not to get caught but as soon as I had an opportunity to see it all the way through I lost interest and ended up changing the channel. Btw, I’m loving the back to school special Vern. Keep them coming.

  6. That was my longest post on here. Not sure how I should feel about that.

  7. Well, the missus and I were have this very debate last night. For the record – I am anti mustache, sideburn, leg and armpit hair. Pro bush. I was born, however, in the tail-end of the 70s though….

  8. Womanly bush to me is kind of like makeup in that a little goes a long way, but none is pretty good too.

  9. That wikipedia entry is great. Thanks Vern.

  10. I’m not sure what Vern’s stand is but I am a man that likes a little bush. Of course I don’t want the Amazon jungle down there but why has it gone so far the other way these days. I know some guys who hate even a hint of hair down there! Just think who doesn’t have any hair down there and how messed up it is to hate to see ‘bush’ on a woman. I’m with Booger from ROTN, bush is where it’s at.

  11. This review brings me back. Ah, how I long for the days of having my tender parts crushed and scraped against a wall by a woman who looks like a Russian wrestler. That kind of thing never happens to me anymore.

    And while I’m a member of the pre-sphinx generation, I find that the new grooming has its advantages. I’m too much of a gentleman to go into detail, but they involve not having to pause to jam your fingers down your throat to pick coarse tickly little hairs off your uvula.

  12. The hair, man, it’s supposed to be there. Now maybe the ladies could trim it up a bit, make it look neat. Nothing wrong there. Or she can shave it off. That’s her prerogative. But I think it’s wrong to demand that she shave it off, or refuse to go down on her. That’s what the women’s lib was all about. If they want a jungle down there, so be it. I’m not gonna shave my balls. Equality.

  13. Also, PORKY’S was pretty good.

  14. You should definitely edit wikipedia more often, Vern.

  15. Didn’t this win an american poll for greatest comedy movie of all time a few years ago? I mean, Vern seems to like it, and when I saw some of it once, there was some funny bit, but greatest of all time?
    So do you plan to review Porky’s Revenge, Vern? I assume like most films whose titles refer to a villain’s revenge, he doesn’t actually get it. Isn’t that arguably false advertising? Did The Fallen get revenge? No. At least Darkman 2 went with “Return of Durant” so it was more accurate…

  16. I’m really glad you didn’t endorse harry legs on women Vern. I don’t think I could read the reviews of someone after learning their sense of personal aesthetics were so lacking.

  17. Count me in the “pubic hair is disgusting” camp. The cultural shift toward its removal is basically the greatest development of my lifetime. I’m thinking Internet #2, end of the Cold War #3, crosswalks that tell you how much time you have left #4.

  18. I honestly didn’t do that Wikipedia thing, but I’m very thankful to whoever did because that was the biggest laugh I’ve had in a while. And most informative.

  19. Ah, one of my old faves. It’s not the smartest or the best film ever, but it knows exactly what it wants to do and it does it well. Porkys #2 (I never have seen #3 and never plan to) was absolutely terrible though. Vern, take my word for it on this one (although I expect a few people here will agree on it) – I’ve watched that film so that YOU don’t have to!

  20. Happy to help, Vern. Just doing my part in trying to spread knowledge. ;)

  21. i gotta say, for me “porky’s” is very sub-par. i am a huge, HUGE fan of 80’s teen movies (as you might be able to guess from my handle. a bunch of years ago, a friend and i decided to watch as many of them as we could, so we spent about a year renting one a week. we watched all the classics and famous ones and many lesser known or maligned ones. at the time, i had n’t seen “porky’s” since i was a kid, and in fact i had only ever seen it in its heavily-censored basic cable version. it really didn’t measure up for me. aside from the obvious plus of full-frontal female nudity (plus naked kim cattrall can never be bad), it was rather disappointing (a comment i could make about “revenge of the nerds” as well). i found the humor to be too juvenile, even for my tastes, and i am a self-professed 80’s movie fan! i don’t remember finding any of the lead characters sympathetic or charming, and in fact, i can’t even remember any of them now. the only people i remember from the movie are cattrall, alex karras (sp?), and porky (whoever played him).

    i only ever saw “porky’s 2” as a kid on cable, and i remember nothing about it, except that it begins seconds after the first movie ended. i always like when that happens, it’s kind of rare (off the top of my head, i can only think of “back to the future 2” and “the karate kid: part II”).

    i would love it if vern reviewed more 80’s teen movies, i would be happy to make recommendations. i know it’s not exactly his thing, but he fairly regular surprises you with reviews of movies outside his standard beloved genres.

    i guess i oughta weigh in on all this here vaj talk. i am 100% with vern. i really didn’t realize it was a generational thing, but for the record, i was born in the mid-70s. i love vaginal pubic hair! for me the pubic triangle is the main signifier (especially in movies) that you have arrived at the vagina. of course giant out of control jungle bushes can be unattractive, and i certainly don’t mind when a lady grooms a bit down there (in fact i actually prefer some small amount of groomming/trimming – hell, i am even guilty of doing a bit of “manscaping” on myself from time to time.) but the shaved look totally baffles me, i do not get the appeal at all. whenever i am perusing certain websights intended for mature audiences only, if there is ever a link with the word “shaved” in title i simply do not click on it. not interested. i only ever slept with a girl who had the full “brasilera” once. it was a drunken hook-up, and when i pulled off her undies and discovered her fully shorn pubis, i just started laughing (granted i was quite drunk at the time). but it was kinda cool in person, actually. still prefer the more natural look, though.

    and m. casey, was that really you who edited the “karate dog” wikipedia entry? that was amazing!

  22. Sequels that continue the story within a few moments:

    -BOURNE ULTIMATUM to BOURNE SUPREMACY
    -QUANTUM OF SOLACE to CASINO ROYALE
    -HALLOWEEN II (1981) to HALLOWEEN (original)

    more posts will follow I’m sure.

    Also: trim to no bush. When I go down there, I *go* down there. I’ve respectfully asked all my partners to shave and converted them. The thrill your girl will feel when cool air breezes over her nethers will likely convince her to stay the course.

    I’ve also had success converting to “commando” but that’s a tale for another storytime.

    SirV

  23. Speaking of 80’s comedies, Up The Creek is probably one of the most underrated ones, it has Pee Wee from Porky’s.

  24. More sequels that continue the story within a few moments:

    – Rocky II
    – Rocky V

  25. The Japanese sequel to RINGU also begins a few moments after the first film ends. I specify that this is the Japanese sequel because I believe the Koreans made a sequel as well at about the same time, which is closer to the plot of the original novel-s segeul.

  26. those are some good examples of sequels that continue right after the previous flick. now that i think about it, “back to the future 3” begins during the climax of the first movie! i doubt any other part 3s can claim that (though obviously time travel makes it kinda cheating i guess)!

    also, while aliens and alien: cubed take place years after their predecessors, that character(s) have been in stasis for the whole time, so it almost kinda has a similar feel. but of course, hicks and newt get slaughtered during the goddamn opening credits… must stop talking about this… anger rising… FINCHERRRRRRR!!!!!

  27. Bourne 3 starts almost in the middle of the second one, and it’s not a time-travelling series. I think we have a winner.

  28. No, wait. I’t more like Bourne Supremacy reaches the end of part 2 after an hour or so… I’m confused.

  29. i think, and anyone feel free to correct me, that bourne 2 has bourne in russia almost at the end, then it cuts to him in new york freaking out joan allen on the phone. bourne 3 (“ultimatum,” which is what i think you meant when you said “supremacy” above) starts with him in russia (from the end of 2) then shows everything that he went through immediately after that (england, spain, algeria?, etc.), until he arrives in new york, which is towards, but not all the way at, the end of 3 (there’s still the car chase etc.). i think that’s right? if so, then yeah, that’s a pretty good one.

    but weren’t we talking bout porky’s, vaginas, etc.?

  30. that should be morocco, not algeria.

  31. Yeah, I mixed the movie titles. Sorry about that.

    ABOUT PORKY’S: Yeah, the endining really bugged me too. Stupid kids demolishing private propierty.

    ABOUT FEMALE HAIR: I prefer it trimmed.

  32. The SAW movies have overlapping time-frames too.
    And there’s Lord of the Rings. The Two Towers starts shortly after Fellowship of the Ring ends, with the chase for the captured Hobbits, though that’s probably more like a matter of hours than minutes.
    Army of Darkness picks up right where Evil Dead 2 leaves things, albeit with some re-working of the events.

  33. Matrix 3 begins right where Matrix 2 ended. There is no gap whatsoever.

  34. The Back to the Future movies all pick up exactly where the predescesor left off, with no gap.

  35. If we’re going into the question of what movies carry on from where their predecessors left off, I win the thread with “The Karate Kid 2”. The opening scene (bloody fists!) shoulda been in the original film, without any doubt. It’s not the best sequel ever but I feel as though people under-rate it.

    Damn, now I feel like I should watch “fists of fury” for even THINKING about “Karate Kid”…

  36. Also, I want to know this: do you guys seriously consider you have a CHOICE about whether or not your girl has “bush”? And if so, what the heck are you doing that I’m not?

  37. It seems like the obvious answer paul is that you could just not date her.

  38. I like pubic hair. Not too much, not too little, but enough I don’t feel like I’m fucking a 12 year old.

    Now, heading downtown and finding yourself in a South American jungle somewhere complete with wildlife and a functioning drug cartel, thats a little much. Evacuate and trim that shit up a little. Just enough I don’t feel like a cat hacking up hairballs later.

    Wait, are we talking about a movie or genital grooming preferences?

    Um…hell I haven’t seen Porkys since my dad made me watch it a decade or two ago. I remember the shower scene being a coveted piece of skinema. This was before internet porn you overindulged fucks.

  39. Agreed, jsixfingers. Us kids today have had it too easy. But I’m still pro-bush.

  40. Anybody ever see The Opening of Misty Beethoven? A porn film from the golden age, the type that Burt Reynolds’s character made (or wished he were capable of making) in Boogie Nights. But thanks to Seventies grooming habits, the close-ups during the sex scenes (and I have to say, I’m not crazy in general about those insert shots of disembodied parts) resemble shrubs playing bumper-cars. (Or Sumo wrestling if you prefer that image.) Whoever owns the rights needs to get ILM to go in and do some digital pruning so a new generation can enjoy this classic.

    And that’s my final word on that issue.

  41. ok, i have to ring in on this whole bizarre bush controversy– i do not believe for one second that if you guys actually LIKE a woman, and manage to get that woman to like you back, that you would ditch her or refuse intimacy if she offered it because her bush was too much or too litle. unless you’re dating strippers it’s not like you know what the terrain’s like until you’re there or nearly there. once a relationship has been forged perhaps you could ASK NICELY that some landscaping be performed but none of ya’ll would be hittin’ the road if it wasn’t. the only situations where it is remotely believable that you might flee at the sight of a nonpreferential bush is if an exchange of money is involved or if it’s a drunken hookup.

  42. I’m with Twynk. Bush is inconsequential.

  43. Twynk,

    Aren’t you kind of inventing people to disagree with you here? I don’t think anyone said that we’d throw the lady out for a little too much hair.

    I might say that I prefer vanilla ice cream, but that doesn’t mean that I’d throw away chocolate if it was given to me.

  44. yes, yes, i suppose you’re right, m. casey. for the most part this was all just an expression of preference, it was just getting on my nerves and rustys response to paul up there really annoyed me. but it was unfair and i apologize.

  45. M. Casey hates black people.

    -Kayne West

    That wasn’t the subtext of your ice cream analogy? Dammit.

  46. oh man, what a coincidence! I was gonna ask Vern to review this for his back to school special! awesome!

    also, I’m pro-bush myself too (but good bush, not bad Bush)

  47. Nobody prefers vanilla over chocolate.

  48. It’s not really a black and white issue. I prefer strawberry.

  49. Twynkle – Sorry, it was my fault for bringing it up in the review. The original reason why it occurred to me to even write about was I just thought it was a funny change in times that now young people are afraid of pubic hair but in this and REVENGE OF THE NERDS they specifically announce their sightings of it because they’re so excited. So I wonder if that scares away the horny teenage boys if they watch these movies now. If I had thought about it I would’ve written it differently because I didn’t mean to start a debate about grooming styles.

  50. vern– no biggie, i was more amused by the whole deal than annoyed. but the little bi8t of annoyance made me wanna be contrary. boys are weird.

  51. @ rustys response to paul up there really annoyed me. but it was unfair and i apologize.

    uh. no apology necessarily. But what’s the problem with my response? The dude asked what we’d do about it as if it were some unalterable scenario. It’s not like I said “bitch better shave her nasties or she out”

  52. glad to see that Wiki edit is still there

  53. You tell ’em, lady gaga wonderland wiki! It’s nice to see a spambot stand up for what it believes in. Namely, absolutely nothing.

  54. I forgot you reviewed this Vern, I will now repost this from the Black Christmas review

    something about Porky’s that I don’t think gets enough credit, is the shower scene and how realistic it is

    yes, I said realistic, if you notice in a lot of movies of the time when they needed a T&A scene they got really hot women, sometimes a Playboy model or something like that

    but the girls in the shower scene in Porky’s, while not unattractive, look like normal girls, not Playboy models

    it’s that context of realism, that if you were to really spy on girls showering in the 1950’s this is what you would see, makes the scene a lot sexier to me than most movie nude scenes and solidifies it’s status as a classic

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