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Dustin Putman

Dustin's Review

Porky's (1982)
1 Star

Directed by Bob Clark
Cast: Dan Monahan, Mark Herrier, Wyatt Knight, Roger Wilson, Kim Cattrall, Scott Colomby, Kaki Hunter, Nancy Parsons, Alex Karras, Susan Clark
1982 - 99 minutes
Rated Rated R (for profanity, nudity, and sex).
Reviewed December 8, 1998

Well, here's a distasteful, thoroughly amateurish item that, surprisingly, was actually a box-office hit at the time of its release. After just viewing the film for the first time, my primary question is how did anyone with an IQ north of 35 enjoy this movie? It is cheap, idiotic, unfunny, and not nearly as raunchy as I had heard it was. At least some smut would have livened things up a bit.

"Porky's," tells the story (if you can call it that) of four clueless high school buddies, Pee Wee (Dan Monahan), Billy (Mark Herrier), Tommy (Wyatt Knight), and Mickey (Roger Wilson), whom desperately want to get laid. Women, for the most part, are a mystery to them (and in this movie, they are to the audience, as well, since all of them are written and acted as if they are aliens from a different planet). Their plan is sidetracked, however, when they venture out to a smarmy strip bar named Porky's, which they are able to get into using fake ID's. After they pay the manager one-hundred bucks for three hookers, they are played a trick on and find themselves being dumped into the swamp below the building. For these four teenage guys, this means war on Porky's.

"Porky's," ultimately manages to fail on almost every possible level. As a teenage sex-romp, it is not wild or amusing enough. As a comedy, all of the jokes are predictable and fall flat. As a look back at the 1950's, it is something, I suspect, most people from that era would want to bury deep in a grave. And as a revenge movie, it is a crushing bore. One of the most offensive things about, "Porky's," is how jaw-droppingly inaccurate the film is about teenagers. The four main characters are not even attempted to be developed as characters, and we learn very little about them, except that they are horny and would probably feel more comfortable in a preschool. That sure is revealing information.

The female characters fare even worse under the inaudacious screenplay and direction by Bob Clark. The women are all treated as objects or comedy props, rather than real people. For example, the two gym teachers, Mrs. Balbricker (Nancy Parsons) and Honeywell (Kim Cattrall), only have one purpose, and that is to be made fun of. Mrs. Balbricker is a gruff, no-holds-barred, overwight woman who will not stand for any foolishness, and, in one particularly embarrassing scene for all involved, Honeywell has sex with a coach and barks like a dog. There is no way to tell if Parsons or Cattrall are servicable actresses (even though I have the suspicion they are not), but one thing is for sure: they are asked to do things in this film that are not at all funny, only humiliating.

To prove how out-of-touch this so-called comedy is, compare it to other more serious 80's films about teenagers, and it looks even worse in comaprison. Any of the John Hughes pictures, such as 1984's "Sixteen Candles," or, 1985's "The Breakfast Club," put, "Porky's," at an even greater shame. Those films actually dealt with serious teen matters, but remained a great deal funnier, thanks to their bright and truthful writing. And heck, if, "Porky's," wanted to be a teenage sex movie, I'd take 1982's "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," or 1982's "The Last American Virgin," over this any day of the week.

Director Bob Clark is not a bad director. Two years after he made, "Porky's," he directed the nostalgic holiday classic, "A Christmas Story." I would forgive him for this misfire, in fact, if it wasn't for the fact that he also wrote the screenplay. Just the thought that someone would actually sit down to write such a piece of garbage, and think that it was actually a film worth releasing unto the unsuspecting world, is actually a whole lot funnier than anything in, "Porky's."
© 1998 by Dustin Putman
Dustin Putman