Porky’s II: The Next Day:
Porky’s Written and Directed by: Bob Clark
Porky’s II: The Next Day Written by: Bob Clark, Alan Ormsby, Roger Swaybill; Directed by: Bob Clark
Porky’s Revenge Written by: Ziggy Steinberg; Directed by:James Komack
Starring: Dan Monahan, Wyatt Knight, Mark Herrier, Roger Wilson, Cyril O’Reilly, Kaki Hunter, Nancy Parsons
- Commentary by Director Clark (Porky’s)
- Featurette – “Porky’s Through the Peephole”
- Featurette – “Porky’s a Comedy Classic”
- Porky’s Video Game Sales Presentation
Released by: 20th Century Fox
My Advice: Get the first Porky’s and save some cash
[ad#longpost]Despite what certain people think, the 1950s were quite sexual…mostly because the era had teenagers and teenagers have surging hormones and have a pressing desire to insert Tab A into Slot B. So Angel Beach High School in sunny Florida, which is full of said teenagers, is a hotbed of sexual tension and the desperate attempts to relieve that tension. One of these attempts is going out to the honky tonk strip club out in the Everglades–the one called Porky’s. After they gave some money to the redneck owner Porky for some female company, the city boys get screwed over by Porky when he dumps them in the swamp. With that, the battle is joined and one will emerge the winner.
Widge has said that he wish he could have seen certain classic movies just before they became part of the cultural landscape. I believe that Porky’s would qualify as a movie that, in a small way, changed that landscape. At the time, it broke huge ground by having explicit sexual content in a comedy aimed at young people. It acknowledged in a very frank way that teenagers in general are lovable assholes who constantly want sex. Modern viewers, having seen all the movies that have copied and imitated the film, rarely understand how groundbreaking this film was. Watching Porky’s now, after 30+ years of teen sex comedies, and of course the Internet, it does seem kinda tame. But it’s still holds up rather well. Though the scene where Kim Cattrall is flat on her back and has an ear scattering orgasm is nothing new to anyone who has watched Sex and the City. A lot of the humor depends on the characters’ naivete, something lacking in our porn-soaked era, but having the movie set in the 50s makes it more believable.
If you look past the sex, there are some nice subplots about racism where one of the characters gets accepted by the group even though he’s a Jew. And another where one of the boys tells his alcoholic asshole father to fuck off. They’re not the main focus of the movie, but add a little bit of substance. What you really get with Porky’s is a sense of honesty. Bob Clark said he gathered tons of stories of high school hi-jinks and those made up most of the script. The antics never gets to the level of ridiculousness and you really feel this stuff actually happened. Your bullshit detector never goes off.
The two sequels in contrast will send your bullshit meter to eleven. Porky’s 2 is a classic example of sophomore slump. After developing the script and working years on the first movie, the studio saw its huge box office and told Bob Clark to make a sequel. Now. Bob Clark agreed so he and the cast could also cash in on the first movie’s success. The result is a movie that feels like it was what it was: made just for the money. For some reason, they toned down the sex and nudity and went with a plot about proto-fundamentalist Christians and the KKK wanting to shut down the high school production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. It takes itself too seriously, which is bad for a comedy. Porky’s Revenge steered clear from any sort of message but its jokes are simply rehashes from the original and fall flat. It doesn’t help that the actors are getting long in the tooth. If Porky’s 2 is a great example of sophomore slump, Porky’s Revenge is a great example of diminishing returns.
The extras on the original movie are quite good. The commentary, done by Clark, is extensive and covers various topics like why he hired twenty-something actors to play high school students, making 1980s Miami look like 1950 Angel Beach on a budget, and how the girls of Porky’s are as much as part of the gang as the guys. There is also a featurette with Clark that goes through a lot of the same material as the commentary, but it is more concise. Then there’s a rather useless featurette with two comedians talking about their experience seeing Porky’s. And there is a strange bit of publicity which features a Porky’s video game. For the Atari 2600. For you young people out there, that’s a game system from the Paleolithic Era. I still can’t figure out how they were going to render female nudity with its low graphic quality. The other two discs only have trailers as extras, but I’m not that surprised considering the quality of the films.
Porky’s is worth watching to see where it all began. It blazed the trail and made it safe for comedies to talk about sex and the American teenagers. Or at least showed you could make a lot of money doing it. The extras make the single DVD worth a purchase. But I’d pass on the two sequels. They drag the overall worth of Porky’s The Ultimate Collection down.