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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Bob Clark
Cast:
Dan Monahan, Mark Herrier, Wyatt Knight, Roger Wilson, Cyril O'Reilly
Writing Credits:
Bob Clark / Bob Clark, Roger Swaybill, Alan Ormsby

Tagline:
You'll be glad you came!

Synopsis:
Porky's
This hilarious, raunchy comedy hit takes an unblushing look at teenage adolescence in the 1950's. It follows the comic misadventures of six high schoolers whose most fervent wish is to find some sexual satisfaction at Porky's, a notorious honky-tonk strip joint. When they're ripped off and thrown out by the owner, they plot a revengeful scheme that is truly unforgettable.

Porky's II: The Next Day
Proving they haven't matured a bit since the original Porky's, much of the original cast is back to take on right-wing bigots, religious fanatics and double-talking politicians. Count on more delicious revenge for the gym teacher everyone loves to hate, Ms. Balbricker, and outrageous antics that never enter the realm of good taste.

Box Office:
Budget
$4 million / $6.5 million
Opening Weekend
$7.623 million on 1148 screens.
Domestic Gross
$105.500 million. / $33.759 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.85:1/16X9
Audio:
English Dolby Surround 2.0
English Monaural
French Monaural
Subtitles:
English
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 98 min. (Porky’s)
97 min. (Porky’s II: The Next Day)
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 2/13/2001
Bonus:
• Trailers


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Porky's & Porky's II: The Next Day - Double Feature (1981 & 1983)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 9, 2007)

PORKY’S:

Things I’ll never understand, part one: why my father owns a DVD copy of Porky’s. This is Mr. Classical Music, Mr. PBS, Mr. Dopey-Little-Art-Film - what in the world use would he have for a cheap piece of teen junk like Porky’s?

I refuse to broach the issue with him because I’m afraid the answer will relate to the movie’s famous shower scene. If there’s one thing I don’t want to hear, it’s my Dad telling me how naked, nubile young women turn him on. I mean, if that does work for him, more power to him. God knows it works for me! Nonetheless, that topic falls very low on the “wanna chat to Dad” list.

In any case, I can think of no reason other than puerile thrills for my Dad to own Porky’s on home video. Frankly, I can’t think of a reason other than solid full-frontal female nudity for anyone to possess Porky’s on home video; this is one lousy little movie.

Porky’s boasts a completely forgettable cast. I took the liberty of hopping over to the IMDB to see what fame and fortune this group had gone on to after Porky's. I mean, this movie had a large pool of characters from which to choose; some of them had to go on to be stars, right?

Let's look at some similar movies: Animal House, the fairly direct inspiration for Porky's, not only turned Belushi into a movie star, it also featured young actors like Kevin Bacon, Tom Hulce, and Karen Allen. Beetlejuice, as noted in another review of mine, included then-unknowns such as Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, and Winona Ryder. Fast Times at Ridgemont High offered a veritable mother lode, as it featured Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Forest Whitaker, Nicolas Cage, and others who went on to good careers.

So who's the biggest star to emerge from Porky's? Kim Cattrall. Sure, she’s had a decent career, mostly due to Sex in the City, but I wouldn’t call her a huge name.

After her, the top film success story on the roster is Tony "Meat" Ganios, who played a bit role as a terrorist in Die Hard 2. And that's all she wrote! Actually, when you check out their résumés, you see that most of the cast members of Porky's went on to appear in its two sequels and that was about it. Susan Clark and Alex Karras, of course, moved on to the evergreen pastures of TV's Webster, but they don't count because a) they were already established actors by the time of Porky's and b) Webster? C'mon - I'm sure these people have enough pain in their lives without having us remind them of that debacle.

How is this possible? Even huge stink-bombs like 1985's Moving Violations can boast the presence of both Jennifer Tilly and Don Cheadle. Porky's was a giant hit, dammit! Someone should have been able to use it as their launching pad.

Okay, now you might insist that the number of rising stars in a movie shouldn't be used as a gauge of the quality of the film, and you'd be right - the picture should stand on its own. Taken in that light, Porky's can be seen for what it really is: a tremendously juvenile and uninventive film that uses its focus on sex to try to generate a few cheap laughs.

You might laugh at parts of Porky's, but you will feel cheap if you do so. I was only fifteen when I first saw it, so I could try to excuse myself for the guffaws it generated at that time. However, I'm too embarrassed to even attempt that form of apology. What was wrong with me? Was I that much of a moron? (Note to readers: that was a rhetorical question - please do not e-mail me with any comments upon my current or past levels of idiocy.)

Here's a summary of the opening scene of Porky's, one that very effectively tells you how the following 98 minutes will progress. Pee-wee - sort of our protagonist - wakes up in the morning. As he slowly escapes from the confines of slumber, the camera gradually pulls back from a close-up on his face to eventually show him from the groin up. At that point, we observe that Pee-wee suffers from a serious case of morning wood. Soon thereafter, his mother enters the room, so Pee-wee hurts himself as he flips over to hide his boner. Once Mom leaves, Pee-wee gets out a ruler and measures his manhood. After he consults his "growth chart," he notes woefully that "it's getting smaller!"

Believe it or not, it's all downhill from there. When a film frequently shows its characters laughing uproariously at the events around them, it’s an extremely bad sign. It seemed as though the filmmakers had little confidence in their ability to make the audience laugh. As a result, they decided that many of their scenes would consist of radically extended gigglefests in hope that the infectious nature of laughter would carry the day. It doesn't.

While the main focus of Porky's is to provide as many lame sexually oriented gags as possible, it seems to fancy itself as a poignant coming of age story. One boy has to confront his abusive father - why, we get to see our little Tommy grow to be a man. How touching! The film also provides sensitive explorations of such hot button topics as racism, anti-Semitism, and racist, anti-Semitic southerners. From careful observation and through much thought, I learned that all these things are bad. (Who knew?!)

The biggest drawing card for Porky's remains its most notorious segment, the famous "shower scene". We know that this portion is so famous because it plays prominently on both the DVD’s cover and in its main menu. While the scene actually provides an "important" plot twist - well, for whatever plot there is - it mainly exists so we can see a few minutes of some very nice female full-frontal nudity. And call me a pig if you must, but you’ll hear no objections from me. Thank God for DVD's digital freeze frame capabilities.

Otherwise, Porky’s is a nearly complete bust. The film offers exceedingly little humor and none of its characters - or the actors who portray them - provide any charm or fun. Teen sex comedies can be quite good, as was recently proved in 1999’s American Pie. However, that was an exception, while Porky’s is the rule.


The DVD Grades: Picture C+/ Audio D+/ Bonus D-

Porky’s appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this double-sided, single-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. While the picture displayed a moderate number of concerns, it generally offered a decent viewing experience.

Sharpness usually appeared good. Some softness interfered with a few low-light scenes, and interior sequences came across as a bit muddy as well. However, most of the film looked reasonably crisp and detailed. Moiré effects and jagged edges presented no significant concerns. Print flaws, however, were a more substantial problem. Throughout the movie, I noticed examples of grain, nicks, grit, blotches, and speckles. These were more prevalent during the early parts of the movie, but they still persisted throughout the entire film. The defects never seemed exceedingly heavy, but they appeared nonetheless.

Colors came across as fairly bright and vivid. The film takes place in Florida, so daytime exteriors lent themselves to the nicely bold and vibrant hues. Nighttime scenes seemed drabber, but the colors still were pretty accurate and tight. Black levels looked a bit bland, however; they were within the range of acceptability. Shadow detail was also decent, but some scenes came across as a bit too thick and heavy. As a whole, the image looked okay considering the age and cost of the material, but it never rose above the level of average.

The monaural audio for the original Porky’s disc was pretty bad, and the Dolby Surround 2.0 mix generated for the reissue wasn’t any better. The soundfield appeared problematic. Across the front speakers, I heard some fairly decent spread which created a mildly involving image. This never rose above the level of general ambiance - very little discrete audio came from the side speakers - but it seemed modestly lively.

However, the rear channels virtually ruined this effect. They provided a similar level of activity, but this seemed far too high for the nature of the film. The surrounds weren’t really all that prominent, but they took on enough sound to become a distraction. I found the rears to offer rather artificial and hollow reinforcement of the front spectrum, and this become pretty annoying. “More” isn’t necessarily “better”, as this surround track proved.

The weak sound quality of the old DVD didn’t improve over the last few years, as Porky’s still sounded pretty bad. A lot of the dialogue seemed poorly recorded and looped, as much of the speech simply did not integrate adequately with the actors. This artificial tone was compounded by the generally brittle and harsh sound of most of the dialogue; speech came across as intelligible, but it rarely seemed natural.

The remainder of the track suffered from similar problems. Effects were thin and lacked much realism, while the music sounded tinny and flat. The mix lacked any form of dynamic range, as both highs and lows were without much emphasis. As a result, Porky’s may have a new surround mix, but the quality remained low.

In regard to supplements, all we are the original theatrical trailers for Porky’s and 1984’s Revenge of the Nerds. Since the DVD is a “double feature”, I won’t complain too much about the lack of extras.

PORKY’S II: THE NEXT DAY:

However, I will continue to gripe about the weak quality of the films included on this DVD, especially since 1983’s sequel - Porky’s II: The Next Day - achieves the almost-unimaginable feat of being worse than the original. Porky’s was a bad film, but P II is actually less witty and creative. While the first one had little going for it, the sequel is nothing more than a sanctimonious retread.

Pinned to the raunchy sex gags of Porky’s was that thin “coming of age” storyline in which our characters learned to accept those who are different and to stand up for themselves. As the title implies, P II takes place the day after the gang’s climactic activities that concluded the first film. However, the level of maturity and sophistication displayed by the participants seems awfully high considering what we saw in the first movie; they apparently grew an awful lot in that one evening.

We’re supposed to believe that some boys who gleefully tossed about anti-Semitic and racist phrases the prior day now a) rush to the side of any oppressed peoples, and b) eagerly stand up for free speech when their performance of Shakespeare is threatened by narrow-minded Bible-thumpers.

Puh-leeze! For one, it seems odd that the prior film had no reference to any non-sports extracurricular interests held by any of the characters. Now we’re supposed to accept them as budding thespians with a serious interest in the bard? This framework lets them battle not just the religious right - a popular bogeyman in the mid-Eighties - but they also exact revenge upon a sleazy politician and the KKK!

It’s all patently absurd, of course, especially in regard to the ridiculously elaborate methods used to obtain the “just desserts”. The first film was lame, but at least the characters showed some reference to the real world; they were somewhat acceptable as crass, crude representatives of the age. These dorks have little to do with any of that, and the growth shown seems insanely unrealistic considering what we saw in Porky’s.

To add to the problem, all of the characters seem to blend into one. The story’s emphasis is on the situations and the attempts at retribution and it leaves little room for the various participants. As such, none stand out in any way, and they all serve virtually the same function. There’s nothing to distinguish between them.

God, all of this is actually making me look back fondly on Porky’s! Well, for all of that film’s flaws - and it includes many - it at least knew what it wanted to be and it achieved its goals within that spectrum. It’s dopey and unfunny, but it maintained some level of internal consistency.

Porky’s II, on the other hand, wants to be something else, but it’s not quite sure what. It also wants to have its cake and eat it too, but in a limited way. As such, we get some additional sex-related jokes, though these seem to be presented without the gusto found in the first film. P II provides these segments because it has to, not because it wants to do so.

Worse yet, we get very little female nudity! At least the first movie offered some sexy shots, while all we find here are a few takes of a stripper used in a practical joke; she’s topless, but that’s it. However, P II does have full-frontal nudity. I won’t reveal who’s involved, as it could be considered a spoiler, but take my word for it: the sight is not pretty. I speak not just for heterosexual males but for gay men and straight women as well. The naked men are not folks you want to see in that state.

That was the last straw for me. Porky’s II not only omits solid female skin, but it adds some of the most unpleasant male nudity ever viewed on film. This unfortunate choice lifted P II from the ranks of “crummy movie” to “abomination before God”. Watch it at your own risk - to your soul!


The DVD Grades: Picture B-/ Audio C/ Bonus D-

Porky’s II: The Next Day appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this double-sided, single-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Although the picture didn’t provide a quantum leap over the first film, it nonetheless seemed improved.

Actually, the two looked fairly similar in most ways. Sharpness remained pretty good, with only a few signs of softness on display. However, some shimmering popped up here due to thin stripes on shirts. Print flaws decreased for the sequel. I witnessed moderate levels of grain, grit and speckles, but these were distinctly lessened from the first movie, and the image seemed a fair amount cleaner.

Colors again looked nicely bright and vivid. The setting showed off the hues to good advantage, and they consistently appeared fairly vibrant and solid. Black levels came across as marginally deeper and more intense, and shadow detail was slightly clearer, but as a whole, the two images compared closely. Porky’s II presented a good picture dragged down mainly due to a mix of source flaws.

In regard to the film’s Dolby Surround 2.0 soundtrack, however, the sequel demonstrated a fairly substantial improvement, at least in regard to its soundfield. This mix also came from a mono source, but it didn’t feature such an artificial aura. Music spread decently across the forward speakers, and some mild ambiance also emanated from the sides. The activity levels remained fairly low, but the track nonetheless seemed acceptably engaging for this kind of material. In this more natural track, the surrounds reinforced this material adequately and appeared less forced; they added minor atmosphere and didn’t become a distraction, unlike the first movie’s mix.

Audio quality was a little better than what we heard in Porky’s but it didn’t improve greatly. Speech still seemed rough, and sibilance played a greater role; many of the characters sounded as though they lisped, and intelligibility could be moderately weak at times. However, dialogue integrated with action much more effectively, so even though it still offered relatively poor quality, it appeared more natural.

Effects and music presented similar qualities. The former sounded thin and lacked depth, while the latter was fairly thin and without much dynamic range. Actually, the songs offered a modicum of bass at times; this element wasn’t strong, to say the least, but it seemed decent after the tinny affair heard during Porky’s. Ultimately, the soundtrack remained fairly drab, but at least it earned a “C”, as it seemed relatively average for a movie of the era.

As with the side of the disc devoted to the first Porky’s, Porky’s II also offers few supplements. We find theatrical trailers for this film and also for 1987’s Revenge of the Nerds II.

The “double feature” DVD of Porky’s and Porky’s II is an odd product in that it’s both generous and cynical at the same time. On one hand, it seems nice that Fox are selling two movies on one DVD for a low list price of only $24.98. However, I doubt that this combination occurred due to kindly motives. Instead - as was clearly the case with the double feature of The Fly/The Fly II - it looks like the weaker sequel has been pinned to the more popular original film to move additional DVDs.

Honestly, whatever the motives may be, I won’t complain, since the price is still right if even if you like only one of these movies. I didn’t, and I actually found both films to be pretty terrible, but if you disagree, it’s a good deal.

As for the quality of the DVD, Porky’s fares worse. It offers rather mediocre picture and terrible audio. Porky’s II doesn’t look or sound great either, but it’s a definite improvement on the first, especially in the sonic domain. Extras are essentially non-existent, but since you get two movies for the price of one, those omissions seem forgivable. I can’t recommend this package wholeheartedly because both movies are pretty weak, but fans of the Porky’s gang should be happy with this set.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 6
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11:
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main