Porky’s appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. While the picture showed its age, it presented perfectly acceptable visuals.
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, though some striped shirts strobed a bit. Print flaws were insubstantial. Grain could be a little heavy, and I saw a couple of specks, but the majority of the movie was quite clean.
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. At no point did this become a great image, but it was probably the best this film has ever looked.
Porky’s original mono mix was pretty bad, and the Dolby Stereo 2.0 remix found here 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.
This was the third DVD release of Porky’s - how did the picture and audio of this 2007 version compare to those of prior releases? The 2001 double feature disc and this one offered identical audio, while the original 1999 edition presented similarly problematic mono sound. None of them seemed better or worse than the others.
As for the visuals, the 2007 disc looked best of the bunch. The first one was non-anamorphic, while the 2001 platter brought 16X9 enhancement but suffered from many other flaws. The 2007 DVD never presented great picture quality, but it was the best of the three.
Whereas the old discs included virtually no extras, a complement of materials fleshes out this 2007 “One Size Fits All Edition”. We open with an audio commentary from director Bob Clark, who offers a running, screen-specific track. Clark discusses real-life inspirations for the story, characters and settings, problems getting support to make the flick, period details, his directorial style and choices, making the sequel and reactions to the film.
Sadly, this will go down as Clark’s final commentary; he died in a car accident a short while before the DVD’s release. Since it acts as his swan song, I wish I could state that Clark recorded a great look at his film. Unfortunately, the commentary is too spotty to be considered a good discussion.
On the positive side, Clark does give us some decent insight into the origins of the story elements, and we learn a bit about the production. However, two attitudes taint the track. For one, Clark often comes across as too full of himself. He lavishes praise on the project and acts like Porky’s was an important, seminal piece of filmmaking. We often hear how him tout his own talents and tell us about all the “classically trained” actors in the cast. Even if you like the flick, I think his tone will get tiresome.
In addition, Clark seems very defensive about Porky’s. That may sound odd given the ego he displays the rest of the time, but Clark devotes a lot of the track to a defense of the flick. He appears to believe that everyone had it out for him and worked incredibly hard to hurt the movie. We already heard some of Clark’s bitterness toward his critics during the commentary for A Christmas Story, so with 98 minutes to devote to Porky’s, he makes sure we get the full impact of his anger.
Clark clearly feels that none of the film’s actors went onto big careers because of their attachment to Porky’s, as though no one would cast them just because they appeared in this flick. I find that hard to believe. After all, Porky’s was a big hit, and the almighty buck speaks loudest in Hollywood; even if some folks did wish Porky’s harm, they wouldn’t ignore its success. Half an ode to his greatness and half a self-pitying screed against all those who didn’t believe in him, Clark’s commentary boasts some decent information but gets on the listener’s nerves – or this listener’s nerves, at least.
Two featurettes arrives next. Porky’s Through the Peephole: Bob Clark Looks Back runs 15 minutes and nine seconds. The director discusses his high school days and their influence on the flick. He tells us how he came up with the story, problems getting the movie off the ground, real-life inspirations for the scenes, the cast, and the film’s reception.
If you already listened to the commentary, you’ll not learn much new here, as Clark does little more than repeat information from his feature-length discussion. However, if you want to screen only one of the two, I’d go with “Peephole”. It’s not as filled with attitude and it conveys much of the same material. That makes it a better use of time and a more painless way to digest Clark’s details.
For the 11-minute and 19-second Porky’s: A Comedy Classic, we find notes from comedian Dante Rusciolelli and writer/comedian Greg Fitzsimmons. They offer off-color jokes about the movie’s sex, nudity and other elements. They’re not terribly funny and there’s nothing I’d call memorable in this pointless clip.
Some advertising elements finish off the set. We locate trailers for Porky’s and its two sequels as well as two TV promos for the original film. In addition, we get a Porky’s Video Game Sales Presentation. In this four-minute and 45-second piece, we see lots of movie clips and hear what a smash the 1983 video game will be. We also see a few shots of the game, but not many, unfortunately. I’d have loved to see more of that primitive effort. Really, the “Presentation” does more to sell Porky’s II than the video game.
Porky’s became a smutty hit in 1982. I liked it as a teen but now can’t find much amusement in this smarmy, tacky comedy. The DVD provided decent picture, weak audio and mediocre supplements. This is a passable disc for a dopey movie.
While that means this Porky’s release isn’t a great product, it does stand as the best of the film’s three DVD versions so it’s the one to get if you don’t have either of the others. If you do own one of those, then it’s hard to recommend the “One Size Fits All” edition. Audio is pretty comparable for all three, and picture only moderately improves over the others. We get some extras here but none of them work very well. If you adore Porky’s then get it, but otherwise stick with the DVD you already have.
Note that this version of Porky’s can be purchased on its own or as part of the three-disc “Porky’s: The Ultimate Collection”. That set also includes Porky’s II: The Next Day and Porky’s Revenge. Porky’s II previously appeared as part of a “double-feature” release with Porky’s, but this set marks the DVD debut of Revenge.
To rate this film visit the original review of PORKY's / PORKY'S II: DOUBLE FEATURE