“Porky’s” is another raunchy teenage sex-and-food-battle movie. The entire sort appears to be fixated on the late 1950s and early 1960s, when the filmmakers, no uncertainty, were teenagers.
Do today’s teenagers really relate to kids about storage spaces, Trojans, boobs, jockstraps, executioner dyke rec center coaches, and barfing? Indeed, indeed, probably they do.
Teenagers appear to possess a time warp of eternally unchanging preoccupations. Hollywood originally entered that world with a certain innocence in the late 1950s with Pat Boone and beach party movies. That innocence is now long, long ago. Since “American Graffiti,” “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” and “Meatballs,” the A.C.N.E.S. movie has turned cynical.
You recall what A.C.N.E.S. stands for. It’s an acronym for any movie about the dreaded Adolescent Character’s Hypochondriac Sensuality Condition.
In “Porky’s”, the Male Characters Are Hypochondriac About the Usual Three Subjects: The Size, Insight, and Health of Their Regenerative Organs.
The female characters, on the other hand, are seen almost completely as an unseen species from a lost continent. They’re murmured regarding, speculated about, spied upon, misled, and, in general, feared. And it’s not only Ms. Balbricker, the juggernaut rec center coach, who’s a heavy. All of the ladies in this movie are bizarre.
One cries like a canine during sexual intercourse. Others draw clueless horny teenage young men into rooms with trapdoors, and dump them into alligator-plagued waters.
In fact, the strangest thing about “Porky’s” is the amount it hates ladies. The only dear fellowships in the movie are between men. The movie even takes certain scenes that are usually prosaisms for female characters and assigns them to men.
For example, you can hardly make a movie like this without a scene in which someone’s caught bare out in the open. Keep in mind “Hot Lips” in “MASH”? In “Porky’s,” it’s a youngster named Pee Small. He’s caught off guard, chased into the forest, got by the police, and saved at the local drive-in hamburger stand, where he presents like September Morn.
Since the movie could do without ladies, its simulated intercourses all create fear and aggression, which keeps them from being entertaining (sexual moments about fear and antagonism, on the other hand, can be extremely amusing). Indeed, even in an easy scene like the one where the folks spy on the young ladies in the storage space, the chief, Sway Clark, blows it.
Unwanted voyeur scenes can be extremely amusing (recall John Belushi on the ladder in “Animal House?“) Here, it’s simply smarmy. There’s one other issue. None of the male actors in this movie look, sound, or act like teenagers. They all seem to be congested preppies at their fraternity promise class’ fifth reunion.
Jokes based on embarrassment never work except if we can relate to the embarrassed character. Here, the actors all appear to be simply acting.
Time Out Says
Essayist/chief Clark moves the American Graffiti formula to a ’50s Florida secondary school to mount a runaway farce fuelled by the agonies of adolescent sexual frustration.
The subsequent American film industry bonanza made it the Animal House of 1982, and Clark convincingly captures a tone of masochistic agony as his randy children are criticized, took advantage of and generally humiliated by the adults around them.
There are a lot of sexual gags, yet the basic plot is as innocently Oedipal as Jack the Giant Executioner as the gang desperately attempt to defeat club proprietors, parents, and police officers armed with shimmering truncheons as they continued looking for sexual experience.
In spite of its meagerly liberal facade, it’s as reactionary as a smash-and-grab raid, however it’s vulgar enough to be fascinating even while you hate it, and it’s certainly the most revealing American accomplishment since Taps.
It’s Also a Film That’s Not Exactly As Straightforward as It Could Appear.
Road Outing star Breckin Meyer may have felt, as he told Domain, that Porky’s was a “A real, wow boobies, second for me” yet, in fact, it’s the male anatomy that the movie’s fixated on.
At the gamble of enjoying a Tarantinoesque Top Firearm deconstruction, Porky’s is substantially more keen on knobs than it is in knockers.
From Pee Small’s stunned observation that his morning hard-on appears to shrivel through the infamous visit to Miss Cherry Perpetually and her merciless assessment of their manhoods (“You would do well to strap a board across his ass or he’s liable to fall in” she remarks of the hapless Pee Small) to that young ladies’ shower scene; it’s a movie fixated on male genitals with chap nakedness exceeding noticeable female tissue by a factor of at least two to one.
Clark insightfully realized that younger male teenagers are at least as fixated on their own bodies as they are with young ladies. Crowds of anxious adolescents perceived themselves in both Pee Small’s frustration and desperate sexual braggadocio.
It’s also an unusual historical cross breed. The behavior of the children of Angel Beach would in fact be completely intolerable by 1950s standards, leading if not to the hot seat, to change school. In any case, George Lucas had demonstrated that audiences had an appetite for an airbrushed nostalgia with American Graffiti in 1973.
Weave Clark takes the liberated sexual mores of the pre-AIDS 80s and bolts them to the social innocence of a fantasized 50s, which in mark of fact, probably never existed.
It’s a gadget which has many advantages, not least of avoiding the charge of rough sexism by implausibly painting the young ladies as being as available as the young men (during the chicken through-the-young ladies’- shower-grouping, for instance, the young ladies are portrayed as amused and pleased rather than stunned or threatened).
Clarke even adds several anti-fanaticism subplots in with the general mish-mash — Jewish understudy Brian Schwartz (Scott Columby) is taunted by a racist who calls him a “kite“. “It’s ‘kike‘,” he coolly responds, “you’re excessively inept to try and be a decent biased person.” And then there’s the children’s war of attrition with redneck Porky, whose Confederate flag-festooned roadhouse is triumphally obliterated.
Porky’s is a movie without a mean bone in its body; a movie that rebuffs intolerance and fanaticism and rewards pleasantness, in Pee Small’s case with his final despoiling toward the back of a school transport.
And for a generation for whom it was a key video rental — on the off chance that we could find someone who looked 18 to get it for us — a part of our hearts, and without a doubt other vital organs will always belong to the testosterone soaked halls of Angel Beach High.
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