(Midnight Movie) Porky’s Review

Men, for the most part, are idiots. Even though society tries to teach us to behave and Moms try to get us to act respectable, one fart noise can instantly turn us into giggling morons. I don’t want to give you the impression we are all complete idiots, there are varying degrees of Men Idiocracy.

I, for one, am not a Boy’s Man (like a Man’s Man but more immature). When I see a hot girl, I don’t whistle or tell all my friends “I’d like to tear that apart!” (I’m not even sure if that’s a good thing?) When I go to a party I don’t gravitate to the drunk chicks in hopes of copping a feel or making out in front of everyone on the couch. And when I ‘get laid’ I don’t run around afterwards telling all my friends and high fiving them before throwing confetti in the air and dancing.

But none of that is going to stop me from watching a movie like Porky’s and somehow enjoying it for its purely boyish charm. Its a movie by guys, for guys, and sure to bring out the inner idiot in us all.

Story: A bunch of High Schoolers play pranks on each other and try to get laid. Sometimes the two are related. Also, there is a ‘night club’/strip joint named Porky’s.

Porky’s starts out without any introduction to any character whatsoever. Instead of giving us a person by person introduction, we are basically thrown into a High School morning with all of them and hopefully their boy-ish charms will win us over immediately. While I appreciate the skipping of formalities to keep the story light, it also makes it kind of hard to find ‘the main character’.

There are two, more central characters who seem the most grounded out of the gang and hold the story together, only they never really are the focus of any scene other than the first big prank. There’s also Pee Wee and Meat. The sex obsessed goof and the ‘bigger’ jock. They are like the Abbot and Costello of the group, complete opposites but fit so well together. Only in a silly High School teen comedy would they be friends.

Also, there’s some guy who’s Dad beats him so he hates minorities and Jews. But one kind, basketball playing, Jiu-Jitsu/Boxing Jew may or may not show him being prejudice is wrong by the end… (Spoiler: he does).

One of the most notable parts of this movie is its not really about anything. Sure some people learn a lesson by the end, but for the most part it is about boys being boys. Its a hang out movie. These character are our friends and we’re along for the ride, part of the story, the fun, the adventure. A movie like this shouldn’t be forced into normal formulaic storytelling (*cough* American Pie *cough*), it should just be fun.

Writer/Director Bob Clark seems more concerned with capturing all the ‘witty’ dialogue you hear around adolescent boys than actually creating well rounded, smart characters. Most of the dialogue seems like it was written by a 15 year old who idolizes his 18 year old brother. Its a double edged sword. Both unclever and innocent at the same time.

Porky’s claims to be a movie about “growing up”. A coming of age tale if you will. But really there’s not much growing up here. The boys seem stuck in perpetual puberty. Even as the movie reaches its third act, no one really has changed all that much. But that also may be to the audiences benefit. I didn’t want to see some corny after school special. I wanted to see men acting like horny idiots so I could giggle like a moron.

For most people the big climax (hehe!) is when The Gang finally decides to take on Porky’s, which is only really seen twice in the movie. They’ve been wronged by the man and when he repeatedly beats up one of their thick skulled Hill Billy friends who keeps coming back for more, they decide enough is enough. Following the biggest prank of all, they finally get their ‘justice’ and cheer as the closing credits desperately try to tie up any loose ends.

But for me the real fun comes in the form of the biggest pay off of the movie. Sure Bob Clark does a fair job of trying to build up certain moments like The Dad who beats up his Son, Pee Wee getting some, and “Why do they call her Lassie?”, but the best one is in the simple character of Ms. Balbricker, perfectly portrayed by Nancy Parsons.

Ms. Balbricker doesn’t need to say much. Just her presence alone is enough to almost squander all the fun of the movie. Porky may be a villain of sorts, but his limited screen time and threats do nothing more than add to the mayhem of these boys lives. Balbricker however wants to put an end to all the fun. She openly expresses her hate of sex between the students and young teachers.

Following the infamous ‘shower scene’ (the shower scene, like Porky’s, is only visited twice. Bob Clark seems to be operating on more of a ‘setup+punchline’ style than the more translatable ‘Rule of Threes’), Ms. Balbricker desperately tries to plead with the Principle that the perpetrator needs to be caught as fellow (male) teachers listen. Shot in one great take, the looming threat of getting caught and all the fun put to an end combined with the most ridiculously absurd premise of how to do so as no one but Ms. Balbricker really seems to be taking this seriously builds to the movie’s biggest ‘earned’ laugh.

Which brings up an interesting point… the biggest laugh and best character of the movie isn’t ‘one of the boys’, but rather the one who threatens them the most. But I’m not a complete teen movie cynic. I’m not going to go on about how these characters should act more adult and how morally offensive it is. Its a movie. Its fun and sometimes funny. I don’t mind hanging out with these guys for an hour and a half… just so long as my friends don’t pick up on their traits and start acting like that after the movie…

Why You Must See It At Midnight: Porky’s is lewd, crude, and obscene. It ditches the desperateness of American Pie while not quite having as much real fun as Animal House. The bad news is when the movie gets out, so will the bars. And after seeing a movie like this, you’ll definitely want to get hammered and have a night that you can look back on that is as wild and crazy as the one these boys had regularly. The good news… some bars in Chicago are open till four.

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