Dir: Bob Clark, 1982
Clearly inspired by Boaz Davidson’s Israeli comedy, Lemon Popsicle, Bob Clark’s teenage sex comedy is a raucous movie, filled with gut-busting hilarity.
Edward “Pee Wee” Morris (Dan Monahan) is a typical teenage boy. He can’t think of anything else but sex.
After a disastrous date with school slut, Wendy, Pee Wee and his gang of friends decide to go to the infamous strip joint, Porky’s to get some prostitutes.
The owner of the bar, Porky (Chuck Mitchell), humiliates the group and they are forced to go back home.
One of the friends, however, is angry at the treatment and goes back several times, alone, to get revenge only to be severely beaten.
Hatching a plan, the friends get their own back on Porky.
Despite its labelling as a sex comedy, Porky’s is also a drama with serious undertones. It tackles anti-Semitism and abuse.
Tim Cavanaugh (Cyril O’Reilly) spits bile and venom at Jewish kid Brian Schwartz (Scott Colomby). Liberally throwing around offensive words, Clark shows the prejudice for the stupidity that it is. Cavanaugh calls Schwartz a “kite” before being shown up by Brian correcting him with the proper word “kike”.
The comedic tone of the scene makes you laugh at him and not with him. You’re on the side of Brian through the whole film.
Cavanaugh has an abusive and criminal father who beats him for losing in a fight to the Jewish Brian.
However, Clark shows redemption in Tim. He doesn’t believe in what he says but is merely doing it to please his dad. Ignorance breeds ignorance.
The characters are likeable. This goes a long way to the enjoyability of the film. American Pie failed for me because I didn’t like the characters.
Obviously, the humour is crude and vulgar. It sits perfectly well within the age of the characters.
Some of the jokes are old but, in this context, they work and are funny. A Mike Hunt gag is a good example of this.
Porky’s is notable for starring a pre-famous Kim Cattrall, later to star in Police Academy, Mannequin and Big Trouble In Little China before finding true celebrity status with Sex & The City.
Playing a PE teacher with the nickname Lassie, Cattrall is perfect in the role. Funny and beautiful, she brings the house down in one of the most memorable scenes.
Without a doubt, the most scene in the film is the shower scene. But, it’s the scene after that that’s the funniest.
Spying on the girls showers through a hole, one of the boys pokes his nob through it as a joke. However, the girls overweight PE teacher, Miss Balbricker (Nancy Parsons), grabs hold of it and refuses to let go.
Reporting the incident to the principal, three other staff members are in the room desperately trying to stifle fits of laughter before breaking it into a meltdown of hysterics.
Hated by snobby critics on its release, the film is just an immature barrel of laughs. It doesn’t try to be clever. It just tries to make you laugh and succeeds spectacularly.