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I had the great pleasure of seeing Porky's in a late night showing on opening day in March 1982 in a theater packed to the gills with 18-25 year olds (although I was 30). I hurt for 3 days from laughing so hard.
There is a portion of the movie, beginning close to the 1 hour mark that is the absolute funniest 14 minutes ever put on film. This includes these three hilarious scenes: Coach and Lassie in the boys locker room (Coach Brackett finds out why they call Miss Honeywell Lassie), then it segues to the guys peeping through the holes into the girls shower room, where Beulah Balbricker gets a 'handle' on Tommy's situation, immediately followed by the scene with Coach Brackett, Coach Warren and Head Coach Goodenough in Principal Carter's office with Beulah describing the "incriminating mole". There were people out of their seats, laying on the floor of the theater screaming with laughter. I have yet to see another motion picture invoke this kind of hilarity in a movie theater. I saw it in the theater 2 or 3 times in it's original theatrical run with the same response. When it became available, I bought the VHS copy, then the laser disc copy and when I got the DVD a few month's ago, I watched it for the zillionth time and I still laugh my butt off when I see those scenes. The acting is great for a bunch of no-names, there are actually great multiple plot-lines (in addition to the typical "get laid at any cost" plot) and the cinematography, editing and sound is above average. They made this movie in 90 days for less than $4 million and it grossed $7 million opening weekend and has grossed over $100 million in theaters to date, most of that in 1982 dollars. The only thing I can say bad about Porky's is that they should have stopped after the first one. The first pathetic sequel (The Next Day) lacked humor, the second sequel (Porky's Revenge) had 30-year-olds playing teenagers and they had long-since lost their youthful charm.
It is, however, quite funny. Just sit back and watch the group of pals playing tricks on each other and sticking together when things turn serious. Watching it today brings back memories of some of the stupid things me and my high school friends did back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. We all tried to get into strip clubs before we were 18. We didn't see any trouble with breaking the law as long as nobody got hurt. We all were out to have a much sex as we possibly could. That's what a good portion of growing up for us guys is all about!
That said, the events depicted in this film, such as destroying a night club and sticking our manhood through a hole in the girls' shower didn't happen. That's why films are made. They take ideas in our heads and try to show what would happen if they actually played out.
Only the coldest and stiffest of men couldn't find anything to laugh about with this movie. It is in no way meant to be taken seriously. It has been criticized to the point of no return, though. Why? Are some people unable to laugh at juvenile pranks, or were they on the receiving end of them when they were in high school?
If you had fun growing up, you will probably like this film. If you look back at your younger years with regret, then you most likely won't enjoy it.
8 of 10 stars
And just gotta add 4/4/2007...... RIP Bob Clark. We'll miss you, man!
The Hound will see you on the other side some day!
Two laughs, even better.
I got more laughs than this out of "Porky's", but since I went in expecting them to reach the lowest common denominator, I got just what I came in looking for.
Who doesn't know the story, o connoisseurs of lowbrow humor? What you want to know is if it's funny. Of course it is, but this isn't the best movie for family video night (then again, it depends on the family).
I won't spoil any of the gags for you but I can tell you the biggest ones depend, separately, on eggs, oversized condoms, holes in the girls' showers and a prank call to the local diner. And where, in one instance, you'd keep a driver's license.
Sorry, you'll just have to see the thing.
Eight stars, and beware of moral turpitude.
If you haven't seen it, here's my take on it. People who are stuffy, proper, sophisticated, and politically correct in a social sense are not going to care for this movie. On the other hand, if you are laid back, easy going, don't have to have an uplifting and moral story line, and appreciate comedy (often sexy and somewhat raw), you are going to love this movie. The producer and director very obviously made this movie for the simple purpose of providing the audience with a lot of very funny comedy. And they succeeded immensely (if you are laid back, easy going, etc.) The scenes range from funny to hilarious.
Buy or rent the video. I've seen this on network TV and it is very "sanitized".
Porky's was one of the first American teenage sex comedies to be a major hit at the box office, but I find its success rather perplexing. As a coming-of-age story, I think the film works well enough: the nostalgic setting and strong sense of camaraderie is certainly appealing, while the bitter feud between the teens and the Everglades rednecks, and a subplot that deals realistically with the issues of racism and family violence adds drama to proceedings. I do, however, find the film's raunchy antics nowhere near as funny as its characters, and director Bob Clark, obviously think they are.
The 'Mike Hunt' telephone gag which has the teens in stitches isn't that hilarious, or original, having been conceived in the mid '70s by pranksters John Elmo and Jim Davidson; the repeated jokes about penises soon become very tedious; and as much as I enjoy seeing a young Kim Cattrall without her kecks on, her 'Lassie' scene is embarrassingly bad and far too drawn out. Clark seems to think that if his characters roll around in uncontrollable fits of hysterics for long enough, it'll eventually have the audience laughing along with them. Not in my case I just found it irritating.
It's not the funniest movie you'll ever see, except for a few truly hysterical scenes, but you have to love the way it captures the fun irresponsibility of high school. I think a lot of people can relate to this no matter what generation they're from, making it a definite classic. My advice is to steer clear of the upcoming remake, which will undoubtedly be raunchier and ruder, but probably have ten times less heart.
What makes this film so funny is that the characters look like they are having fun. They like to mess with each other. They enjoy embarrassing one another and they are sex starved high school kids. And really, weren't a lot of us males like that in high school? Are a lot of us still not like that?
You have an assorted cast of characters from Meat, the rather large ( in many ways ) guardian of the group. Women love him for various reasons and it is his size and manliness that makes him so much fun to poke fun at. Then there is Tommy Turner. He is the leader of the group and always seems to come up with the ideas to get his friends laid or in trouble. You have Billy and Brian and of course PeeWee. He is the guy that everyone likes, yet his exaggerated Casanova stories get him in several sticky but funny situations with his friends. The characters at Angel Beach high school are hilarious and I honestly wish I could have known guys like this.
The true strength of this film is the hilarity. The kids make it funny because they always look like they are having fun. When one person is taking their licks, the other five that are in on the gag are laughing under their breaths and all you get is a snicker or two. And we can all relate to that. How, something is funny but we have to play our part to keep the cherade going. These kids do that with perfection here. I also have to mention some of the scenes that make this film the teen classic that it is. The first is the scene when Mr. Carter, their principal is being pressured by Ms. Balbricker to find the guy who had his penis hanging out of a drain pipe in the girls shower. Mr. Carter is doing his best to keep a straight face but he is going to crack at the absurdity of the request. To make matters worse, the two male gym teacher are not making it any easier by snickering to themselves. When Mr. Carter finally cracks, we crack with him. This is comedy at it's best. Also very funny are the Lassie part and the beginning when PeeWee is running down a country road naked. You really have to see it.
This film is unapolegetically crude, lude and vulgar in many ways. But it is so damn funny that you don't pay attention to that stuff. My gut still hurts from laughing when I watch this film. And oh yeah, the shower scene isn't bad either.
college friends had fond memories to share of sneaking in to see
it. The subject would come up over a game of quarters or
Porky's isn't brilliant and maybe deserves a lot of socio-critical
dissection, but I just thought it was funny at the time. I don't know it
deserves film-critic attack - wasn't it low-budget and lucky to get
some mainstream distribution?
Anyway, my memories of Porky's made American Pie a lot more
funnier, too. The two would be a good movie night double feature.
The concept is raw and a bit sophomoric (s) but, it is a great mindless movie to sit back, have a beer and some chips and kill a couple of mindless hours.
Like Caddy Shack, it is a movie worth seeing only the first in the series. The sequels should be lost in movie obscurity. If you were ever a teen age guy most of the gags in this movie will ring true, if only as a thought you once had of actually doing (i.e. The guy, the hole and the girls locker room}.
In Porky's rather than giving us characters we can identify with or relate to the writers give us characters that, at best we are unable to connect with, and at worst are going to end up hating. Many of the jokes in the film are crass without being funny and much of the dialogue is clumsy, irritating and unfunny. The writing is also very uneven whereby it starts out as a bunch of high school kids wanting to lose their virginity and then that concept is all but abandoned in place of gaining revenge against ol Porky himself. I can perhaps understand the change of tone as I was losing interest in their quest as well so perhaps the writers did too. This shift in tone admittedly makes the second half of the film slightly better than the first half, but it's still pretty weak - although I did find the final act quite amusing even though I could see it coming a mile off.
Some people may condemn a film like Porky's for its lack of subtlety, but I think that's probably a little unfair (that's a bit like criticising a porn film for having poor acting or a lack of plot). The sign for Porky's that we see at the start is beyond suggestive, but to me much of the humour felt a little forced rather than feeling natural.
The performances from the cast are variable - none of the male leads are that good and are rather forgettable. Kim Cattrall isn't given much to do in the first half, but she does have one memorable scene in the second half (she looks good here too). Nancy Parsons is the scene stealer in this film as the feisty PE Teacher who's aptly named Balbricker.
Ending on a positive note there were a couple of scenes that I did enjoy; the shower scene with Balbricker was funny as was the aftermath of the event. The prank call to the diner was quite funny as well even though I'd heard the joke before. Porky's is more than likely where the creators of The Simpsons got their idea from with Bart's prank calls to Moe.
All in all Porky's isn't completely terrible, but there are nowhere near enough laughs to warrant the running time. I can (and have) watched The American Pie films (particularly the first 3 films) over and over again, but I can safely say that watching Porky's once was more than enough for me.
Come on! You people need help FAST. Yes, it is true this movie isn't refined, sophisticated and its attempts at sociology (EG the antisemitism angle ) are paper thin; yes, it is true it belongs among the juvenile junk movie production of the reagan era, even if the movie isn't a full fledged US production; yes, it is true characters are stereotypical & paper thin...as with most character of juvenile 1980s movies anyways; yes, it is true actors no way look like "16-17yo" (that is high school, not middle school like some accurate critic suggests ), but that is true of most juvenile movies, including the pathetic "Beverly Hills" of the 1990...Luke Perry looked what, 38? And I laughed crazy at another 30-something-looking actress playing the maladjusted teenager; yes, it is true they laugh too much on screen, but so much for many other bigger productions. HOWEVER This movie still oozes some kind of (weird) charm because -let's face it- it depicts highschool years like we wanted ours to be...fun...sleaze...pranks...some minor violence for thrills, but nobody dies, gets permanently hurt or sent to jail for life. Sure, women are mainly praised for a bunch of hair down there...but if the movie is women-hating, then women looking at which car men drive or the like (=movies ) are men-hating. That is how teen years are supposed to be, while old eyes see this and react to this like Beulah Balbricker. Not award-winning material, but neither the vile, demeaning tripe some want it to be. Or perhaps those people in high-school were debating global warming, exploitation schemes in perspective since Gengiz Khan & so forth. As well, end titles give 1981 as year of release. That period (late 70s-early 80s) was plagued by escapist movies, preferably set in the 1950-60s...remember the cold war was at its highest, and masses needed escapism.
Any fan of American Pie owes it to themselves to see what started it all, and in many ways delivers far more. Tons of nudity, profanity and laughs make this an R-rated treat.
There are other films of the same time that were not misogynistic, one dimensional and mean-spirited (see The Last American Virgin, Fast Times At Ridgemount High and The Party Animal). And even more so - those films are actually funny and have characters that you remember. Porky's main cast are pretty faceless, generic "guys". There's no depth or real personality to any of the characters to speak of.
They are a group of friends who don't even seem to like each other. Pee-wee is perhaps ill-suited with these guys and then there's a rather tacked-on sub-plot of anti-Semitism involving Tim who is abused by his Father. Are we supposed to not feel sorry for Tim for being abused because he's an anti-Semite?
Very pedestrian film-making aspiring to be a bit more indeed. Perhaps the film-makers are trying to tell us that prejudice, abuse and misogyny apparently were very much a thing that only existed in the 1950's? Actually I don't think they gave it any thought.
If you are emotionally-stunted to that of a 9 year-old you may like this (because you don't know any better) and for those who believe that everything made in Canada is funny (If SCTV is a 10 then this is -8).
For 1982, this was "pushing the envelope." There is hardly a sentence in this script that isn't dotted with a profane word and all anyone in the film - anyone - cares about is sex. Hey, who isn't in that it some for or another, but this is a mainline film and that's all that mattered in here. Even more ludicrous and insulting is that it's about high school-age kids (who all look about 25 years old in this film)!
When you are young, stupid and devoid of morals, this is a "cool" movie. I thought it was 25 years ago when I first saw it, to be perfectly honest. Yes, even that classic scene in the shower room with the bulldog gym teaching pulling on this guy was funny...but not now. This film looks sophomoric to me now that it's embarrassing. I guess it depends on when in life you watch it. Anybody over 40 who still watches this needs counseling.
This movie should be put in a time capsule to show how low Hollywood had plummeted by 1982.