|Written by Abbie Bernstein|
|Tuesday, 21 May 2002|
It’s one of the minor mysteries of the universe that ‘Porky’s’ has survived as a sort of standard bearer for R-rated teen sex comedies. It’s not the first nor the last film to concern itself with the efforts of male high-school students to hit that mythical home run with the opposite sex. It is also not the best nor the worst nor the tamest or even the raunchiest of its genre. Indeed, perhaps the film’s middle-of-the-road silliness is what makes it so comfortable. It can be enjoyed as a prime example of its genre without inspiring feelings of any special admiration or envy for its makers.
As written and directed by Bob Clark, ‘Porky’s’ doesn’t really have a lot of plot, just ongoing themes that are finally resolved. Set in ‘50s Florida, it follows around a group of seven friends eager to have their way with any and all willing females while inflicting some revenge on Porky (Chuck Mitchell), the massive owner of a Georgia whorehouse. Will Pee-Wee (Dan Monahan) ever lose his virginity? Will Coach Brackett (Boyd Gaines) ever find out why gorgeous gym teacher Miss Honeywell (Kim Cattrall) is nicknamed "Lassie"?
Clark helms the hijinks with energy and good humor that help to counteract the lack of originality and structure. The film is too lightweight and the female characters too at ease with the boys’ desires for it to be offensive despite all of the overheated leering that goes on and Clark at least has the nerve to let some of the gags go further than anybody might have expected in 1981, though nothing here will really stun 1999 audiences. His pack of rabblerousers aren’t convincingly anarchistic (when they are in real trouble, the cops help them out), few have distinctive personalities and most of them suffer the ‘Room 222’ curse of looking about a decade too old for their supposed ages. However, they are agreeable enough, while the ladies they interact with are fairly comely (viewers concerned primarily with the T&A aspects here may wish to simply forward up to Chapter 13, helpfully titled "The Girls’ Shower").
Picture and sound quality are pretty much as they were on the original release, which is to say that both are well within professional standards but nothing to write home about. The English soundtrack is mono, so that even a climactic sequence of destruction in Chapter 18 lacks in sonic gusto. Otherwise, there’s nothing very remarkable about ‘Porky’s’ one way or the other--except for its long-lived reputation.