Monday, August 23, 2010

Porky's (1982)

Directed by Bob Clark
Starring Dan Monahan, Kim Cattrall, Chuck Mitchell
Rated R
Canada


"I've never seen so much wool. You could knit a sweater."

Director Bob Clark (RIP) was always an innovator. He was the first director to utilize the make-up talents of future horror-fx superstar Tom Savini (Deathdream, 1972), he is widely considered the godfather of the slasher film (Black Christmas, 1974), and created the first Christmas-themed film that even people who hate Christmas still adore (A Christmas Story, 1984). But perhaps more importantly, at least to millions of horny teenage boys, Bob Clark invented the modern teen sex comedy.

Anyone with even a passing interest in pop culture is probably aware of Porky's and the impact it's had on filmmaking in the past thirty years. Budgeted at a meager 4 million, it made over a hundred million dollars in the US alone, and was a smash hit all over the world. Also, despite being shot in Florida with an American director and a mostly-American cast, Porky's remains the biggest-grossing Canadian produced film of all time. The movie's financial success still pales in comparison to its cultural significance, however. More than any other film of the era, Porky's established the formula for the teen sex comedy genre, a blueprint that's been used over and over, from Screwballs to American Pie, in hundreds of films. Porky's has it all: a virginal underdog, a gang of rag-tag misfits, a hot teacher, a despicable villain, equally despicable authority figures, a dab of social commentary, and, most importantly, a shower scene. They had existed before, of course, most notably in women's prison flicks of the 70's, but after Porky's, almost no other R-rated teen flick in the next two decades went without at least one visit to the girls' locker room showers. After Porky's, many similar films were judged entirely by how awesome the shower scene was. In fact, the term "shower scene" only entered American vernacular after the success of Porky's.


Porky's admittedly thin story line sprang from the teenage experiences of director Bob Clark, growing up in Florida in the 1950's. Essentially, underachieving Pee Wee (Don Monahan) wants to get laid. His friends decide the only way to make that happen is to take a trip out to the everglades, to a notoriously unhinged strip club called Porky's, named after its fat-bastard owner, Porky Wallace. Their trip is disastrous, and they vow revenge. Besides some adolescent hjinks and school-day sexcapades along the way, that's pretty much the whole story. Simple, but effective.


As the story begins, we meet our hero, Pee Wee, who wakes up and does the same thing he does every morning - measures his penis with a ruler, hoping it got bigger overnight. Alas, it did not, and so Pee Wee shuffles off to school, where he meets up with his prank-loving pals.


After a long day spent trying to see their gym teacher naked, the fellas head out to shack in the woods to have sex with a hooker delightfully named Cherry Forever - played, also delightfully, by Webster's mom, Susan Clark.


Anyway, it's all just a goof to scare the fellas. They hire a guy to pretend to be Cherry's angry boyfriend and mayhem (and full-frontal male nudity) ensues.  Naturally, a naked Pee Wee ends up getting picked up by the cops. Everybody dumps on ol' Pee Wee, all the time. The very next day, Wendy Williams - who actually went out on a date with Pee Wee - gives him a giant condom for being "The biggest dickhead in the world". Clearly, something needs to change.


The fellas decide they all need to go to Porky's, a notorious stripclub/divebar 70 miles away, in the Everglades, where "anything goes. And so they do.  Porky's is some kind of crazy redneck paradise where they let underage kids in, no questions ask, where topless strippers brawl with drunken cowboys, where the bouncer loungers in a machine gun-mounted wheelchair, and where, if you've got enough cash, you just make it upstairs, where god knows what will happen to you.


The fellas meet Porky (Chuck Mitchell, a real monster of a man), who agrees to let the boys have at three of his girls for a hundred bucks. But of course, it's just another ruse. He dumps them all into the moat. Adding insult to injury, the crooked sheriff (Alex Karras - Webster's dad!) shakes them down for the rest of their dough. So it turns out to be a pretty bad night.


Meanwhile, back at school, Coach Brakket (Boyd Gaines) is under the assumption that his girlfriend, Miss Honeywell (Kim Cattrall), is a virgin. Coach Warren (Doug McGrath) assures him that if he gets her upstairs in the gym's storage room, he'll find out differently. So he attempts to get her upstairs all the time. He has just struck out once again when Miss Ballbreaker shows up and gives Honeywell some lip.


She gets so angry that she does, in fact, go upstairs, and then the big secret is revealed. They store old uniforms up there, and the smell of a men's locker room drives Honeywell into a fit of depraved passion. They have loud, inappropriate sex, and she howls like a dog. Hence her nickname, Lassie. Also, you get to see Kim Catrall's naked ass, which is pretty awesome.


And then, we are treated to the greatest full-bush teen sex comedy shower scene of all time. The mother of all shower scenes.


Unfortunately, the fun ends prematurely when Pee Wee, frustrated because his peephole is obstructed by the plus-sized ass of a girl affectionately known as Blubberman, blows their cover. The girls figure out what's up and  they're pretty amused by it, but then one of the fellas sticks his penis through the peephole, and things got south pretty quick from there. Ballbreaker shows up, and the Greatest Shower Scene of All Time turns into the Most Painful Penis-yanking Scene of All Time.


Ballbreaker wants to set up a penis line-up to identify the shower-peeper, but the principal has a giggle-fit when she explains it to him.


Then there's some bullshit with the racist kid and his dad at a party, and just when things get under control again, Mickey stumbles in, covered in blood. He'd been consistently trying to get revenge on Porky this whole time, and every time he comes home, he's a little more battered. This time, he ends up in an ambulance.

Surely you must know, this means war.

Shwartz cooks up a plan, and the boys (and the coach, and a cop), get to work. The plan pretty much involves tearing Porky's down piece by piece. There's distressed strippers and spilled booze everywhere. While this is happening, the sheriff shows up to kill everybody.  But the fellas rigged his car, too, and he ends up in the swamp with the rest of the assholes. And once the whole joint is reduced to splinters, they blow whatever is left up.


Porky and his bro chase the kids to the county line, but once they get there, further humiliation awaits. In fact, you almost start to feel bad for the fat creep.


But wait, what about Pee Wee? Does he finally get laid? I mean, that's what this was all about, right?


Yeah, man. Everybody gets laid!


While it has certainly been trumped, in terms of onscreen nudity and teenage hijinks over the years, and while its fitful attempts at addressing race-relations seem awkward and out-of-place, Porky's nonetheless still holds a special place in the heart of every lusty teenager who stumbled across it over the past thirty years. Clark captured the engorged id of every adolescent American boy better than anyone ever had before. As a former adolescent American boy myself, I can say for certain that boozing, pranks, and going after pussy really are the chief preoccupations for men of a certain age, regardless of the era they grew up in, and Porky's represents those magical years perfectly. It was quickly followed by two sequels and hundreds of rip-offs - and still is - but there's nothing quite like the original. It almost makes me feel bad for today's youth, and their easy access to pornography. In 1982, Porky's was teenage America's porn, and Kim Catrall was teenage America's greatest porn star. If you've never taken a trip to Porky's, a I highly recommend you do. Just be sure to bring some rubbers and a Fake ID.




- Ken McIntyre

3 comments:

  1. The best! my favorite scene in PORKY'S is when the two gym teacher guys and the principal are trying not to laugh while Ballbreaker is lodging her complaint. The chuckles and the smirks all seem genuine, like they were really having the funniest fuckin' time ever trying to film that. Such a good flick. Plus, Perry from THE WANDERERS.

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  3. I hope and pray they do not remake this classic film. I still own Porky's on VHS. I bought it at Wal-Mart when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. RIP Mr. Clark and Ariel.

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