DIRECTOR: Bob Clark
SCREENPLAY: Bob Clark
STARRING: Dan Monahan, Mark Herrier, Wyatt Knight
RUNNING TIME: 98 mins
FORMAT: Standard edition blu-ray/ Limited Steelbook
Reviewed by Guy Adams
Since someone had the bright idea of filming copulation with sweet pastry products, High School movies about sex are common. Back in 1982 it was a new idea and it’s worth remembering the fuss PORKY’S caused on its original release. Critics revolted, audiences flocked and every VHS rental store copy grew fuzzy in the saucy bits. PORKY’S was nothing more than a loosely-connected set of adventures that existed purely to show boys at their most lustful and girls at their most soap-lathered.
Except, in fairness, beneath the surface, Bob Clark’s movie, inspired by real-life stories, has a little more brain than that. Yes, the women are sex objects, but they’re also dominant and frequently one-up on the boys that chase after them. There’s also a surprisingly effective — if somewhat mawkish — attempt to look at racism.
Ultimately though, we would be on a hiding to nothing if we tried to suggest PORKY’S is anything other than it is: a raucous sex comedy that aims to do no more than to amuse and titillate. It’s considerable box-office success and the fact that it is so warmly remembered today (especially by those who were that same age as the protagonists on its initial release, still not able to forget the illicit joy of seeing Kim Cattrall having noisy sex in a locker room) proves that those simple aims were more than enough. Clark may be most fondly remembered in horror circles as the director of BLACK CHRISTMAS but for the rest of the world he will always be the man that made Canadian cinema profitable.
Have the jokes faded over time? Their shock value diluted by all that has come since? Not really, because the humour is one of situation and, unlike the modern taste for the absurd, the situations in PORKY’S are, for the most part, recognisable and believable. The edge it once had is still there, and the jokes still play as broadly and simply and honestly as they always did.
Arrow’s Blu-ray retains the original mono soundtrack and the picture is as sharp as the soft old eighties ever gets. Special features include an interview and commentary from Bob Clark in which the filmmaker shows obvious pride in the entire cast and crew’s achievements, detailing the difficulties in getting the movie made and the true inspirations behind all the misadventures onscreen. Less interesting is Jim McBride, aka Mr Skin enthusing over the naked delights the movie offers but, as Mr McBride would certainly agree, I’d rather see too much on the disc than too little.