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9/26/08

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Eighties teen comedies are right up there with sex and ice cream as things that I will enjoy till the day I die. Movies like Revenge of the Nerds, Just One of the Guys, Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller's Day Off made me who I am today. However, I've never been that big of a fan of the Porky's series, most likely because I didn't see any of them till I was over 18, they weren't part of my formative years. The first one is a decent example of an 80's teen comedy, it's full of sex, nudity and grotesque jokes. But I never connected with the characters, they never seemed real to me, nothing more than stock characters. That had a lot to do with their limited development, but another problems was all the actors are all in their late 20's, early 30's, trying to play teenagers. It never worked for me.

It had been quite a while since I'd seen part 2 and 3, and I believe I'd only seen both of them once each during my college years. They were both playing on the Fox Movie Channel in widescreen, so I figured I'd check them out again, as they're easy and brainless to watch late at night. But now that it's been a month since I watched them, I'm having a very hard time separating the two. I believe that in The Next Day, they're trying to put together a Shakespeare production, but are getting resistance from the local church for indecency and the KKK because a Seminole Indian is playing Romeo. Pee Wee, the boys and Wendy Williams decide to fight back. In Revenge, Porky has rebuilt his club, and is forcing the boys basketball team to throw the championship game.

One of the problems with the films is there are too many characters, not letting any of them really stand out, the only two guys that stuck with me were Pee Wee, because he's the lead, and Meat, because he's big and has a memorable name. The four or five other guys always kind of blend in together as soon as the movie ends. Overall they're pretty funny, but you never feel like you get to actually know any of them, as they're always together in a group, bagging on each other in the same way. Pee Wee is the only character that has any sort of growth, and it's not much. Wendy, the lead girl, has a couple of good moments, especially at the end of the second film, when she's dressed up as an elaborate showgirl, trashing a local politician's reputation at a fancy restaurant. That scene and the scene where the boys take a prostitute to the cemetery, to double cross one another, and Pee Wee ends up running down the highway nude are the highlights of the film. The Romeo & Juliet stuff doesn't work well, it feels like writer/director Bob Clark trying to cram ideals about censorship and racism into a lighthearted film.

Porky's Revenge is the slightly better film of the two. They get back to basics, they're not trying to ram any messages down our throats, Porky is back as the main villain and Pee Wee and Wendy are no longer a couple. In The Next Day, they get a bit mushy with their relationship. In part 3, Pee Wee's back to being the horny bastard, chasing after the Swedish exchange student, with Wendy and the boys busting his balls. The Porky's universe has returned to normal. These very filled out teenagers, with receding hairlines are about to graduate, they play basketball in some of the most awkwardly filmed sports scenes in history, and try to scam girls into taking their clothes off. The film opens with a fun dream sequence where Pee Wee gets flashed by the Swedish girl and then his robed is ripped off, exposing his erection to the entire crowd. It seems all the best scenes in these films end with Pee Wee naked.

Both these films are pretty sub-par compared to the original Porky's, and I've already stated that I don't hold the first film in very high regard. So as 80's teen-sex comedies go, they rank pretty low on the scale. But if you're desperate for a laugh, you could do worse, as the films are at least fairly well produced, with a 1950's setting, and decent photography and acting. The actors, despite being 10 - 15 years beyond their teens, have good comic timing, keep the film entertaining. I probably won't bother with these sequels again, beyond maybe catching a scene or two on cable. If I want to see some 80's boobs and hear some 80's jokes, I'll check out the far superior Revenge of the Nerds. - Grade: C

Porky's II: The Next Day Trailer



Porky's Revenge Trailer



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