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Porky's / Porky's II: The Next Day

Those who have enjoyed such recent teenage horndogger tales as American Pie and Road Trip can extend a note of gratitude to Porky's, Bob Clark's 1981 romp that not only drew crowds, caused chatter, and earned a whole lot of money, but actually was so successful that the movie's title is now a generic term for an entire film genre — Porky's means teenage titty comedy, pure and simple. So why has this film (and its slapped-together sequels Porky's II: The Next Day and Porky's III) been dissed so badly, almost since when it first appeared? Why are so few people willing to admit that they've seen Porky's and enjoyed their share of belly-laughs? In part, because the film and its ilk earned such an enormous amount of backlash in the Reagan '80s that they weren't merely dubbed obscene, they were much worse — they were tasteless. And while high-minded Americans may believe that "obscenity" is in the eye of the beholder, few want to be accused of having no taste. Hence the damnation of Porky's, despite the fact that the film and its sequels aren't nearly as bad (or boring, or un-funny) as countless Hollywood "comedies" to arrive in its wake. Our story concerns a group of high school students in 1950s-era Angel Beach, Fla., who are collectively concerned with two things — practical jokes and getting laid. And the getting laid part is a fairly mythical thing, as none of the guys can possibly get as much randy sex as they boast about (they are high school students after all). A sex comedy in lust only, Porky's is really more about what would happen if the Little Rascals became teenagers with raging hormones — there's Billy (Mark Herrier) , Pee-Wee (Dan Monahan), Tommy (Wyatt Knight), Tim (Cyril O'Reilly), Mickey (Roger Wilson), Brian (Scott Colomby), Meat (Tony Ganios), and of course Wendy (Kaki Hunter), the token female who has the patience to put up with these guys. The loosely knit plot concerns our lads, who hope to get laid at the notorious Porky's nightclub but are embarrassed and ridiculed by owner Porky and his redneck pals, and thus vow to get even. Gags and nudity and that infamous girls' shower scene follow, but Porky's (and its sequels) aren't just salacious teenage titty comedies — they're titty comedies that also create a rooting interest for the protagonists, who not only are out to get laid, but also find themselves aligned against bigotry and racism. A strain of anti-Semitic prejudice informs the first film, while the tamer Porky's II has the young idealists battling both a fire-and-brimstone preacher and the Ku Klux Klan, who want to keep Angel Beach High from performing an evening of Shakespeare with a Seminole student as Romeo. No, the Porky's series isn't about sex, and it isn't about practical jokes per se. Porky's is about revenge, a dish served up with relish at the end of each film. And arguably, such is why these movies have remained as popular as they have for so long — even if nobody wants to admit that they like them. Fox's DVD double-feature of Porky's and Porky's II: The Next Day offers both films on a single DVD. The 1.85:1 transfers are clean, although not much work has been done on the source materials, which are of cable TV standards. Audio is in the original Dolby 2.0 Surround. Trailers. Keep-case.

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