I Saw A Film! And agreed to watch this one with Film-Authority, so we can compare our views!
Having gone a bit sideways for the second sequel, the Porky’s franchise comes slamming back with it’s more popular central theme, upending the cigar-chomping, fat man who hates them and now runs a bar/bordello on a barge. Pee-wee, Meat and the gang will go through a few annoying roundabouts first, including a wholly unmemorable basketball game, and some catfishing of the despised gym teacher, Ball-Breaker, but we’ll take those in turn.
Our film opens serenely enough with Pee-wee having a dream about graduation (the principal giving the speech about the jobs our heroes will have including some lesser desirable ones) and eventually a big breasted co-ed flashing her boobs to him as he approaches the stage to collect his diploma, pitching a tent, and then losing his kit to reveal himself publicly. All normal enough sex disaster dreams (mine usually go unrequited as well), and we’re soon back into familiar Porky’s level territory.
In this installment, little effort has been made to maintain the mid-50s era illusion and only the cars really seem to be on point. Much of the music is clearly and solidly mid-80s guitar rock (with that annoying out of phase pick-up slap (typical example is anything by The Fixx)) with the correct era music sort of used incidentally. Not to worry the director correctly assesses what it is about this franchise people want and it’s basically boobs and really poor taste jokes. Once again the girls all manage to get the boys to strip together (a favorite theme in these films for some reason) and pull a fast one forcing the fellows to walk naked together for their enjoyment.
OK much of the film’s hilarity comes at the expense of low-hanging fruit abuses. Far too much time is spent on a park bench facing a window, laughing hysterically at a couple engaged in some BDSM style hijinks. This type of humor, I’ll call it Schadenfreude, as it resembles the amusement one garners from misfortune of others (Hitler was said to have only loved this kind of humor) is mainly the sort of actually unfunny prank-humor these films mine. By the time our heroes are playing a similar prank on their sad gym-teacher the ball-breaker lady, one of the young ladies in our protagonist’s camp achieves a kind of self-awareness when she realizes real harm has been done. And the gang seeks to right their wrong in a typical movie fashion, but they do at least achieve empathy!
Of course we’re soon back to having to undermine Porky, which Pee-wee seems to have been maintaining a festering wound over even though they successfully destroyed his old place. This is much like the second time the rebels had to take out the Death Star. Porky rightly hates our little gang of louts, recognizing, no doubt, himself in them, and takes up a bet Pee-wee offers him about an upcoming basketball game they assure him they will throw. Porky himself seems a bit too gullible here, but then the odds were well on his side, Pee-wee’s high school team is not intimidating, and for some reason Porky follows high school sports, or is at least that easily roped by a money-making scandal. Meanwhile the MVP is Meat, and he’s sort of ended up in a reluctant fleeing from the daughter of Porky, who is meant to be movie-ugly (bad hair and make-up choices and a huge set of braces, coupled with over-acted goofiness, but otherwise actually lovely) and two things kind of fall into place. Porky loses his bet, but in a sort of Warner Brothers cartoon law, shanghai’s Meat to marry his daughter.
And so my friends you have Porky’s Revenge. Most of it based on the worst of our youthful and inexperienced impulses, but played like those were the best days of our lives. For some who have peaked in high school, it may be true, but such is not something to celebrate (though it is arguable that the stupid are happy, I don’t think they are, I think the stupid are largely frustrated by their endless toiling for naught). Porky’s Revenge only works as a kind of reminiscence that never was for most of us, and so I’m not exactly sure how these films managed to appeal. The naked boys parading at the pool, or the hard-on pitched in the graduation sequence (that comes true later) all have a kind of bland and empty carelessness. The entire film feels like a bored hooker who is checking her watch calculating her evening’s pay while you try to get some sort of pleasure out of her.
The Porky’s barge will crash, the camera will concentrate on the neon signs once again, falling into tragedy. But you, my friends, will feel nothing. You won’t laugh with them, you won’t cry with them, you won’t care if they graduate or get exposed once again. Because there are no characters you can identify with. In the original there was at least the story of profound racism. The world this particular film exists in doesn’t truly exist. It is no one’s coming-of-age. And you’ll be left wondering, what exactly was Porky’s Revenge? An attempt to please an ugly daughter? His pleasure barge being destroyed? His losing the basketball game bet? I couldn’t say! I should mention that Bob Clark, writer and director of the original film wasn’t on-board for this particular installment, and sure enough, it seems to show!
OK it runs free on Prime and while I wasn’t expecting it to be any good, I did think we’d see something along the lines of the first film, but it has lost all the minimal charm that at least family protection and the right-of-passage provided. This film is indeed just an attempt at big schadenfreude. And I’m going with the French movie poster!