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Movie Reviews Porkys 1982

Porky’s (1982) Starring Dan Monahan, Susan Clark, Alex Karras, Doug McGrath, Art Hindle, Boyd Gaines, Kim Catrall, Scott Colomby, Kaki Hunter, Eric Christmas, Bill Hindman, Wayne Maunder, Tony Ganios, Cyril O’Reilly, Roger Wilson, Wyatt Knight, Mark Herrier, Allene Simmons, Lisa O’Reilly, Patricia Finn-Lee, Will Knickerbocker, Rod Ball, Cash Baron.

Directed by Bob Clark.

Running Time: 94 minutes.

Rating: R (Nudity, Sexuality, Violence, Coarse Language)

Meat, Peewee and the gang head across the Florida state-line into Georgia to a strip club. There they are humiliated by Porky, the club’s evil proprietor and his redneck sheriff brother (Karras). The boys derive much merriment when they exact a delicious revenge later giving their tormenters an unforgettable comeuppance.

This tasteless, exploitation examination of adolescence in a simpler time is kind of like a prequel to Animal House only with dumber, hornier characters. It remains infamous for its girl’s nude shower scene and one with Kim Cattrall before she was famous that I won’t even describe.

It deservedly moved actor Walter Matthau to state that it was a film “made by idiots for idiots”. They did a hell of a job of niche marketing it too. A supposed landmark in Canadian film this was a monster hit in it’s initial release and was at one point the highest grossing Canadian film of all-time (which it remained until 2006’s Bon Cop, Bad Cop). But how Canadian it really is could and should be debated.

Porky’s was NOT a Canadian film. Porky’s was only partly a Canadian cinematic investment with a few Canadian actors and some Canadian crew. It was a crudely cynical investment that paid off handsomely by pandering to horny young North American males. Whilst not a black mark on our film industry it is no credit either.

Did Canadians in the 1980’s even care that this so-called Canadian film was set in Florida in 1954? Canadian actors Kim Cattrall, Susan Clark, and Art Hindle were in this film portraying bit roles. Doug McGrath is another Canadian actor in this film and was nominated for a Genie award as supporting actor for his work in it. But they are all playing American characters in a production which doesn’t exactly flatter them and certainly doesn’t flatter us.

Director Bob Clark once staked claim to being Canadian even though he was born and raised in Louisiana. He only worked in Canada for ten years and made films for American consumption. The success of Porky’s was his ticket back to the States after his decade-long tax exile here. As an auteur he did next to nothing for Canada’s domestic film industry. He certainly didn’t hire enough Canadians and he underpaid those he did hire.

Wayne Maunder who played a minor role was Canadian. Don Daynard – the actual radio announcer who portrayed the radio announcer whose voice is the first one heard in the film was Canadian. What else was Canadian? Don Carmody who co-produced was Canadian. Harold Greenberg who co-executive produced was Canadian.

Paul Zaza who contributed original music to the score was Canadian. The list of Canadians who contributed to the film during pre and post-production is considerably greater than those that actually ended up on screen. It is a thoroughly American film. Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.

The kind of trashy, pornographic feel to this grade A turkey of a film cheapens whatever coming of age story this narrative might have told. Sexual curiosity and exploration amongst high school kids can be presented tastefully and accurately on screen. That wasn’t done here and people who watch it aren’t looking for that. DVD audiences of this title will thus naturally skip ahead to the shower scene.