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Porky's is a 1981 Canadian-American sex comedy film written and directed by Bob Clark about the escapades of teenagers in 1954 at the fictional Angel Beach High School in Florida. Released in the United States in 1982 with an R rating, the film influenced many writers in the teen film genre and spawned two sequels: Porky's II: The Next Day (1983) and Porky's Revenge! (1985) and a remake of the original titled Porky's Pimpin' Pee Wee (2009). Porky's was the fifth-highest-grossing film of 1982.

Porky's
The arm and leg of a woman reaching to turn on a shower, an eye peeping through a hole in the wall.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBob Clark
Produced by
Written byBob Clark
Starring
Music by
CinematographyReginald H. Morris
Edited byStan Cole
Production
company
Distributed by20th Century Fox[1]
Release date
  • November 13, 1981 (1981-11-13)
Running time
98 minutes[2]
CountryCanada
United States[1]
LanguageEnglish
Budget$4–5 million[3][4]
Box office$111.2 million[5]

Contents

PlotEdit

In 1954, a group of Florida high school students plan to lose their virginities. They go to Porky's, a nightclub in the Everglades, believing that they can hire a prostitute to satisfy their sexual desires. The bordello's proprietor, Porky, takes their money but humiliates the boys by dumping them into the swamp. When the group demands their money back, the sheriff, Porky's brother, drives them away, but not before his minions extort them for the rest of their money, further embarrassing them.

After Mickey (who returned to Porky's for revenge) is beaten so badly he has to be hospitalized, the gang becomes hellbent on exacting revenge on Porky and his brother, eventually sinking Porky's establishment in the swamp. Porky and his men, joined by the sheriff, chase the group, but the boys make it across the county line (out of Porky's brother's jurisdiction), where local police officers and the high school band meet them. One of the officers, Mickey's older brother Ted, repeatedly damages Porky's car, promising to drop all charges against Porky for driving an unsafe vehicle if the night's events are forgiven. Because the boys are too young to have been allowed into Porky's legally, Porky and his brother agree.

In a subplot, the boys peep on co-ed students in girl's locker room shower, and Tommy, Billy, and Pee Wee see several girls showering. Pee Wee gives them away when he shouts at a particularly fat girl (who has been blocking his view) to move so he can see. While a few girls run out, most stay, finding the situation funny. To test their attitude, Tommy sticks his tongue out through his peephole, but gets it smeared with soap. Infuriated, he drops his pants and sticks his penis through the opening just before female coach Beulah Balbricker (who has a running feud with Tommy) walks into the shower area. Spotting the protruding member, she sneaks up on Tommy, grabs his penis and pulls with all her might. Tommy pulls free and escapes, but Beulah is determined to prove that the offending member (which has a mole on it) belongs to Tommy, going so far as to request that Principal Carter hold a police-type line-up of the boys in the nude so she can identify it. However, Carter balks at her request. As the other basketball coaches laugh, Coach Brackett suggests asking the police to send a sketch artist and hang wanted posters around the school. When this suggestion gets even Carter laughing, Balbricker leaves in a huff. She sneaks out of the bushes to ambush Tommy and actually drags his pants down, but she is pulled off him by police and dragged away screaming that she saw "it" and that she can identify its owner. Tommy breaks the fourth wall, saying, "Jeez!" to the camera.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

Bob Clark got the idea to make the film in 1972. It was based on his experiences with five high school friends in Florida in the 1950s.[3]

Clark teamed up with Roger Swaybill on a film, Breaking Point. When Clark fell ill with mononucleosis in 1979, he dictated the story of Porky's to Swaybill, who then wrote a draft of the script. Every studio in Hollywood turned down the project. Clark eventually obtained finance from Melvin Simon Productions and a Canadian firm, Astro Bellevue Pathe. The film had to be made in Canada to obtain government tax benefits. This meant Clark, who was an American, got sole screen credit as writer. However, Swaybill was reimbursed with a six-figure sum and was co-writer on the sequel.[3]

"It seems incredible to realize that Porky's, which earned more than $200 million worldwide, was done as a tax shelter, but that's the way it was," Swaybill says.[3]

ReleaseEdit

Porky's was released in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Columbia, South Carolina, on November 13, 1981.[6] It then received a wide release in Canada and the United States on March 19, 1982.[6] In Ireland, the film was banned on February 1, 1982; the decision was overturned nineteen days later.[7]

Although it was written and directed by an American and was filmed in Miami, Florida, Porky's was produced by the Canadian company Astral Media.[8] As a result, Porky's can be classed as the highest-grossing Canadian film of all time in Canada's domestic box office, with a total of C$111 million by 1999.[9]

ReceptionEdit

Upon its release, Porky's was viewed as "a likeable lowbrow coming-of-age comedy", but the critical appraisal has been more negative since then.[10] Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, which collects both contemporary and modern reviews, gives the film a score of 33% based on reviews from 24 critics.[11]

Film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were offended by Porky's and later called it one of the worst films of 1982. In particular, they criticized the film for what they viewed as its objectification and degradation of women and the childish nature of its antagonists.[12]

SequelsEdit

The first two Porky's films were directed by Bob Clark and produced by Harold Greenberg, who founded Astral Communications (now known as Astral Media). James Komack directed the third film, Porky's Revenge. Clark based the original Porky's on actual occurrences at Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport, Florida, and Fort Lauderdale High School in the early 1960s, and on a venue called Porky's Hide Away in Oakland Park, Florida.[8]

Following the success of Porky's in America and Europe, a sequel titled Porky's II: The Next Day was released in 1983. The sequel was poorly received by critics, and was less commercially successful than the original. Bob Clark did not want to make another film in the series, so director James Komack made the third and last part of the saga. The film was called Porky's Revenge!, and was the worst-received of the series both critically and commercially.

Home mediaEdit

On May 22, 2007, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released all three films in an "Ultimate Collection" box set on DVD.

The DVD of the film from the "Ultimate Collection" was also released as a stand-alone release called the "One Size Fits All" Edition and includes a retrospective featurette with Bob Clark, a discussion on how Porky's is a comedy classic, movie commentary by Bob Clark, the theatrical trailer, two television spots, trailers for Porky's II: The Next Day and Porky's Revenge!, and the sales pitch for the Porky's video game.

Porky's was released on Blu-ray on September 25, 2012. The bonus material for the Blu-ray is the bonus material from the "One Size Fits All" Edition that focuses on the movie itself. The trailers for Porky's II: The Next Day and Porky's Revenge!, and the Porky's video game sales pitch were not included as bonus materials for the Blu-ray release.

RemakeEdit

In 2002, Howard Stern acquired the remake rights and has long hoped to produce a remake of the film. The potential remake ran into legal trouble in 2011 when two other production companies stepped forward claiming to own the rights.[13] In 2013, the parties reached a confidential settlement and agreed to dismiss a claim and counterclaim with prejudice. The terms of the settlement remain confidential, and to date, if it allows for Stern's remake to be made is unknown.[14]

A VOD sequel, Porky's Pimpin' Pee Wee, was filmed in 2008.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Porky's". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  2. ^ "PORKY'S (18)". British Board of Film Classification. December 17, 1981. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d WE'RE TALKING GROSS, TACKY AND DUMB Brown, Peter H. Los Angeles Times 20 Jan 1985: 6.
  4. ^ Solomon, Aubrey (2002). Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History. Scarecrow Press. p. 195. ISBN 9780810842441.
  5. ^ "Porky's (1982)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Canadian Feature Film Database". Collections Canada. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  7. ^ "Films banned in Ireland". boards.ie. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  8. ^ a b Goyanes, Ily (August 19, 2010). "Celluloid City: Porky's Trilogy Filmed at Miami Senior High School and Greynolds Park". Miami New Times. Archived from the original on December 12, 2010. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
  9. ^ Steel, Suzanne (January 22, 1999). "Field Notes". National Post. Postmedia Network Inc. p. C06.
  10. ^ Gibron, Bill (April 4, 2007). "Bad with the Good - Bob Clark (1941 - 2007)". PopMatters. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  11. ^ "Porky's (1981)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  12. ^ At the Movies-Stinkers of 1982. At the Movies.
  13. ^ "Will a Legal Fight Ensnare Howard Stern's Planned 'Porky's' Remake? (Exclusive) Remake". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
  14. ^ "'Porky's' Rights Dispute Settled". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 8, 2017.

External linksEdit