Saturday, February 7, 2015

Porky's II: The Next Day

I spent the first three hours of my birthday watching Porky's and Porky's II: The Next Day on VHS. Had a few Tab Colas, and a sleeve of snack-size Milky Way bars. It's hard for me to understand why these two movies have been relegated to the cultural dustbin of sleezy teenage comedies that became such a category in the 1980's. These might have been early examples of that supposed genre, but they certainly aren't encapsulated by it, and anyone who dismisses them as such is doing the movies, and themselves as a viewer, an injustice. Granted, the raunch flows freely, and is done deftly in these movies. But it's never the central focus of what is happening. These are movies about a time (the late 50's) and a place (Southern Florida) that the writers grew up in and knew very well. There's nothing generic, unlike most teenage sex comedies, about the place, the time, or the characters. These are teenagers who talk and think about sex because, that's what teenagers do. But they do other things. They encounter serious issues such as racism, anti-Semitic rednecks, sexism, and censorship in a place that was very much pre-civil rights. The language is salty and authentic. They say in what my opinion teenagers might have said at that time in that place. So, to see the movie dismissed by so many reviewers and remembered by many others for a few scenes that are funny, and iconic, but not representative of the movies altogether. I love these two movies.

Porky's II VHS tape
Porky's and Porky's II: The Next Day on splendid VHS

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