Porky's screens at Toronto Underground Cinema on Saturday December 4th at 7:00pm as part of our Good Canadian Cinema? series.
Porky's by guest blogger Ryan Bureyko
If you were born in the 70s and grew up in the 80s, you were either in one of two camps. The first, stood in line for hours to see the latest Star Wars epic. The second, you were doing any damn thing possible to see some boobs, and as we all know, no one ever saw Princess Leia's. We more than made up for it once we got to see Porky's.
As someone who was too young to see Porky's in the theatres, i had to wait until the VHS/BETAMAX book to occur, and each and every time I walked by that big clamshell box in the movie store, i knew I had to see it. My mother, being staunchly religious, adamantly refused to rent me such filth. Sigh. Yet another weekend alone in my basement with nothing but National Geographic and Lubriderm.
On one fateful Saturday afternoon, however, cruising down the aisles of the infamous D and D World of Video (Thunder Bay, represent!), a lovely clerk took pity on me. She saw me staring at the box for what seemed like an eternity, and seemed to fully understand my barely post-pubescent dilemma. Without parental permission, and at the risk of losing her job, she let me rent it! I carried the movie out of the store much in the same manner a married man would leave a porno theatre. I was finally a part of the raincoat crowd and I could not be happier.
The movie itself is exactly what you think it is. It is a celebration of male coming of age. It's about guys named Pee-Wee, Meat, and various other walking teen male stereotypes. It's about an awesomely slutty girl named Wendy, and a morbidly obese criminal named Porky. Most importantly, it's about an evil, undersexed and over fed gym teacher: Miss Beulah Balbricker. Ok, maybe Miss Balbricker isn't the central character, but outside of the film Stand By Me, I cannot recall in movie history forcing teenagers to realize how valuable one's testicles are.
All the guys just want to ride outside of town to Porky's Bar and Grill to rent a prostitute or two; a seemingly innocent plan that would go off without a hitch. Oh, how wrong these boys were. The shit hits the fan almost immediately for these kids, as Porky is not a pig to be messed with. Throw in some car chases, and explosion and some amazing full frontal nudity for it's time and you are left feeling exhausted, yet oddly liberated and entertained at the same time.
This teen movie is unlike most other teen movies in that it lacks the viciousness of films made later. There is a refreshing lack of a "clique" element, and the usual high school drama cliches are left on the side lines so completely separate issues can be explored.
I had the amazing opportunity to meet director Bob Clark shortly before he died at a dismally attended Porky's marathon here in Toronto. He sat next to us in the theatre and was smiling as if it was the first time he had seen these films in years. He looked over at my friend and I and simply said, "Fun, isn't it?"
These boys weren't out to fight the war on terror or the war on school corruption. They were out to fight the war on panties. A real war that I think many young men like myself could get behind.
Ryan Bureyko, a stalwart at one of the last mom and pop video stores in Toronto, regularly waves late charges for cans of beer.